Recently I’ve been thinking about how much I love learning. Learning for the skills and knowledge acquired, and also just for its own sake.

And I think it’s important to never stop learning. At least for me, whether it’s reading some non-fiction, taking an online course or even watching a documentary.

At the moment my learning focus is swimming.

For my birthday Chiara got me a membership at SwimGym that includes some private lessons. SwimGym is a two-lane pool near our house where Olympians train (I think). Three personal trainings later, and I’ve graduated to the level where I’m  now in their very basic level.

This is a huge accomplishment for me.

It’s involved conquering a low-level fear of the water (which is manifest not as fear but discomfort), and has also had me breaking down my technique (such as it was) and learning how to work the breathing, body position, rhythms and all the little pieces that add up to an efficient competent stroke. Polishing the individual components and putting them together, so they function like an engine. Which is kinda what your body is supposed to be in the water, an engine powering you through.

I’m not there, not by a long shot. But I’m getting better. I dig it. I like the progress.

When I teach workshops I often talk about our comfort zone, and the value we have in spending time on the periphery of our habits and routines, and even stepping out into our discomfort zone.

It helps expand our comfort zone, making it bigger (and thus more comfortable). At the moment I’m trying to expand it to include the pool.

We’re getting there.