This dates back to my childhood days. I might have been just 8-9 years old.
The term phobia has been glorified much more these days but when I was a child, I did not know what a phobia is. I was just scared. Scared of water. I would cry when my parents took me out for boating. I used to fear watching the vast rivers that my parents showed me eagerly. The only thought that used to creep up my mind was drowning.
I had seen people drowning in the movies. I had read about it in the newspapers which I used to read innocently not understanding half of the things. (I don’t come from the gadget freak generation.) This was the only thought that occupied my mind watching the vast water bodies.
Once, I inserted my head inside the bucket to feel the terror first handedly. I was petrified.
Since, I was just a child and they are supposed to be scared of myriad things, it was not a major thing. It was co-incidental that dad got me signed up for swimming training program in one of the sports complex.
There I was. Standing naked except my swimming costume and a big pond like pool in front of me. I went numb at the sight and this was when the coach told me that the height of the pool was less than my height. He took my hand and slowly, I stepped into the pools using stairs. I felt a sigh of relief when I found that the water was only reaching my shoulder level. It meant that I could breathe. This was not the biggest hurdle. I learnt how to swim using a board.
The true fear was when after about 15 days, I was standing in front of the bigger pool that was meant for the adults. The depth of the pool was 10 feet. I remember that I cried and cried and resisted with all my efforts. I did not wanted to enter into a pool where I could drown five times. I was able to succeed and dad took me away. After changing my clothes, I saw my coach approaching me.
“Why do you fear water?” he asked me.
“I might drown.”
“You are the fastest learner I have ever trained in this sports complex. The fear is just in your mind. Your body knows how to swim. Just stop listening to your mind and dive in the pool. The fear will subside and the victory will be yours.”
No, I did not go to that pool on the next day as well. I kept learning in the small pool and soon, I could swim without board and without any floating accessories.
One day, I asked my coach to accompany me to the 10 feet pool. Fear embraced me again as I stood there. Encouraging myself and thinking about what he had said, I dived into the pool.
No I did not succeed in swimming. I panicked and I struggled. The coach had to assist me in finding the surface. But that small risk killed the fear inside me. I practiced and I kept tried and one day, I was able to do a full lap.
I still remember the words. Fear is just in your mind.
So, take the risk and be a winner.
This post has been written for Indi Happy Hours in association with Mountain Dew India.
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