This post is not about swimming.
Photo Credit- Dennis Wong
By- Rick A. Griffith
Scottsdale, AZ 24 hour Fitness. December 27th, 2010 11:15 AM
So peaceful, so gracious. Her arms rhythmically reaching out in front of her and then down below the waters surface, barely making a sound. Her body fluttered softly from side to side as she seemed to pass through the water effortlessly. To her, it was a time to let go, be mindless. Focus on nothing else but gliding east to west through lane number 4 in a near meditative state. In that moment she was free.
I am in this pool as well. This isn't a metaphor, I was really in the damn pool. Brazen with the motivation of a new challenge. I committed to myself that I would become a good swimmer.
It's not that I couldn't swim. Growing up my grandparents had a pool in their back yard. Of course me being the rebellious bastard that I am, I chose to spend my time in the pool playing WWF (Now WWE) with my brother, which usually consisted of us nearly drowning each other until we got yelled at from Grandma.
This being the case I could survive in the water, but that's about it. No real technique involved.
And here I was watching this 120 Lb soaking wet (Pun) woman pierce through the water.
I can do this.
Here goes nothing...
Within a few strokes I could tell some refinement would be necessary. By the end of my first lap I could tell that I had intruded on this poor womans' escape of reality. Huffing and puffing, loudly splashing and swallowing copious amounts of chlorinated water, I was the big annoying fish in her small pond. I hope the wake I created that night didn't make it too bumpy for her.
Oh well she got a dose of what open water swimming is like right?
Who doesn't like a wave pool anyway?
Seven days later I found myself alone in the same pool. The stage was similar this evening, peaceful and solitary. Only this time, the big fish glided with ease, breathing rhythmically. One arm in front of the other reaching down and out, cutting forward, rocking fluidly from side to side. East to West 25 laps with minimal breaks. Three sessions of self instruction and focus had reaped the reward of 40 minutes of mind clearing meditation. I could swim!
Why do you care right?
Like I said this isn't about swimming, it is about learning. Moving forward, advancing ones life.
The goal is great, the process is even better. I choose to live my life in a state of constant movement. It is my perogetive to make sure that movement is forward in all aspects of my life.
But aren't swimming lessons for 8 year olds?
Yes and no. Remember it isn't about swimming.
Why not be the best you can be at everything?
Why not face your weaknesses and improve them?
As Martin Luther King Jr. stated
"Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively"
Every three months I will be selecting a new task for myself, a new challenge to embark on. This time it was swimming, which I will continue to improve at until March. All I know is that as little of a change as swimming 3 times a week is in the grand scheme of things, it has brought exponentially, much more joy to my life. Constant improvement and accomplishment feeds into all areas of your life and makes you a better person.
Maybe the maintenance guy smirks at the 250 Lb guy climbing into the pool and failing miserably, who the hell cares? He can watch my swan-like gracefulness in 2 months and wonder what the hell happened.
I don't intend to be a competitive swimmer. I have nor the build or the energy to accomplish such a feat. However I damn sure will be better tomorrow than I am today, and that goes for all areas of life.
To succeed in business and relationships, to reach goals and realize your dreams, focus on what you can control. My mind, my body, my spirit have changed.
Improvement spills over into all aspects of life.
Success breeds confidence. Accomplishments yield positivity of the mind.
Move forward every day, one arm in front of the other, mind centered, reaching for greatness.