Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waiting at the Wall

I was 57 when I taught myself to swim (the crawl). Oh, I could muddle around and stay afloat but locomotion wasn't part of the picture. After watching some swim training videos and every good swimmer at any pool I was at, I became a decent swimmer.

Today, I went to the pool but I noticed that I no longer look for those to imitate. I just started swimming. A lady got in the lane next to me and seemed to be timing off me. She also seemed to be a little faster than me. I reasoned that she was the better swimmer; she will push me too far past myself and it would be better to wait on the wall when I get there and let her go on.

There was a moment of choice at the wall and, thankfully, I took the harder path. Pushing off the wall, I continued to swim with this lady. Sure I pushed a little but the strokes started coming. The rhythm was not as hurried and frantic as I thought it would be. I was moving well.

Then I realized that I had put almost half a pool length on the other swimmer. That wonderful rhythm, that power in the pull, was still there and I remember being thankful for that lady in the next lane.

The swimmer I almost stopped for because of my supposed inferiority, was lapped five times in 2000 yards. I had the best swim that I can remember.

Do you suppose that is the way it is with life. Do you suppose we limit ourselves with our fearful self-perceptions. This day, these moments, these choices will not last for us forever. Why wait at the wall, giving in to fearful self perceptions? Why not push on, step out, dream bigger, expect more, aim higher? Why not make the choice to take the risk of losing. Is that really a risk? Waiting at the wall is losing already.