22 June 2011

Shove me in the shallow water before I get too deep...

Now that the worst pressure is off at work, and I finally got my act together and booked that trip to Edinburgh that I should have booked ages ago, I decided to wind down at the outdoor Swimming Stadium today. Gosh, it felt good. Ever since I discovered swim goggles, swimming has been one of my favourite forms of exercise. It’s the nearest a human comes to flying. Too bad, then, that I lost the habit a number of years ago.

I was pleased to discover that my recent snorkelling adventures have strengthened my faith in my own ability to stay afloat. I was more relaxed in the water than I’ve ever been. The snorkelling taught me that you don’t need to continually flap your arms and legs around when you’re swimming. To my surprise, when I was stuck behind slow-moving fellow water-creatures I automatically let my arms relax by my sides just like I learned to do when snorkelling, and just used my legs to push me forward. I never did that before. It sounds ridiculous, but I guess I was afraid that unless I kept my arms stretched out to the front or sides, I’d lose my balance in the water and tip forward. Don’t ask me why, because it’s irrational. But I think it’s connected to the same feeling that I could get when I was snorkelling and reached a steep rock on the sea floor: the feeling that you’re hanging over the edge of a cliff and might fall down. I had a nightmare many years ago, where I was swimming outside a beautiful tropical island and suddenly reached the continental shelf. The steep edge leading down into the dark blue abyss had me waking up in panic with a big NO in my head. I don’t know where the dream came from, as I’d never been in any place like that before. However, by the end of my recent holiday I was pleased to discover that I’d conquered a lot of the fear. A place called Ko Haa was the ultimate proof, as the cliff we snorkelled around had very steep edges, and you could see the divers deep down below you. But with a life vest on and a competent instructor by my side it was no problem at all. I felt confident and safe, and it became my favourite site, as the underwater terrain was varied and exciting, with huge boulders and a lot of interesting things going on. I could have stayed there for hours more. What a shame that good things have to end so quickly.

And speaking of good things, this rather long and rambling tale leads me to my next Franka update. Last Sunday I worked on the water template and discovered that it will be challenging, but it’s perfectly doable. I’m not afraid of a challenge and I have the patience of an angel when I know what I want to accomplish. I’ll do the water in raw edge reverse appliqué. I’m getting ready to go hunting for fabrics as soon as my vacation starts. But before that, I’m going up to Ostrobothnia to my folks to celebrate a traditional Finnish Midsummer Festival.

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