I discovered that it is my job to protect my light when I was learning to swim. Teachers would say one thing (I won’t step back go ahead and swim to me) then do another (step back!!). This was not safe for me. So I stood my ground and said, “No”. I only, however, said no to the teacher, but not the water. The water happened to be a place that I wanted to explore. I would have my mom drop me off during open swim time and I would play a game called “Lost in Space”. This was my little childhood game where I pretended I was in outer space with no gravity. I would move around to ‘discover’ how it worked. I also happened to be discovering how the water worked. This game was played in what I felt was a safe corner of the pool, near a lifeguard stand in a triangle of space between a wall and lane line. From this safe space, I explored, discovered, gained confidence, became more curious to be able to explore more. One day I said I wanted to be on swim team despite having never finished a swim lesson. I knew I could do it and what I didn’t know I could figure out.
Before I paint myself as some miracle swimmer let me take this same little girl and put her on a dance floor. Now there is a whole different story. This is a story of being uncoordinated, comparing myself to others, not having a feel for the music and movement. I also didn’t have such an inner drive to find a safe space to learn to dance. So the answer was to leave that area undeveloped. I say undeveloped because I have a dancer in me just as I have a swimmer in me. The swimmer got to take the steps to be realized and the dancer has not yet.
This brings me to the action part of my “Why”. With the belief that I have everything I need inside perfectly so that given the permission to discover I can be whatever I dream. There is a swimmer, a dancer, a comedian, a lover, a mathematician in me. My dancer self may not be expressed like Baryshnikov and my swimmer may not be expressed like Phelps but it doesn’t make me any less of a dancer or swimmer as long as it is true to my inner light.
Why do I teach swimming? Because I can express my universal “Why”. To see the perfection in every student and give them space, safety, and permission to find their way to their swim dreams. I speak to and bring forth people’s path so they can heal from the past hurts, be their own guide to safe present and future and be fully present to the joy that can only come from within. It works because everyone has a path that they protected their light has thrived, it then simply becomes using the student's strength to apply to learning to swim. Trusting each person's process.