Reactions – Taking the Plunge

A few years ago I wanted to really push myself outside of my comfort zone, so I signed up for a sprint triathlon. It ended up being an amazing experience! Along the way with my training, I realized that I love swimming. As a kid I always loved being in the water, whether that was the ocean, a pond, a lake, a pool, or (admittedly naked) in a large mud puddle! It can be tricky sometimes as an adult to sift through what you actually love as a person, versus fleeting interests you enjoyed just because you were a child. We grow and change over time as well, so it can be hard to gauge which childhood interests still hold true. However, looking back to what brought you joy as a child can offer great insights into what will bring you joy as an adult. Training for my triathlon helped me realize that my love of water and swimming as a kid is core to who I am. I am so much happier when I am in the water, even though I am an earth sign! Now that I know this, I am able to craft my free time and hobbies around swimming. It is such a happiness boost!

As a kid, I always prided myself on my comfort in opening my eyes underwater in freshwater and even in pools. Salt water stung a bit, but usually I was game for that as well if we were swimming in the ocean. My eyes always hurt and itched a bit when I opened them underwater, but I trained myself to get comfortable with it because it was so cool, interesting, and convenient to see what was happening underwater. I never understood goggles and I found it really confusing to get them to work properly. I remember one time I got a really cheap pair from the drugstore and I couldn’t get them to fit tightly enough. The water would always rush into the eye pieces and I would get so upset. Years later, with my triathlon training somehow I knew I had to have goggles. This time around in the water, I was far less willing to open my eyes in the salt water based pool where I was training. I needed to see underwater so I wouldn’t crash into my fellow swimmers I was sharing my swim lane with during lap swims. My goggles somehow magically just worked and it wasn’t a big deal. Too funny how we can carry irrational biases and baggage from previous experiences into the present. It can be a challenge to balance having an open mind versus leveraging our intuition and wisdom from past experiences. My goggles have served me well ever since with minimal issues. My training was so much fun. It was such a delight to rediscover swimming and how much I loved it.

My sister’s post now is causing me to re-evaluate my entire journey with goggles and opening my eyes underwater. Did it sting so much and did I struggle with goggles as a kid due to my BPES? As kids we didn’t know we had BPES, so many of life’s smaller annoyances actually had an explanation and we were oblivious, just thinking that was how things are. With my personality, I really need to understand the “why” behind something before I can accept it. I just took some of my “BPES” annoyances as life, not realizing that in some cases my genetic condition was the reason for my experience. It doesn’t really matter. It didn’t harm me at all growing up and it was such a minor thing. I really thought opening your eyes underwater stung for everyone… it does though, doesn’t it?

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