by Megha Vaidya

“We should start going for swimming lessons.”

“Yeah, it will be fun. I also want to join swimming classes…”

Since a few years, I have been having this sort of enthusiastic conversation with my friends which always end up without any step further. And the same thing happened after a month of my arrival to the Netherlands with my new friend. Swimming was not in my list and definitely was not thinking of doing it any time soon. So again, I could not take my enthusiasm to a pool. But then surprisingly swimming actually topped my uncared bucket list.

Eindhoven Students Sport Center at University of Technology, Eindhoven launched an international spouse program and swimming was the first activity among the other two: yoga and fitness. Since I had signed up for this and I knew this would prove to be the best opportunity to finally befriend swimming pool in person, all I needed were the accessories. Then I realized or say accepted that buying a swimming costume and imagining myself in one was what had been keeping me away from the pool. Luckily, I have the life partner who always helps me overcome my awkwardness and so there I was running fingers and scrolling our eyes over Decathlon store’s site to finalize which one to buy.

When it didn’t seem to help, going to the Decathlon store itself, standing among the swimming accessories was the best option. However, for an amateur what size to select was a nightmare. We discussed for a long time about the size. By the end, I had to buy one. We picked the size ‘S.’ Other times trial would have been an option. But in this case our choice could end up being the right one or a wrong one which was going to stay in our closet. In addition to that, we bought a cap, a goggle and a slipper. No sooner we reached our apartment, I rushed in to check will the swimsuit fit me. Hoorah! It was a perfect fit. The next concern being comfortable with it. Now the only thing left was meeting the pool itself.

It was a Monday and we spouses were eager to learn swimming. Most of us were beginners. I didn’t realize I was so fearful under water until I was standing by the pool and putting my feet inside. My heart pumped faster because of the unseen depth of the pool. It took me a while to get rid of that fear. But I always found a new fear one after another. Level of fear increased with many soothsayer along with. I don’t have any diploma level as a swimmer but a distinction in washing ashore my oddity connected to swimming. Thanks to my instructors without whose care and support befriending swimming would not have been possible. You can guess yourself how enamored I was that despite being the chilly winter, I always looked forward to feeling the pool water and my intimacy grew deeper and deeper.

I wanted to learn swimming in order to embrace the feeling of relaxation and freedom. Diploma or not, I will keep swimming. I will keep learning. It runs inside my veins to such an extent that I drive my partner crazy and irritated with my continuous rambling over how to properly do a breaststroke or a freestyle. “I think I should practice bending my knee.” And now that I have missed 3-4 classes, I can’t wait to practice more.