Conquering Fear


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This has been one of my biggest fears since I was young. I deeply feared not being able to breathe while I was in water. The waters in the pool look so deep and ever unfathomable, and the more I feared it, the more I could not do it.

Lesson after lesson, I tried to kick right and swing my arm properly and breathe at the right moment, but I never seemed to get it. Over the years, I watched as my friends played happily in the waters, feeling at home like a bunch of happy fishes let loose where they belong.

A few years ago, I signed up for an adult swimming class and finally learnt how to swim somewhat. Not far, but still an improvement. I was still afraid to go to the pool with the 1.8m depth, and stayed at the shallower parts where I could stand on my feet to breathe at any point in time.

A few weeks ago, I finally learnt to relax and get on my back to watch the sky as my arms and legs kept myself afloat. It was an amazing feeling of liberation as I can finally be buoyed up. Today is my birthday and I decided to swim. I was swimming at the shallow pool when on a whim, I decided to try the deeper pool.

I did not know when the fear had left me. It had gone without saying goodbye. I looked in the waters and for the first time, it did not look as deep as I had previously recalled in my fearful brain which magnified the depth. I still cannot swim the full 50m length continuously at one go, but I managed 25m. In my own mind, it is a great achievement that delights me to no end!

It had taken me over 20 years to get to this singular point in Year 2014. This is a message to myself that no matter how fearful the uncertainty of a future or adventure can be, little by little, by inching forward unceasingly, I can get there. And in the same way, I am sure you can get to and past where you want too 🙂


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