I am a bad swimmer. I taught myself to swim about one year ago. And by “swimming” I mean holding my breath and paddling from one side to the other side of the pool. It’s quite embarrassing, actually. When I went to Mexico, I promised myself that I would do things to get out of my comfort zone, so what better way of doing it than snorkeling at cenotes? Except there was a problem… I had never tried snorkeling or swimming in the “real” water before. What would a girl in my situation do? The most logical step was to ask someone to hold my hand while swimming. Certainly, it seemed appropriate at the time.
My conversation with the guys at the snorkeling shop went something like this:
—Hey! I want to snorkel.
—Sure, 100 pesos.
—I don’t know how to swim in the natural water. Can someone hold my hand when we are in the water? A long stare from the guy (felt like it was about five minutes) and some eye rolling (maybe he saw a bird in the sky?!)
—Sure, we will find someone to hold your hand. Let’s go, Senorita.
So I snorkeled in a cenote, with a baby crocodile chilling close by on a rock. I felt so empowered. Well, initially I was embarrassed, then happy, and then empowered. I was so empowered that I decided to book a trip to snorkel in the ocean with some stingrays. Someone else held my hand again. It is embarrassing and humbling to snorkel when someone holds your hand. But you know what?! Who cares? Some of the other tourists gave me strange looks—possibly because I was alone, probably because I didn’t know how to swim, probably because someone was holding my hand. But at the end of the day, I had challenged myself and done something I was always scared to do.
My boxing trainer, Luke, once said, “You aren’t living if you don’t get out of your comfort zone.” He could not be more on the money. I really do think that we have to be willing to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to be able to experience life and grow. I overcame my own fear and was able to experience something truly amazing and unforgettable.
We have to let go of our idea of what is normal and live our lives the way we really want to. You need to be willing to sacrifice what is good for what is great. If you want something, don’t just wait around to ask for someone’s permission—go after it. Ask someone to hold your hand while swimming. You might try a new food. Sign up for that new class. Travel. Get off the couch, stop watching TV, and live your life. If there is something you have always wanted to do but were afraid to do it— GO and take a chance!
I will discuss specific steps to help you get moving in my future blogs. Stay tuned!
Homework—write down your bucket list.
Talk to you soon!