Swimming against the tide
Well, let’s hit the sedentary side of life. In fact, the end of the sedentary life. Because of the dysplasia I was never inclined to sports. However, a few years ago, I found a vague pleasure in going back to the pool. – I started swimming when I was a child and I did it for a very long time, but, as soon as I got enough autonomy I escaped the chlorinated water for I used to see it a bit as a medical treatment-. Now, as a grown-up, I found in swimming the fugue I’ve been seeking my entire life. The salvation agains the so-called handicap. I count my laps as I wonder about the fictitious scenarios of the invented reality. There’s something fascinating, relaxing and even exciting about water that I can’t even explain, but I feel strongly. And that was it, when I decided to open up to the experience that Wanderlei Santos and the Yellowcaps crossed my path. All of a sudden I belonged to a group. A team. Me. The girl with a problem with her legs. The handicapped. The loneliness of the pool gave place to a new support network. I shall never forget the coach’s words when I sat at the edge of the pool saying I was in too much pain and that I couldn’t do it. A coach that fills his team with pride with awesome athletic achievements and training their athletes (professional or amateurs) with the same determination, love and devotion. For me, Wander was so much more than a swimming teacher. So much more that a coach. The Yellowcaps were so much more than pool fellows. Among medals and performances, this team changed the way I see myself in such a deep way I couldn’t even imagine.
When I realised, I weighted more than 100Kg and I was crossing the ocean. I was swimming in open waters. The feeling of power, trust and certainty that I felt – probably for the first time in my life – when I saw the open sea and I thought that, yes, I could face those waves and Neptune’s domaine had a lysergic effect on me. I never liked competitions and I remember dearly the day I jumped from a pole for the first time straight down. The life-guard threw himself into the pool and was ready to rescue me as, when I hit the surface os the water, mu opponents were already crossing the finis line. I always laugh when I tell this story. I definitively hate competition. However, on those open water competitions it was a different level. I was going against myself. The battle was against my ows ego and self-estime on a place where my handicap was really not that important. It was almost cathartic and I can’t explain the moment I got of the sea for the first time and I was sure that I had just accomplished something that not everyone could. It was (and it is) my ultimate vanity expression.