Sunday, November 22, 2009

I can't swim. There. I said it.

There's a scene in the movie "Brothers Bloom" where Adrien Brody's character kisses Rachel Weisz's character for the first time. She returns the gesture by kissing him back and nearly devouring his face, kinda like the way my son devours a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

Saturday with my workout group, I was reminded of that scene when our trainer encouraged us to "think like children without being childish." Approach challenges with enthusiasm and openness, as if you know nothing and want to learn everything.

So, today, when our To Be Re ( trainer announced a special three-week mini-extreme workshop taking place in December with "a different surprise location each week," I had a mini panic attack. "God, help me. What if we have to go to the pool!?" I don't know if I know how to swim. I took lessons as a child, but I never really spent much time in pools, lakes or oceans, and, so far, in my almost 43 years, have managed to create situations where my feet are always on the ground and my chin is above the water line. Or I'm clinging to some inflatable device or supported by a life jacket.

I'm not afraid to go into water. I'll play Marco Polo or keep-away in the pool, but if I have to go in the deep end, I'm hugging a noodle or clinging to the edge.

Before today, I don't think anyone knew that I can't swim. It's embarrassing. I've had a childish attitude toward swimming. Actually, it's an adultish attitude, right? Shame, embarrassment, hiding out - we master those things as we age. I am a master at avoiding water.

Today, I told three people, including a certain special someone - whom we'll refer to for now as my muse -  about my Embarrassing Secret. He calmed me down - which he has a knack for doing - and helped me see the ridiculousness of my hiding out.

I agreed to take swimming lessons, and I am going to approach them like a child and be open and fearless (or fear-resistant - how's that?). And next time I see my muse, I think I'm going to give him one of those Rachel-Weisz-Brothers-Bloom smooches.

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