Monday, April 21

Sink, Swim or Float?

I was talking with a friend this weekend and she was shared with me a story about why (and how) she began taking swim class at her college. As part of her major, she was required to take physical education and she basically kept putting it off until she was forced to make a decision. Now everything about her HATES to exercise so she went looking for the easy A, leading her to sign up for a beginner's swim class. The instructor asked the class to do a few different exercises and when he noticed her, he caught on to her rather quickly and pulled her aside and asked why she was in that class. She said, "to be honest, I wanted an easy A". He appreciated her honesty and with that said, "you will get an A in my class but you will work for it". He switched her to the advanced class.

In this advanced class, she saw students flying across the pool. She could barely swim for 3 minutes without struggling for breath. That was only the first class. And he told them that the next class he would double the time that they spent swimming. On this went until she got to 15 minutes and there she thought her capacity had been met. It wasn't. She now swims for 30 minutes and when she gets out of the pool, she is no longer winded.

Her teacher told her in the beginning to not worry about speed. He would rather that she do it right and be slow, then be fast and sloppy. So she focused on technique. She thought she knew her strengths but week by week her teacher would say "let's work on this"... and then she would realize that she had been doing it incorrectly the whole time. Each week, she relearned technique and with that her speed began to increase. Next week, she will begin taking the lifeguard class.

There are many great applications in this. First, about our capacity. We think we know what we can or can't handle. And then we experience something that pushes us, makes us go beyond ourselves, reach for something deeper. Swizzle is always saying to me "Tina, you CAN do this..". I love that because those words come after I've had a stinking horrendous day and yet she can see beyond the bad day to what I can do tomorrow. Second, every single goal we've set for ourselves doesn't need to be accomplished today - it may take months, or even years. The time doesn't matter as long as we get the technique right. We may have off days (man, like I did this weekend) but that comes because of years of bad habits that we are trying to undo. Those set backs are ok, and like someone wrote to me, are needed.. They are like challenges to keep us moving forward - which is the key in all of this. Continue moving forward.

With that said, my food:


Amanda said...

Excellent point and story!

You CAN do this, ya know?? We're all here cheering you on the entire way... ;)

Kate said...

Love the post, your right on.

Setbacks are part of everyday life, and I think if we don't have them, we set ourselves up to fail in the long run, because life isn't perfect.

Your doing great, and tackling one problem at a time, is a great way to look at it!

HappyBlogChick said...

Great post!

I'm the queen of underestimating myself. No more, though! That realy has changed over the past year.