Posted: February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

My athletic gifts showed up early in life. I was always able to run fast, jump both high and for long distances, and outlast my competitors in basketball, football, and track.Being nimble and quick helped build my confidence. There wasn’t a sport that I was afraid to try.

At the age of 7, I decide to take on the challenge of swimming. My parents had enrolled me in swimming lessons at the local pool. I was very excited at the prospect of conquering yet another sport. During the first week, I learned how to dog-paddle with a kickboard, float, and freestyle. I took to it all like a fish.

At the end of the week, they had an open day at the pool, and older kids were allowed to come and swim. They began to use the diving board to make big splashes and have a good time in a deeper area of the pool than I had been in. It seemed to be so much fun. The skills they were using looked similar to what I had learned in my first few days in the 3-foot end of the pool, so I decided to join in the fun.

I walked to other end of the pool where the marker said 9 feet and decided to show off the skills I had learned. I ran straight for the pool and leaped as far as I could, making a big splash right in the middle. The water felt good as I touched the bottom of the pool. I quickly pushed off the bottom and floated to the top. When I reached the top, that’s when it hit me that I could no longer touch the bottom. I went down once, then twice, and on the third time, I began to panic. I knew I was in trouble. I was about to drown. Fortunately for me, the lifeguard was paying close attention. He jumped from his post, grabbed me, and pulled me to safety.

As I gasped for air and spit up water, the lifeguard talked to me and checked to make sure I was OK. He told me I needed to practice a lot more before getting into the deep end of the pool again. Over the next couple of weeks, I realized I had already gained the skills I needed to be a great swimmer in that first week. But what had I done wrong when I jumped in the deep end?

The first thing was I didn’t know where I was leaping. I entered uncharted territory. Next, I began to panic, and all the skills I had learned went right out the window. I didn’t keep a cool head. Finally, when I jumped in the middle of the pool, I didn’t notice that I was already halfway to my goal of reaching the other side.

That’s the way it is in life. We must know the environment we’re entering. Do some research. Do your homework before jumping into the deep end.

Second, we waste time when we panic. We use valuable energy concentrating on the problem rather than the solution. Keep a cool head and realize no matter how hard it gets, you already have the skills you need to be successful.

Finally, don’t give up too soon on something you’re really passionate about. If it’s a part of you, it won’t leave you anyway. It may be deferred or delayed, but never forgotten. Using the skills you acquired and taking deliberate steps, you can reach your goal. Your goal may be closer than it appears.

  1. kimberly says:

    Love it! Never stop pushing forward.

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