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After a Month of Attempting to Swim in a Lake, Dot Dot Dot

If you read my post about my attempt to blog through my phone for last month, then have I got a surprise for you today. I’m going to paint a picture of the month in an entirely different light. I wouldn’t fault you if I end up making you believe everything I said about last month was a lie.

My Swimming Journey

Last year, my wife told me about a woman she knew around her 60’s who would go swimming in a lake at 6 in the morning every day, even during winter. I was not only inspired to aim for something similar (that is so cool!), but ashamed to know I was afraid to go for anything less than a super hot shower.

Come this most recent summer, I made it my aim to get into the habit of swimming regularly in a lake, so that I could have a shot at getting used to swimming in the winter and so hopefully turning this into a regular form of exercise too. (When I said summer, in reality it seemed to only be during August.) Fortunately for me, I’ve now got a habit of journaling my days and so I’m better able to tell you how I progressed throughout the month.

Attempt Number 1

I’m not going to lie. Massive failure. I didn’t go in.

Attempt Number 2

20 minutes in the lake. 15 minutes slowly and painstakingly submerging myself in the water, 5 minutes questioning my life.

Attempt Number 3

Although I aimed to stay in for at least half an hour, I only lasted 20 again. However, it only took me 5 minutes to entirely submerge myself into the water, 15 minutes swimming.

Attempt Number 4

I lasted 40 minutes alhamdulillah. In my previous attempts, I could only go into the water once. The instant I got out of it, I was too afraid to get back in. The biggest success here is the fact I was able to repeatedly get in and out of the water at will, 5 times altogether. Although I don’t seem to have written about it, I believe it was after this attempt I noticed I was beginning to have cool to cold showers.

Attempt Number 5

This was scary, like what was I thinking?! I got on an inflatable boat with a cousin, rowed to the middle of the lake, then swam there for a bit. At its shortest, that lake had to be about at least a mile in diameter. I also had someone ride a bit out into the lake, then swam to it from shore. Apart from that, I was mostly close to the shore. Additional win, but I was able to skip the slow burn at the beginning and get straight into it. Altogether, I was swimming for about an hour.

Attempt Number 6

After the last swim, I took this a little easy and swam for about half an hour. The water was colder than usual anyhow, so I made it my aim to get used to going in and out of the water, which went well. I managed 5 times, but each time, I did go swimming and began to dive under too.

I’d put in some water and show you some visual form of character development, but I hear water is in shorter supply this summer. Let’s just pretend there’s water in that roll of tape for a moment.

All in All

That was all I managed for the month in terms of swimming. My aim now is to see how far I can continue this habit into autumn and winter, but no pressure. I’m also excited to attempt a swim from one end to the other at its shortest length. No pressure for that either. As nice as that’d be, it’s not a priority in my life, it’s more of a bonus than anything. However, especially given how swimming is one of the more encouraged forms of physical activity in Islam, it’s definitely something I’m hoping to get into.

Alhamdulillah, I’d say it went well. I kept at it, made some progress, raised some questions about my life decisions when I realised I was swimming in near-open waters, then came out of it a different person.

Now, how did do this as I blogged on a phone throughout the month? Maybe I learnt to type with one hand as I paddled with the other. Maybe it was actually the friend I went out with who typed it all as I told him what to write. That’d totally explain why my writing style was so different. Yeah, I’d say the second one makes more sense. Swimming in a lake is scary, 10/10. Much lessons, very lessons.

That’s it from me for now. Is there anything you learnt last month you’d like to share from yours?


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