Photo from Pickle SpringsTell Me Your Story

Oh, it was easy, it just comes naturally. That’s not what I want to hear. I want to know how hard it was, how you had to change. I want to know that you didn’t think you could make it.  I need to feel your hope despite overwhelming odds.  In fact the bigger the problems you faced, the better. You see I have huge obstacles in my path. I need to know that I can do it, simply by hearing your story.

A while back one evening before our swim squad started training a newcomer asked a few of us how we improved our swimming. She specifically wanted to know if we had made huge strides in our swim skills. I told her that I had swum as a kid but later thinking about it I realized that I should have told her more. What I didn’t share was that I swam a lot. From the time I was in the 6th grade until my senior year in high school I swam 5 days a week all year long. Swimming never came easy for me nor was I naturally talented or gifted in this area. Every bit of progress I made took hard work. I wish I could tell you that I visualized myself a strong swimmer and then became one, but nope it took time and consistent training to improve.  But now all these years later those skills that I worked for are still there. I can tell you that yes it took a lot of work, yes it was hard, yes at times I struggled-but it was worth it.

What I learned is that just knowing that I have faced long arduous paths before and survived, and just knowing that through adversity I grew, changed and improved, I can take this knowledge and use it to fuel me through my current difficulties.  Follow me with this odd train of thought, when I train or race in long events during the last miles when I am exhausted I have increased my nutrition consumed. When the going gets tough I do everything possible to make it. In a race I seek out and grab anything that will even remotely help me to finish. If that happens to be consuming more carbohydrates so be it. In life one of the resources we have is our friends and mentors.   We can refuel our mental thoughts by the stories we hear and read.  Today if the road you’re on is long and hard, I look forward to the day when you tell me about it. You will make it. It will be worth it. One day you can look back and tell me your story.

“Words are all we have.” – Samuel Beckett