This morning I took Noah for his first one on one swimming lesson and he loved it. I watched proudly from the side as he tried his very best for the instructor.
She was kind and calm with him and he responded really well. I saw him grinning with pride as he managed to do everything she asked.
There were a couple of older children in the pool having lessons too and they were also trying their hardest for the instructors who were teaching them.
The instructions for the children were coming thick and fast, tummy up, look at the ceiling, high arms. faster, kick….and so it went on!
All of the children looked exhausted by the end and it really took me back to Tuesday afternoons when I was at school and learning to swim. Pure exhaustion. They had put their all into the physical and mental elements of swimming and as they got out of the pool they were ready just to flop.
It struck me that whilst they were focussing so hard on how to swim there could have been no room in their minds for anything else. It was a really mindful half an hour for all of them.
I have no doubt that after a few weeks Noah will build his ability to concentrate and focus. Also his swimming fitness will grow. When it does the sessions will go more easily but today really took it out of him!
There is such a good parallel here with Meditation. When you first sit to train your brain you may well find that you are exhausted by it. However as you get better you manage to do the exercise with less effort and your body and mind become more accustomed to doing what you ask.
Familiarity and practise means that you get as much benefit without as much effort. So if you find that sitting to do a brain training exercise is a real challenge then remember this, be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to adapt. Before you know it it will be second nature.