I don’t swim. I can swim, but I don’t swim. I am not scared of being in the water – quite the opposite. Underwater I’m very happy. It’s that bit where I’m neither in or out of the water. I think they call it swimming.

I’ve heard a lot about swimming. My partner swims three times a week and can seemingly effortlessly continuously go from one end of the pool to the other for hours. Not me. I can swim from one end to the other and then I have to stop, recover my breath and then splash my way to the other end. After three or four times I need a serious rest. I know it’s great for your fitness and this year, as part of my commitment to improving my health, I was determined to be able to swim confidently and easily.
So I went to see a professional. I booked five lessons. I’ve had one.

The first thing he asked me to do was to swim a length. And with one simple correction he transformed my experience – keep my head down in the water. From splashing around and half-drowning I found myself able to get across to the other end on a single breath. And I didn’t feel as though my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I know that I have a lot to learn – new techniques, breathing properly, and more I probably don’t know. And I’m looking forward to that.

What it taught me was that just by asking for help I could transform my experience of something. I didn’t know what the difference was that was going to make the difference and I’m sure I’ll enjoy more revelations during my lessons. And it’s already made me realise and appreciate the positive contribution that it’s going to bring to my life. The first thing it has taught me is that I have a lot of work to do on my overall fitness and I’m excited by that challenge. It’s also showed me that something I feared was surprisingly easily dealt with. I just had to make the decision to make the change and find the right person to help me. Those people are out there – professionals who can help you to bring about the change you want. That small, initial change had a big impact on me and now I can move forward, learning and improving.

What’s your ‘swimming’ challenge? What small change can make all the difference to you?