I believe that many are lacking something that makes them feel alive, or gives their life meaning. Merely working 40-50 hours each week for a paycheck isn’t meaningful; it’s survival.
I’ve written about my quest to learn to swim. I decided that I wanted to complete a sprint triathlon in June. Mary’s been competing in these for the past three years and I wanted to join her. I only had one problem; I haven’t been in a public pool since I was 12 and I could barely make it down the pool and back. I certainly had no technique.
Last night, I swam 14 consecutive lengths without a break. If you’re not a swimmer, then this is a major accomplishment, especially given that two lengths just about did me in when I began in February. Also, it helps for you to know that a length is 25 yards, or 75 feet.
My prior swim practice, on Saturday, I hit 10 for the first time and completed a series of four of these, meaning I had completed 40 lengths in the pool. What does all this mean concerning my sprint triathlon?
My swim distance I have to complete is 1/3rd of a mile. That means I have to swim approximately 1,760 feet. On Saturday, and again last night, I was at 3,000 feet. I’m at my distance!! This coming from someone that had little faith in February, when I first began that I’d ever be able to swim. Mary believed in me enough to pair me with a swim coach who has really helped me with four lessons completed. I’ve made steady progress.
When I first started, I’d have bouts of anxiety halfway down the pool, which affected my breathing. I hated being in the water.
Yesterday was a long day at work. I got started at 5:30, had to drive to Bangor, came home and fired off a few final emails and then, headed out to the Greely pool for Monday night swim practice. I’ve had a goal of swimming three times each week.
Last night at Greely, I chugged along, slow, but steady. My goal was 40 lengths, just like on Saturday. I was at 34, plus I’d completed several drills aimed at improving my technique. I knew I needed to do six more and that was my goal. I was really struggling, my left shoulder hurt and I figured I’d quit after 40.
When I touched the end after 40, I got a burst of energy, enough that I knew I could do two more. I was now at a personal record. I was smiling all the way down and back. I’d done it!!
I can’t say that I love to swim, but I’m getting comfortable in the water and I can’t wait for June 9th!
All of us need something that gets us out of ourselves and our mundane routine.
What’s your passion? For me, mine helps get me out of my head, as swimming, running, and biking are all physical. Maybe you have a physical job and you need a cerebral pursuit?
Here are a few tips towards empowerment for you:
Pick your passion
Set a realistic goal
Have some defined checkpoints along the way and a final outcome at the end
If I can swim, you can do what you set out to do.
Last week at the Maine HR Convention, I met a woman who told me she had lost 105 pounds! Holy cow!! 105 pounds!! She was now running road races and feeling alive for the first time. She mentioned she had been bullied in high school because of her weight. Losing the weight and running made her feel alive. I told her how touched I was that she had shared her story with me.
What do you need to do for your own personal empowerment?
What finish line do you need to cross?