Missing the obvious

I was reminded recently of an occasion when I was talking to a colleague about swimming and she told me she couldn’t swim well because she couldn’t get her breath properly. She said she was going to get some lessons.

Over the following weekend, she went swimming with her young children who swim like waterbabies and asked one of them how you should breathe when you’re swimming. “You breathe out under water” was the answer. “But how?” she asked? “You blow bubbles through your nose.” said her son. Sudden blinding enlightenment! All her life she’d taken a breath, swum a stroke, lifted her head, breathed out and in again quickly and then taken the next stroke.

Now to you it may seem obvious that you breathe in when your face is out of the water and out when your face is in the water, but it wasn’t to her – until that moment. For me, the lesson is that we all have blind spots and it pays to be open to new learning from all sources. And it isn’t necessarily people older than you who have the wisdom or knowledge to help you move on.

And for anyone for whom it wasn’t obvious – now you know!

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