Last Saturday I attended my first swim meet for my grandson. This is his first year on the swim team and he is doing great. He has shaved time off in his first three meets. I am a proud Papaw but that is not what inspired me to write…this time.
What inspired me was the enthusiasm and excitement of the swimmers, parents, grandparents and fans. It was very exciting. My grandson was originally scheduled for three events but was needed in a relay so he also swam a leg of a relay. After each event we went back to our canopy and waited for the next event. While we were there we talked about how well he had done as he waited to begin his next event.
This is what hit me. I saw the intensity and determination of these swimmers from the sound of the air horn until they finished the race. Then they went to their canopy, rested, hydrated and did it again. What if we attacked our life in that manner? What if when we were at work, we had the same intensity and productivity as these swimmers? What if when we exercised, we approached it in the same way? What about with our relationships, friendships, financial and spiritual life? What if we were that committed in whatever we are doing at the time, rest, hydrate and then attack the next task. How much more successful would we be both individually and collectively?
I realize that these swimmers are in a controlled environment. They stay in their lane. The resistance of the water is the same for everyone. The swimmer in lane one has no idea what the swimmer in lane eight is doing. The two things each swimmer was fighting against were the clock and themselves. Everyone has resistance to their speed of success in life. Some overcome it and finish strong. Some quit and get a raft to float on. Some never begin.
As I watched these kids pour their heart into these races I saw the similarity in life. We are fighting against the clock and ourselves. We are racing against the clock of life. It is a finite amount of time but is sometimes hard to put into perspective and measure. Leaving this swim meet made me want to concentrate more on the 86,400 seconds I receive each day I wake up. Am I spending or investing these seconds? Am I focused on getting to the other end of the pool quickly or just paddling with my rear in an air mattress? I’ve never seen so many stopwatches under one roof. What if we put high productivity periods together each day? What difference would that make?
The other enemy we fight against is ourselves. I’ve often heard that success occurs when preparedness meets opportunity. All the swimmers had the opportunity to swim. The only question was how prepared were they? I admit, in order to prepare for their swim meet, a pool is necessary. How prepared are we for life and what are we doing to change that? With the resources we have available, there is no excuse to not be better prepared for life. A great example of a resource for fitness would be located right below our ankles. They are called feet.
I also realized the swimmers were in a controlled environment. Life is not always like that. We have things thrown in our lane that are beyond our control. We must deal with them and decide to go over, under, around or through the obstacle. However, how many of these are not beyond our control. Many of these are self inflicted by choices we make. Those, we can work on.
So how about joining me in getting ready for our next race? Let’s suit up, slip on the floaties if you need them, turn off the TV, forget about the White House, focus on our house and let’s prepare for that swim meet called life. Hooooooooooooonnnnnnnk. (That was the air horn.)