What’s YOUR relationship with water?
It was December 2012. As my 40th birthday loomed in front of me, I began to think about what I was offering the world. I knew that I made a difference in the lives of my students on a daily basis, but it seemed as if I could be doing something bigger, something better, something important. When one begins to ask herself what her purpose is in the world, this is called a
crisis breakdown epiphany.
I created a pro bono experiment with 40 individuals. I wanted to challenge myself as an instructor and see if I could get a fearful and/or reluctant swimmer to move beyond his comfort zone, get past his anxiety, achieve success in the pool, and walk away empowered and more self-confident in the water. My goal was to teach a one-hour private swim lesson to 40 different participants. My hope was that they would continue to cultivate a healthy relationship with the water, share their stories and encourage others to do the same.
It was an incredible, life-changing journey. In the end, 25 of the 40 Project: Face in Water participants were adults, which I had not expected. Each entered the one-hour lesson with discomfort; some had mild anxiety, while others trembled in terror. Each individual had his own story, his own past experience, his own mindset and perception of swimming. Yet each was so determined, that he showed up, got into the present moment, stepped out of his comfort zone and conquered his fear.
Each participant achieved more in one hour than he had in his entire life. There were smiles, laughs and tears of joy. It was life-changing for all involved and the perfect way to celebrate my 40th birthday!
I documented this incredible year-long journey as I connected with 40 individuals of all ages and abilities. Read each participant’s story and view the photos and videos documenting every hour-long lesson…