FEAR: The Invited Robber: A Swimming Instructor’s Experience Part 1

Like many people, I have heard FEAR explained as an acronym which is translated as False Evidence Appearing Real. Does it really appear real or it is a figment of our imagination by that part of us that do not and cannot stand or tolerate us experiencing something new?
I have heard of excuses and stories all over my reasonable youthful life. Never did I think I could hear or read things that will challenge my very own sanity. We use excuses and reasons to justify whatever situation we find ourselves in. What is the difference between these two words? Are they just synonyms that can be used interchangeably or they have their own meanings and functions? Here’s my understanding of what I read from our good old friend; the dictionary.
A Reason is that which is offered or accepted as an explanation or a motive for an action.
An excuse is an explanation designed to avoid or alleviate guilt or negative judgment.
Some writers have gone ahead to throw more light on the two to distinguish them. Brandon O’Dell, a restaurant consultant in his article [The difference between a “ reason” and an “excuse”], uses ‘accountability’ to distinguish between the two so that, a reason comes with the person taking responsibility for the action while an excuse puts the blame on someone or something. Example;
Excuse: I don’t have time or I’m too busy to learn swimming (blame on time or whatever is making you busy)
Reason: I’ve not made time to learn how to swim (blame on person not managing time well)
Despite the fact that, a reason may come with responsibility, they both have something in common– they rob us of our happiness and prevent us from getting to the place we ought to be. They jointly mock us and fill us with regrets when the time for the intended action has passed. For anyone who thinks fear is great, wait till you encounter regret. Regret is the master product of fear.

With technology these days, many of us know or have read about the importance of swimming as a complete exercise for the body compared to other forms of exercise. Those who can afford it have pools in their homes but sadly, these have become decorative pieces to show off their wealth rather than benefit from it. In my experience with teaching swimming, I have had several experiences and just when I think I have heard all sorts of excuses and ‘reasons’, the new or potential client shocks me with another. Now take a look at the following and judge for yourselves which category they fall into;
I want to learn but very busy (doing what? and they have to think to come up with explanations)
Too expensive (but there are commissions and bonuses that can be activated and they never bother to find out)
Too tiring (without even trying first)
I don’t have what to wear (they tell you what they want and when you show pix, they change their description)
When my kids are done learning (who should motivate who?)
When I go on leave (yet there are weekends and holidays)
My upper body is weak (without any doctor’s advice)
My hands are too short (and he or she is no midget but even midgets swim)
I can’t move my leg in water (hahahahahaha)
When I go on pension (really?)
The weather is cold (the sun is gone up small)
The sun is too hot (isn’t this the perfect time for cooling down)
It’s raining season (but sun is up in the sky)
The pool is too deep (water is just above waist level – lowest end)
The Pool is too shallow (Water at knee length – lowest level)
The water is not clear
The water is too cold or too hot
I am waiting for my friend(s) to start
When I am free I would start (whoever has a free time for a particular activity. You make one)
When I make more money
I am allergic to chlorine (Hmmmmm)
I have fear for water (most don’t even understand what they mean by that)
Am too old for that (less than 40 years old)
Medically I’m not fit (but nothing is wrong with me, I just feel it)
My parent or partner doesn’t want me to learn

It runs in the family, we are not good with water (yet no family history to back up)
These are some I have taken notice of. I have almost 200 people who have shown interest in taking swimming lessons in the last 6 months but only about 35% have gone on to start and out of those who have started, about 20% have since not returned for further lessons. These people have no concerns as to why they have not shown up again except for the vague use of the phrase, “I’m very busy”. When I asked most of them what has changed in their schedules to make them that busy, they mostly have no reason to account for that.
The above is my personal experience with regards to my business (Dolphines Aqua Fitness Club). Now, we all have heard several of such and maybe given funnier ones than these in our interactions and transactions with people. I have given a lot in times past till I got to know the effect excuses/reasons have had in my life. I am very young but I have a lot of regrets for things I denied myself thanks to fear. I have decided to live a life that I would look back years down the line and be proud of. To be able to do this, I continue to study myself to find out the things I really need to do and add them to my Goals/To-do list and give it a timeline. The ones I do not desire to do, I have taken out and the once I might try I have noted them down.
Godwin Emeka Stephens
Dolphines Aqua Fitness Club
(Founder and Instructor)
Email: stephensgodwin@yahoo.com
Mob.: 0262476722
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dolphinesgh
Instagram: @dolphinesaquafitness

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