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Plan ahead and set your fitness goals for 2020

I want to swim … but I don't want to get wet.

You know what I mean. I want to swim like Michael Phelps. I want to feel the awesome, semi-weightless buoyancy of my body basking in a nice body of water, but I just don't want to get wet.

I don't want to deal with washing my hair afterwards nor, as funny as it sounds, do I want to deal with wet clothes or the initial ice-cold feeling of the water.

Nope. I don't want to get wet. Yet, I want to go swimming, lol.

As absurd and funny as this paradox might be, we've all been there. We all want to be healthy and fit to some degree. We just wish that it didn't require getting wet — with dedication, commitment and sweat.

Let's state the obvious. You can't learn how to swim without getting wet. Yes, there is visualisation — written literature that explores the nuances of swimming techniques — but you cannot learn how to swim without dipping that first toe into the water.

No-brainer right? But your fitness journey is just the same.

You have to be willing to dip your toe into the proverbial pool and allow your body to acclimatise to the not-so-warm water.

Because we don't want you to drown, please start in the shallow corner of the pool.

You need to begin with the basics: speak to your medical doctor on what you are capable of doing; start off with a short, one-mile walk; join an “easy” yoga class. Ease yourself in until you are at hip height.

The environment is a little uncomfortable at first. You are getting wet and you don't quite like it. You are perspiring, strange people are looking at you and judging you. Guess what? You are judging yourself. You are in control of how deep you go into fitness, how long you stay there and what direction you wish to go.

Now look at yourself. You are getting the hang of this fitness thing. You are at chest level in the pool and swimming quite easily.

Yes! You are doing it. You are in the pool with the other swimmers and you've even made a few acquaintances along the way.

You are wet with perspiration, your hair is a mess and you don't care. You are getting fit at a surprising speed and now you are in the deep end with the regulars.

How did you get here? You were once an observer on the sidelines judging the crazy fit people who dared to get wet.

Now you are freestyling, diving and considering water polo as a hobby; that change can happen for most of us once our aspirations are congruent with our actions.

Be smart and deliberate about your goals in 2020 — plan, get a journal. Recognise that we all start somewhere and your goals should reflect that.

Swim at your own pace, be inspired by others but never ever compare yourself, put yourself down or negate your own progress.

Remember, in order to improve, you have to be willing to get wet, be willing to challenge yourself.

It's your journey. Be honest with your efforts and unapologetic about how you choose to live this lifestyle. 2019 was quite a year for me and I enjoyed sharing parts of my journey with you. I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey with each of you in 2020. Happy New Year Fitfam!

Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years' experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness & Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on absbydre@gmail.com or 599-0412. Look for @Absbydre on Facebook and Instagram

Go slow: when you start a new physical activity it's always a good idea to be careful until you gain confidence (Photograph supplied)

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Published January 08, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 08, 2020 at 8:24 am)

Plan ahead and set your fitness goals for 2020

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