Skinny Dipping

I try very hard not to care about what other people think about me. But it’s hard when I read their remarks or hear them comment or see their laughter as I fall flat on my face. It takes a thick skin, which I don’t always possess, to let it wash over me.

Have you experienced this too? Are people’s comments and cruel jibes dragging you down? Sapping your precious energy and causing you to doubt yourself. Are you worried about what other people think?

Yesterday, Justina and I climbed Snowdon. It was on her bucket list for ages. She has never visited the mountains or done anything like it before. She was ecstatic when we reached the summit climbing the Pyg Trail. It was a beautiful sunny day in February. One of the best days I have ever seen in Snowdonia. The weather was perfect — clear blue skies, warm but not too hot.

We took the Miners track down the mountain which winds its way past two crystal clear mountain lakes. There were others on the path, each group of two or three walkers spread up and down the mountain every hundred yards or so.

We approached one of the lakes to see two women in their early twenties, run, naked into the water. They laughed and joked with each other. They waded to waist height in the freezing water. It was a gorgeous day, but you can imagine how cold the water must have been!

They giggled, playfully, perhaps daring each other to go under the water. After a few minutes, they dashed back out, naked in the mountains, towards their pile of clothes and quickly started to dress. We looked away not wishing to spoil their moment by gaping at them.

I loved seeing their carefree nature. Of course, they felt shyness and worried about people watching them. But still, they swam in that lake, in that beautiful mountain setting anyway. Their feeling and desire for the experience overcame their fear of what other people thought. I think good for them. I admired and envied their confidence and spirit. It made my day!

We can all learn from those two spirited girls. Next time you find yourself overcome with doubt or dwelling on what other people might think. I urge you to remember the two swimmers. They shared the same fears as you, had the same nagging doubts as you, but chose to do it anyway.

The life you lead and the experiences you have are in your hands. You alone can control your outcome. You have one life so make sure you live the life you dream of. Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

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