Bravery Award

I’m giving myself a bravery award. Yesterday, together with two other scared ladies, I had a swimming lesson.

Technically, I can swim. Too many years ago for me to admit, I gained my white stripe, one width of the pool, and blue stripe, one width on my front, one on my back and picked up a brick from the bottom.

Since then, I’ve hardly been in a pool and if I do swim, I’m the one with the swan neck hardly getting my hair wet. I panic in the shower if the water gets onto my face. I’m also very short-sighted, which makes getting to the pool side traumatic and fraught with potential accidents.

I decided it was time to conquer my fears and mentioned the possibility of lessons to my son’s swimming teacher. My son is like a little fish – he has his 4,000 metres badge.

So, yesterday found me in the swimming pool, self-conscious, wearing my first ever pair of prescription goggles. They are so good that I could drive in them or even see at the cinema like Hugh Grant in the film Notting Hill.

The swimming teacher is starting from scratch with us and we will get swimming award badges as we go along. My husband suggested that instead of Duckling awards we should get Goose awards!

I left the pool feeling pleased and excited. I had learned to move in the water holding a float and kicking my legs, turn round in deep water safely, blow bubbles and finally, a big deal for me, I put my head under the water.

I’ll keep you in touch with my progress. Boy do I ache today. Goodness knows what I’ll be like when we actually swim. Despite the groaning muscles, I have a little inner glow every time I remember what I achieved yesterday.

What fears have you conquered lately?

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Very brave. I am in the same boat – the last time I swam (briefly) was *does quick mental calculation* 1995. I am horrendously short-sighted (9 right eye, 9.25/9.5 ish left – nearly too bad to wear contacts!). I find goggles uncomfy (irregular eyebrows, slightly bent nose!) and am also always very aware that they squash my hair flat, revealing my sticky-out ears… and of course, swimming means wearing a cossie, and I'm not sure I should inflict my post-tablet-induced-weight-gain on anyone! So I think you're very brave. Well done!


  2. Well done, Morton! I didn't learn to swim until I was in my twenties (way back when!) and still remember the feeling of pride and achievement when I did it. Sad to say, haven't been swimming for many years now but they say you never forget.


  3. Well done you, Morton – that's brilliant! I used to have panic attacks while driving and had to get over them when my husband died. That was 3 years ago but I still am so pleased I got over them!


  4. Flowerpot – is it really three years? Hope you are recovering from your recent op ok.

    I actually went into the deepend with a flotation device on Monday (not quite armbands. lol) – I felt so proud of myself. Next hurdle is to put my face in the water properly! Mx


  5. I had swimming lessons in my mid twenties as I'd lost my confidence after a teenage prank went a bit wrong. I had a block booking of twelve lessons and have never looked back …. I just needed time in the water knowing I was under safe guidance. I'm so proud of you for taking the plunge x


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