Today I faced one of my fears. I was very nervous but determined to do it. I have a problem with water have done since an incident involving water with 2 of my sisters involving water as an early teen. It is this that has pushed me into ensuring that my children could swim, they were in the swimming pool as soon as they had had their first lot of booster injections at 3 months old and were taken regularly so that they were water confident, once they started to be able to look like they were ready to swim they were into swimming lessons. They are both good swimmers now and I would be confident to let them swim without me in the pool.
On our bucket list is to go canoeing/kayaking. I was very excited to see that Lee Valley white water centre centre had canoe sessions suitable for beginners all through the summer holidays. And the best bit it is just £5 per person for one hour everything you need is included (canoe, buoyancy aid and safety helmet). What a bargain. So I booked the three of us in before I could change my mind. I knew the children would love it even if I wasn't so sure.
I am not going to lie I woke up this morning full of nerves. It says it is on a lake. That sounded like a lot of scary water to me! I had promised, there was no backing out. Once we got to the centre I was immediately reassured. I could see the bottom of the lake, it didn't look that deep. Come on you can do this! I got us signed in, filled in the permission forms for the children and waited for our turn. Watching children happily paddling/rowing (I'm not sure which you call it for canoeing) around the lake. My two were very excited, as were the group of 5 youngsters we were going to be sharing the lake with. They seemed fearless. If they can do this so can I! We got our safety gear on and it was our turn. Stephanie decided just as we were about to get in the lake that she would rather have a canoe to herself, she had said all morning that she wanted to go in together. I was put in first. Deep breath and I pushed off.
I paddled around the beginning a little watched both of my children get in a move around. Stephanie immediately declared it hard! LOL Not sure what she expected but soon she was moving herself more confidently around the lake. She stopped for a little while, content to watch the rest of us moving around. One of the lads in the group was chatting to her, giving her tips and encouraging her to keep trying. She did, and with more confidence. She seemed happier to stick near to this confident group than to move around with her poor mum! Never mind, I had discovered the ;ake is only around waist height for me, she is a good swimmer I was happy to let her some independence. I started to race Dylan a little around the lake. It was fab to find something that the teenager is happy to do with me still!!
All to soon we had our ten minute warning. It was almost time to get out. Stephanie decided that she was quite far from the entrance/ exit so started to make her way over slowly. Dylan and I played a little in the slalom poles, not sure if that's what they are but it's how we used them. Then it was time to get out. Where did the hour go??
(Stock photo from the Lee valley website, no pictures of us as all cameras were safely in a locker)
We already have plans to go back in a couple of weeks, we are going to try and get my sister to come with her boys when they are down for a visit.
I also have the idea for booking proper canoe lessons for the children as their Christmas present this year- Shh don't tell them!