By Paulo Miguel Calderon
“If you think your sports is hard, try doing it holding your breathe.” -Anonymous
The aspirants and prenovices underwent an intense training and learning of swimming from June 20 to July 8, 2016, under the tutelage of Fr. Gerry Martin, SDB, rector of Don Bosco Prenovitiate Seminary. The training was held at the swimming pool of the Don Bosco College every games time from Monday to Friday. I also helped Fr. Gerry in the training.
It was a challenge for some formands who were afraid of the water while an enrichment for some who enjoy splashing in the pool. The objective of the training is for the formands to be able to learn the basics of swimming, apply the basic skills learned in swimming and be aware of their strengths and limitations in the sports. The formands were taught how to do the free style swimming and some of the basics in back stroke style of swimming. This was organized for the formands so that they can be competent on the said sports and they may use this skill for their future apostolate.
As for me who taught my co-formands how to swim, it was quite a challenging task, too. It was hard to compress what I learned for months into 45-minute sessions which ran for five days. It was also challenging to teach more than five students per session. But I was relieved and impressed to see my co-formands and formators eager to learn and serious in what we were doing. Though the session is compressed, I am delighted to see my co-formands learn and are able to apply what we taught especially on the last day.
On a more personal note, one thing I learned in swimming is to have the right amount of confidence and belief in one’s self. I noticed that most of the people learning how to swim have the tendency to lose confidence whenever they would reach the deeper part of the pool. But I always tell them that they wouldn’t sink and that they should always go on. I can compare this with our formation. At times, we are always afraid to go into the deep, even if the motto of our formation house is “put out into the deep.” God has given us freedom, and it is an essential element in our vocational journey.
At times, even if other don’t believe, we have to believe in ourselves and have confidence.