Overcome the fear of water and swimming, I did it!
My best motivation
Enjoying the Mexican Caribbean
My name is Jose, Pepe for my friends. I was born in Cancun three decades ago, I like to travel through Mexico with my camera, I love dogs, and above all, I am in love with the sea. You have never heard of me until now, but if you have come to visit the Mexican Caribbean, perhaps we have shared two great feelings that the large sea caused in us: emotion and fear.
Being born in Cancun was not a guarantee to know how to swim. When I was eight years old, my dad used to take us to Chaac Mool Beach located in the hotel zone. This beach had an incredible area with a natural pool in which I lived tense moments because I didn’t know how to swim.
My fear lasted until my youth and the first memory of how difficult it was to be the only one who did not know how to swim, takes me to Coba in Riviera Maya. That visit put to the test all my tenacity and ingenuity to create all kind of excuses to not ride a bicycle; Yes! I do not know how to ride a bike, but that’s not the point. That day I visited my first cenote.
How do you tell your best friends that you can not swim in your twenties? Simply, you just do not and hope for the best. Thanks to Chaac, the cenote had innertubes and a security rope that I clutched with all my strength until our visit ended. After that moment I decided to learn to swim and although I did not know how I became self-taught.
Step by step, I got closer to the sea, I started with the easiest: to discover how deep I could walk on the beach without panicking and it was quite funny. After several attempts, it was time to submerge, hold my breath and try to swim underneath, although at first, it seemed that I was drowning, suddenly I mastered the technique, but still, I could not get away from the shore as much as I wanted.
One day I received a very special invitation: Visit Xel-Há in the Riviera Maya. I accept I was excited and afraid, thinking about all the activities I had to do in the water; a major challenge for which I was perhaps not prepared. The day came, and with it, my mind began to imagine many catastrophic scenarios of everything that could happen. You will be happy to know that the smile of that day lasted for a long time, it was my first time snorkeling, and I survived to live what I craved the most: the depths of the Mexican Caribbean.
That day in Xel-Há, I discovered that a pair of fins and a life jacket are a great help when you are learning to swim. Indeed, as you suppose I bought a snorkel kit to take my challenge the next step: return to a cenote and live it to the fullest. I know what you think: how difficult can it be to swim with a life jacket, fins, and a visor? Well, It’s not hard, the hard part is to leave behind all that makes you feel safe.
As I visited cenotes, I removed parts of the armor that protected me. First: the life vest and with that, I learned to immerse myself in the depths of the cenotes to enjoy its beauty. Second: fins and I understood that the trick to floating is in moving your arms and feet to create a zone of resistance between you and water. Visor and I experienced for the first time the incredible sensation of the cold water touching my face as it slowly descended into the water.
Today I travel a lot across Mexico, and I do not miss the opportunity to jump into the water in any lagoon, river or beach that I have found on my trips. Now I resist for much longer without breathing under the water, and I can even float as I look up to the sky and enjoy moments that are only described as perfect.
I do not intend to change their lives; I just want to tell you that if there is something that motivates you to learn something new, do it. Many times, our fear is nothing more than an engine that is turned off, and we need to turn it on to get further.