What Swimming Taught Me About Letting Go

I can’t swim very well. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I like going to the pool as often as I can: to improve my freestyle. It’s simply awful.

Like everyone else, I start on a horizontal position, but after a few strokes, I notice my body gradually shifts to a near diagonal position. Initially, I thought paddling harder and swinging my arms higher might move me back to default. They should help, but these strategies don’t seem to have any effect on me.

When things are not going my way in the water, I often stop and simply float with my face down. In short, I let go. I probably look like a piece of driftwood when I do that, but it feels good! I don’t feel tired, and I don’t feel that my efforts to get from point A to B are useless.

At the pool (Source: Inmagine.com)

At the pool (Source: Inmagine.com)

I think that’s what people mean when they say, stop struggling and let go – of problems, of toxic relationships, of situations you can’t control. When you’re in a more relaxed frame of mind:

  • It’s easier to accept the fact that what you’re doing isn’t getting the results you want. Try another approach then.
  • You can think better. Options come to mind more freely: should I continue floating or should I just break into a breaststroke to get to the other side of the pool more quickly?
  • You learn to enjoy what you’re doing. It ceases to be a chore.

I think the most important lesson is that when you let go or at least, loosen up a bit, you realize life has so much more to offer than just self-imposed goals. If I had stuck to my original agenda of improving my strokes every time I go swimming, I never would’ve noticed the friendly people around me. Now I have a new pool buddy!

So go on, allow yourself to let go, even if it’s just for an hour. Thirty minutes? It doesn’t matter; just see what happens next. Enjoy!

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