As I have previously mentioned, what happened at the thermal spa was only the first bad experience I had with water and swimming altogether. After that, things did not get better.
First of all, my mom decided that I have to overcome my fear of the water and learn how to swim. So she took me to a private swimming instructor. This could have been a good start, but it wasn’t. The instructor was rude, he was yelling all the time and he didn’t care about how I felt. Thus, instead of learning how to swim, my fear got greater and I started to feel like I hate swimming and will never want to learn it. I told my mom that I don’t want to continue with the lessons and she understood me, especially since this was not the way she imagined the swimming courses would be. We closed the matter and not spoke of it again for a while.
Time has passed, but I was still afraid of the water. This is why, whenever we went camping, my mom tried to teach me how to swim. Even though I was not able to actually learn to swim, with her help I wasn’t afraid anymore, which was the first step.
Years later, one of my cousins has worked at a local TV station, which has broadcasted the ‘ FINA Water Polo Euro Cup Championships' In that year, it was held in our city, I had the occasion of going to see the matches. This was educational and I admired the athletes/swimmers for their performance.
My cousin had a TV staff card, so we were allowed to get in, even after the matches were over. We had the opportunity to use the swimming pools and even if I wasn’t afraid anymore, I still couldn’t swim. This really bothered me and I felt bad because of it. Seeing how the others had a great time and I just stood there, made me realize I have to give swimming another try. That was the moment I decided to really give my best. The first few times I only swam a few centimeters along the rope, so that I could grab it whenever I needed … but as the days have passed, I was more and more determined, thus going longer distances.
The Championships were over and after a few weeks my mother told me that if you’re in school, you get a discount on the monthly pass at the Olympic swimming pool. So I bought a monthly pass to the pool. Every day after school I went there and practiced. My swimming got better and better and I enjoyed it. The only thing I was still afraid of was jumping in the water. A lot of time had to pass before I succeeded in overcoming this fear as well.
Nevertheless, the thought of becoming a swimming instructor had still not crossed my mind. I was happy to finally know how to swim and continued to study math and information technology.
However, all of these experiences have later contributed to my career choice and they helped define me as a swimming instructor. You might wonder “how” or “why?”. That will be among the topics of my next posts.