06 Aug In Too Deep
DURING THE SUMMER break, I signed my daughter up for swimming to catch up on the lost years when, due to a nasty experience, she developed a phobia for swimming. She had been on and off for a while, but we now had a block of time for catch-up training.
Once in a while, I would join. Other times, I’d sit back and cheer her on.
On this day, it was time to do laps. No more short hops. I got my phone ready with a finger on the record button. She was doing so well on her timing and I was rooting for her. She’d gone halfway then she stopped. In the distance I watched her coach gesticulate and I wondered what the fuss was all about. A few minutes later, she finished her laps amidst a shout of whoop whoop from Mummy.
She stopped halfway to the end of her race. I’d heard the coach tell her over and over again to always finish her race. And I agreed with him. So I asked why she paused. She said water got into her eyes despite wearing goggles and it stung. She also complained that she was tired. The coach and I glanced at each other, at her scrunched up face and back at each other before we both burst out laughing.
Then the coach replied: “You’re in the water and water must get everywhere. You can’t choose where the water goes, you can only limit how far it goes. When it stings you in the eyes, get used to it. You must always finish your race even when you’re tired. Pace yourself, but finish up. It’s all about the finish.”
I nodded in agreement.
Isn’t life like that? We don’t get out because there’s a little problem. We keep going until we finish the day, the trip, the job, the task, whatever our preoccupation is. We don’t stop until we get to the finish line, not even for a little inconvenience. We’re all IN TOO DEEP in this game of life to quit.
It is tempting to throw in the towel and just give up. It is tempting to stop altogether and shrug carelessly. But life is not for statics. There has to be constant motion. Even the earth rotates. Sometimes we need to shrug off some pain to forge ahead. I know it’s not easy. But we just must do it.
What’s ahead is far better than what we left behind.
Pain often stops us in our tracks begging for attention but we must keep going despite its ability to dig its heels into our skin.
After the swimming class, I sat my daughter and told her: “You’re in too deep to worry about where water gets into. You either float or sink. When you wait to check your stinging eyes, you may sink. Despite the stinging eyes, understand that once you decide to finish your race, you float, you smash your timing and you can then scratch any itch or rub out the pain. But for now, you must finish your race.” I added, “Every single race.”