Only read this if you’ve ever felt like quitting on a goal that nobody really cared about anyway. This is a true story starring Mixonian Institute’s own intrepid headmistress!
I just finished swimming 100 lengths of the community pool and it took me an hour and 5 minutes. To give you some perspective on this, Brent, this young man I sometimes tutor in Spanish, can swim that distance in about 15 minutes. However, it’s really much worse than you think. Last year this time I could easily swim that distance in under an hour. I serenely completed the Lowcountry Splash 2.4-mile open water swim last May. This year’s event, prominently displayed on my goal list, is 4 weeks from today and I’m not ready and I want to give up and not do it.
I have an excellent reason for not spending as much time at the pool since January: lucrative and interesting work! (Funny how making a living can sometimes interfere with your life!!)
The thing is, I could not swim in that event this year and no one would notice, except you because you’re reading this. Everyone in my family and circile of friends is crazy busy and there is a lot going on. Even my buddy who swam with me last year, (of course much faster than I) has moved away.
After 4 hours of interesing and compelling debate, I made my decision on this issue.
I decided to do whatever it takes to get ready for that swim on May 19. And I know that means working less and probably making less money. I love making money but am now committed to put my swim training at the top of the priority list for the next 4 weeks.
While no one else would notice or care whether I entered the event or not, I would feel awful. Even though I know the "slippery slope" argument is a logical fallacy, my imagination races ahead of me. After not swimming under the bridge in May, I quickly become obese. I begin to suffer from hyperlipidemia, hypertension and type II diabetes. Ruben leaves me for a much younger woman and I am left in my Lazy Boy chair, wearing lycra shorts and an ill-ftting tank top. I am fanning myself because I can’t afford air conditioning. I even watch television with terrible reception.
(In this sad scene the television has aluminum foil flags attached to the V-shaped antennae, even though those don’t exist anymore. For me, it’s part of the set.)
In other words, I’m scared not to participate in the swim. Deep down, I really enjoy it. But the joy is way way down there where I haven’t seen it lately.
So I got my derriere off to the pool, for the second time this week. And keep in mind that the pool isn’t always conveniently open. It never opens on Sunday. Finding time to swim with a heavy work schedule is complicated. That’s why most people in the pool with me are over 80 years old — they don’t have jobs or run companies!
Somewhere in the Bible St. Paul tells early Christians that "they are more than conquerors." That’s exactly the feeling I had after swimming my 2500 yards today. Even if I’m slower than I was even a few months ago.
If you’re falling behind on one of your goals, or more than one, take a time out. See if you really want it or not. Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Or simply interested?