It was in 2012 and my son had just turned one. Many of you will agree that being the parent of a young baby is delightful and strenuous at the same time. He often would want me to take him out for a “tour” of the neighbourhood. In the initial few tours itself, I started to realize that I was getting very tired just by carrying him for a few minutes. It dawned on me that my fitness was pathetic, to say the least. The stress of work and the sedentary lifestyle so far had been taking it’s toll.
I immediately decided to do something about it and fix some sort of physical exercise into my routine. Since it was summer, going swimming seemed like an obvious choice. Exercise and respite from the harsh weather would be so amazing to have. I signed up with the nearest swimming pool.
The coach told me that there are two kinds of batches at the pool. One is a “learners” batch for people looking to learn swimming ie beginners and the other is a “regular” batch. I wanted to join the “regular” batch as I have learnt swimming “dog paddle” in my school days. But there was a catch. I was supposed to clear a swim test to be eligible to come in the “regular” batch. “Ok,” I thought, no big deal. I entered the water to appear for the test which was to swim a 100m non-stop. This was a 50 m pool and I felt pretty ok reaching the other end ( though it took ages with all the thrashing around). The moment I turned around and looked at the expanse of the remaining 50 m, I felt as if every ounce of energy was being suctioned out of me. The coach gave me a look which clearly said.. “Where is that cocky grin of yours, buddy?”. I failed to go the remaining 50 m and was relegated to the “learners” batch.
As I stepped out of the pool the coach assured me by telling me that my swimming was OK but I just didn’t have the stamina and endurance to survive.
Thus I unlearned and relearned the basics of swimming in the next one month, built up the stamina to not only go the whole 100m but also to “float” in the deep section of the pool for a full 10 minutes. The exhilaration of clearing the test and moving on to the “regular” batch was second to none.
The small wins like this add up to the individual you are today. Taking action matters the most.
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