Ruling the waters

Goli Syamala, a national-level swimmer from the city, talks about her experience of swimming through the Krishna River

By Author  |  Published: 11th Mar 2019  12:15 amUpdated: 10th Mar 2019  5:43 pm
Ruling the waters
Goli Syamala

Producer, creative director and writer in animation, Goli Syamala says she takes pride in being the only female animation producer in the State. She has written and produced a 26-episode show, Paramanandayya Sishyulu, for Maa Juniors and her film, Little Dragon, was selected for children’s world category in International Film Festival. But, there is also another side to her personality, something that she believes will be her defining quality — and that is swimming.

Hobby turns meaningful
Talking about what led to her swimming journey, she says, “My swimming career is just two years old and, initially, I was very scared of water. It wasn’t a phobia but, it also wasn’t something I was comfortable with.” She started swimming for medical reasons but, later, it became the centre of her life. What started off as a hobby or something that would help her stay fit soon turned into something much more meaningful. “Now, it’s hard to get me out of water,” she adds with a laugh.

On being asked about the thoughts that crossed her mind while going all out with her hobby, especially at this stage of life, the 40-year-old swimmer says, “Right now is the right time, neither the past nor the future. My reasons for starting swimming were completely different but when they started to shape into something more, my family stood by me. My husband Mohan has been my support system throughout.”

Motivated by targets
Ask her what led her to participate in the 17th Krishna River Swimming Competition, she says that swimming across the Krishna River was the first target that Syamala set for herself when she started swimming. “It is my belief that setting targets keeps us motivated and helps us work towards achieving it.”

Throwing some light on the state of her mind just before the competition started, she says, “Just before the competition started, I overheard someone saying, ‘it doesn’t matter if you swim slow or you are the last one to finish, what matters is that you finish it. Don’t look at the safety boat next to you, just swim’, and that advice stuck with me. It was all I could think of.”
Talking about the kind of practice she did before the competition, she says that she used to practise independently in Gachibowli stadium and that 2kms was her target. “The moment I touched the boat that marked the end of the competition, the first thought that struck me was that I should aim for swimming in open waters that is held in Goa,” implying that even before her first target was officially achieved, the second one already took shape.

Ruling the waters

Poles apart
Asked about the difference between swimming in a pool and a river, she says, “They are poles apart. Whilst in a pool, you are aware of its depth, length, and there is a sense of security. But, that changes when you are in a river. Swimming in a river is a different kind of adventure altogether. No matter how much you practise or the number of strategies you plan, all of them go dunk into the water leaving you with your will power and zeal. And those are what helped me to get across.”