Went for another open water swim with some amazing athletes last night. Water was still cold and the wet suit tried to keep me warm, but the chill rose up my spine. The initial feelings of fear that I once had, seemed to dissipate and the awkwardness of the swim subsided as I started to simply focus on my breathing, each stroke and the sensations that arose in the moment.
I decided on a new challenge for the swim. I am going to try to keep up with some of the faster members of the group who were more seasoned and experienced than myself. So I picked out 2 friends in front of me and followed them and kept up. This is not about the swimming but it is about the PACING. As I continued to do so, and started trusting my own skills and techniques I had a lovely idea that I thought I would share.
We each go through our own journey in life at our own pace, sort of like swimming. If we see someone else that appears to be more successful or doing better than we are, it is a natural tendency to want to be like them or even be them, as is often the case with role models and celebrities and the like. Yet where we falter, is when we lose ourselves and try to be LIKE them instead of appreciating our own life and simply use their life as a beacon to strive towards.
We may not get to that person’s level but we are at least pulled towards a higher goal, or a greater level of achievement and experience a different challenge. We all have experienced this when we seek out a mentor or a role model in our family or in the work place or in society or someone we admire in a particular walk of life. I have found personally that I fall short when I live in the fantasy of becoming that person, rather than learn from those traits of that individual in order to evolve. We all learn from each other and hence grow.
It is then that we learn to pace ourselves and even push ourselves forward. We discover our lane simply to be able to then break out of it and succeed under our own momentum. We blaze our own path and create our unique identity in service of the world and humanity as a whole.
So the swim was a success in my books. I was not the fastest, maybe not the slowest, but I pushed myself to keep up. Not for the sake of being someone else, but being me in my lane and at my pace, but faster. And from time to time I looked up to see the shore line, so I always know where my destination lies. It is always good to keep the end in mind but return back to the present and stay in the flow.
As my mom always said “ reach for the stars, you may not get them but you wont be holding a pile of mud either”.
I love you