Saturday morning was week 5 for Can Too. The mid-way point is sneaking up on us fast (just like Christmas).

This week I did some very specific mentoring by swimming with the lovely Anne, who is actually quite a good swimmer, but was having some anxiety issues to do with swimming the ocean.

I was thrilled and impressed to see how much Anne achieved and how much progress she made in one session in spite of how scared she was. It did get me thinking about the whole fear thing. In ocean swimming it is a real and genuine thing…you’re kind of putting yourself in a challenging situation by definition. That’s kind of the fun of it, but being scared is something that happens to all of us at times, no matter how long we’ve been swimming.

There are a couple of pieces of advice that I find myself giving to myself and to others who might be feeling a bit (or a lot) scared in the water, so I thought I’d try to get them all down here as they might be helpful. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

  1. It’s OK to be scared.
  2. Just keep swimming (sung, Dory-style).
  3. You can’t control how you feel. what you can control is what you do with that.
  4. You can do more than you think you can. This is almost always true.
  5. Just keep swimming (sung, Dory-style).
  6. If you can’t imagine swimming all the way (to the end, to the buoy, to wherever), swim half way. If you can’t imagine swimming half way, swim 10 strokes. If you can’t imagine 10 strokes, just do one. Then another one.
  7. Just keep swimming (sung, Dory-style).
  8. Even the longest swim is swum one arm in front of the other. One stroke at a time.
  9. Just put your head in the water and swim. Don’t look too far ahead and don’t over-think it.
  10. Just keep swimming (sung, Dory-style).
  11. Can Too would never put you in a situation that isn’t safe. Stop worrying about what could happen and…..Just keep swimming (sung, Dory-style).

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Well done to Anne, who didn’t think she would ever possibly make it around that buoy. She did. Twice!!!