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From a Deep Water Phobia to a Dream of Triathlon

It's fascinating how past traumas can influence our present behaviours. I can certainly relate to this, particularly regarding my deep water phobia. Due to past experiences, I had developed an aversion to entering the water and never learned how to swim. Water had become synonymous with stress, anxiety, and fear for me. Even with the support of friends and family, I found it impossible to conquer this fear.

Girl in a lake
My first open water experience, in stinky dirty water :D

However, in my 30s, I felt a strong urge to challenge myself and aim for something

great that had once seemed unattainable. I hungered for extraordinary success and realised that my fear of water prevented me from enjoying beautiful experiences with my loved ones. Frequently, I was left behind due to my self-imposed limitations.

Determined not to let my past dictate my present and future choices, I resolved

to find a coach and learn how to swim. Who knew what new interests I might discover along the way? After conducting some research, I stumbled upon the 'Freestylers' swimming collective, led by Coach Lukas.

Reading the inspiring stories on the website about others who had conquered

their fear of water filled me with optimism. I was impressed by Coach Lukas's proactive approach and without hesitation, I decided to give it a shot, and one week later, I attended my very first swimming class. From the outset, Lukas proved to be an excellent professional with a positive attitude and remarkable empathy. It was evident that he had a well-structured plan for all our activities. Thanks to his guidance, I began believing I could overcome my fear.

Girl in a pool
One of the first swimming lessons

As time passed, I achieved several significant milestones: my first 50 meters of breaststroke, steadily increasing the pool lengths I could swim with breaststroke, and eventually learning the freestyle stroke. Each small success was a tremendous motivator, making me eagerly anticipate every upcoming class.

Then came the day when Lukas challenged me to jump into the water. This task, jumping into the water, was unlike any previous challenge I had faced. Standing at the pool's edge, I was paralysed with fear, feeling like it was impossible. However, Lukas stepped in, offering valuable advice and unwavering support. With his guidance, I summoned the courage to take that leap. It marked a monumental achievement, significantly boosting my confidence in the water and preparing me for my next challenge: open-water swimming.

As summer approached, Lukas organized an open-water swimming class. The small group setting ensured everyone's safety, and after a few attempts, to my immense joy, I successfully crossed Hostivar Lake with the group. These two experiences – the water jump and open-water swim – and the various challenges I faced while swimming transformed me.

A few months later, I enjoyed swimming with my husband in both pools and open water during my vacation. I even had the confidence to join my friends for open-water swimming adventures. I no longer feared stepping onto boats, yachts, or

ferries. I even ventured into a freezing cold river while trekking down a canyon in Sicily. And for the very first time, I entered the sea.

This is likely the beginning, with many more adventures awaiting me. I continue my lessons with Freestylers, focusing on mastering the freestyle stroke. I have set

another ambitious goal for myself: to complete a triathlon. What do you think?Will I be able to achieve it? Please share your thoughts in the comments. And always remember, fear is a reflex, but courage is a decision.

Cheers! Marta

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Maria Kolosova
Maria Kolosova
19. 10. 2023

Such an interesting story, Marta! Jumping into the water boosted my confidence as well! Good luck with triathlon!!👏

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Marta Stas
Marta Stas
20. 10. 2023
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Thank you 😊

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