Just watching the video made me anxious. I was sitting in my warm, dry home but I started to feel panic — water entering my lungs, struggling, choking.
I was watching a demo of Total Immersion Swimming (TI), given to me by Danny Peleg, my TI instructor, a former Israeli navy seal. The video showed a man swimming freestyle in a graceful, steady rhythm, barely raising his lips out of the water to breathe so you could hardly see when he was taking in air.
“I can’t do that!” I thought.
But this story is a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to learn something that scares you, and learning a new skill is the best antidote I know to depression and the blahs.
I grew up by the ocean, had swimming lessons and was constantly in the water, but I was never comfortable doing what was then called the Australian Crawl. Breast stroke, side stroke, backstroke—no problem. But with the crawl, I couldn’t manage the breathing. I’d suck in water, gag, sputter and after one lap I was exhausted.