It’s the weekend again. This week was good. I am still enjoying the gym. I am enjoying the hip hop class. I missed the boxing class this week because I was in another city on Thursday and Friday for an academic event. But it’s okay. I am training in the gym, and I like boxing enough to subscribe again in the next quarter. I really want to learn it. I guess there are still two classes left. Oh no, just one left, but it’s fine. Now I know enough to train on my own. I can do that in the gym as well.

So what’s new?!

Zwemmen! I went for swimming on Friday. We have had quite a few hot weeks so far in Nijmegen, but I had forgotten that I could go for a swim in the lake I like. I presented a quick talk at the event and I listed swimming as my hobby/activity I like. Then I recalled that I haven’t done that this season. It was 30 degrees on Friday. I realised on my way back home that I could go to the lake that evening. So I went, and it was fun!

There’s a thing with water and me. I like being in the water very much. When I was kid, I used to swim in the canals in my village. No, not the Dutch kind of canals. The Dutch canals are filthy. The canals in Haryana, my home region in India, are used for irrigation. Haryana is an agricultural state. We have a network of different size of canals that carry fresh water from the river to the fields. It’s running water. I used to swim in these canals along with my friends from the village. That’s when I grew fond of being in the water.

My love for the water continued. I grew up and still went to the canals when I visited my village. While I was in Delhi, I sometimes went to water parks. I didn’t swim while I was in Mumbai, but it’s okay. I enjoyed watching the sea from a distance. The seashore of TIFR, Marine Drive, and Chowpaty beach were my favourite spots in Mumbai.

I remember that I was so happy when I discovered last year for the first time that we could swim in the river. It was a mistake, though, for me to get into the river. The river is too deep for me. The flow is too high for me. I could have drowned. I went to the river once and never again.

Then I found a lake just outside my city. I was happy again. It’s this place. I like this lake very much. It becomes deep gradually. There’s plenty of space for me to swim without going into deep water. Oh, I should point out, I am not comfortable being in deep water where my feet cannot touch the ground. I learned to swim in the canals, which were not too deep. I can swim forward, backward, lie on the water, go underwater and all that, but I cannot stand still in deep water. I never learned how to do that because I never had to survive in the deep water.

I am learning to be comfortable in deep water. I am learning to “tread water”. To “stand still” in the deep water, you keep moving your legs and feet in such a way that you just stay afloat without expending much energy. It’s an essential survival skill. We must be able to be in the water without exhausting ourself. I am learning to do it. I watched a couple of YouTube last year towards the end of the season and practiced few times.

This Friday I practiced that again. I went into the deepish water where the level was up to my neck. I kept roaming around and practiced making turns, changing swimming positions, going under water, swimming forward and backward without touching the ground. I was just trying to make myself comfortable in the water so that I don’t panic in the deep water. I think survival in the water depends mainly on one thing – don’t panic.

I practiced all these things so that I learn to catch my breath, reorient myself, keep calm in the deep water. I know how to go forward, backward, and all that to some extent, so for now I need to learn how to get to the swimming (moving) stage once I fall in the deep water. It’s going well so far. I love being in water. I really want to learn to swim.

I can also go to the swimming pool of the university. I have been postponing it for months. I think I should give it a try. I can swim laps. I would build stamina. I guess it would also have the floating ropes on the side of the lane, so I can also hold them for support if I feel like I am panicking. I think it would be good if I try that. The swimming pool would also be deep, so I can also practice swimming underwater. And most importantly, there would be other people around in the pool so they can also save me if things go really bad. I think it will be okay but just in case. Safety first, until I build confidence.

Okay, enough about swimming. What else?…

It’s the holiday season. I really feel like travelling to new places. My time management has gone down again. Let’s pick it up and have some fun. I become more productive when I am having fun. (Like everybody else.) I am not much of a planner. I just pick my bag and go, but that costs significantly more money than a planned trip. *exhales… Okay, let’s plan something simple. Let’s reserve the tickets one week from now and just leave. That’s as far as my planning goes. I will just go to a city and figure out what to do. I want to go to Berlin. I want to go to Barcelona. Let’s go to Barcelona first. Okay, let’s go to Barcelona one or two weeks from now.

Shit! The flight tickets are too expensive for Barcelona right now. Huh! Okay!

I like adventure sports and theme parks. Let’s see if I can find something like that somewhere. No No, I just realised I can go to the beach. Let’s go to the beach next weekend. I have never been to the beach in the Netherlands. Well, I have been to the artificial beach that my lake has, but I mean the real beach. I have never been on the sea shore beach in the Netherlands. Let’s go there next weekend! There must be some water sports as well. I can try that. I like these kind of things. :D

Okay… the bottomline is, I am craving for a vacation. I want to travel. I am craving for some adventure. Some fancy activities like a thrilling roller coaster ride, scooba diving, hiking, being on the road… Let’s do it!