The Shorkey Sisters Learn to Swim... in our Thirties
(Guest post by Sarah Shorkey, my little, big sis aka “The Lowly Vegetarian“)
As some of you may already know, my last post was all about needing a hip replacement at the tender age of 39. And in said post, I had mentioned that finding exercises I can actually do has proven to be rather difficult.
Throughout this painful and frustrating process, all experts I’ve dealt with have ALL asked the same question: “have you tried swimming?”
Truth is, I actually love swimming. I just haven’t done it in about 20 YEARS! And any “swimming” I have done has mostly been treading water or floating on my back during family vacations. And well, that doesn’t exactly burn calories and get the heart pumpin’ like a Sam Shorkey ass kicking – I mean “workout.”
I figured if this was going to be my only version of exercise, then I’d better learn how to do it like an Olympian. Technically, I can swim. I’ve just never really mastered the whole breathing underwater thing. I then wondered if adults can even take swimming lessons. I guess I had this vision of my sorry ass surrounded by eight-year-olds.
As luck would have it, when I mentioned my plan to Sam, her response was that she’d take swimming lessons with me! Apparently due to the severe nose bleeds she suffered from as a kid, she had always been uncomfortable putting her face underwater. But of course, Sam is always up for a challenge and I figured she’d be a good motivator, so I signed us up.
I sure wasn’t anticipating what would happen at our first lesson at all.
Picture this: Sam aka Miss “Hot-Shit-Fitness” sauntering into the public pool rocking a bikini, her six-pack abs, “Jacked on the Beanstalk” gun show and rock-hard, bulbous ass.
Fast forward 10 minutes later? She’s literally panic-stricken, red-faced and looking like a friggin’ drowning victim!
Now, apparently, when my little sister said she’s “uncomfortable” underwater, she actually meant “terrified.” I’ve known Sam for 33 years, and yet, somehow this was news to me!
That first lesson was “humbling” to say the least (mostly for Sam…) We were even demoted to the shallow end of the pool while we watched our classmates float on over to the “experienced” side of the pool.
What’s even worse (and hilarious) is that “Lesson #1” also ended with a half-paralyzed (and very angry) Sam. Yes, all of her anxiety had also caused her to tense her neck so badly that it aggravated an old bodybuilding injury and left her requiring an emergency massage.
I (being the incredibly supportive and compassionate sister) told her to be sure to mention that she injured her neck blowing bubbles in the shallow end of a pool.
As much as Sam was not looking forward to the next lesson, we actually did really well and were even dubbed “fast learners” by our young instructor (insert pat on back here). We also may have been a little too proud of ourselves–giving each other high-fives and fist pumps–like we were Rocky conquering the steps. 🙂
Fast forward 10 weeks later and we are almost done our swimming lessons. During these few weeks, we have conquered fears, learned new skills and discovered that Sam is terrible at diving (though an expert at “belly flopping.”)
And as much as I have taken this opportunity to make fun of Sam, I am very proud of her. She faced her fears and that takes a lot of guts!
As for me? Well, it has given me hope that there is an exercise out there that I can still do and it just happens to be something that I actually LOVE doing!
My words of wisdom for this month? Whether it is fear, injury, or pride – don’t let anything stand in your way of trying new challenges.
Sometimes I think it’s good for ALL of us to put ourselves in situations where we may look a little stupid. We can’t be the best at everything. And there is something to be said for being a successful adult AND being able to look at the person next to you and sort of nod your head in agreement that “hey, we suck. And that’s okay!” 🙂