Did I shave my legs for this???
I’m not sure why, but for the last day-and-a-half I have been thinking about a mini-triathlon several of us participated in about four years ago. We trained for several months together leading up to the event. Many mornings we would ride our bikes into work from some predesignated location or other times we would swim or run after work.
One day after work we decided to hit a lake that wasn’t very far away. Once we were all gathered some of us eased our way into the chilly water while others plunged right in. This wasn’t a very big lake so we agreed we would swim from our current side, to the other side, then back again. The thought of being out of shape and in the middle of the lake wasn’t too appealing but I figured if I started to go under someone there knew what to do to save me. Off we went. Three quarters the way across the lake we slowed to tread water and see where everybody was. We looked all over and couldn’t find one of our buddies. He wasn’t anywhere behind us and he wasn’t anywhere ahead of us. We hollered out his name, “Maaaarrrrrkkkkk!!!!!!” (name changed to protect the innocent of course) Finally somebody spotted him not behind or ahead, but he was way off to the side. In his eagerness to get across the lake he put his head down and just started swimming. Little did he realize he was way off course. He was swimming so hard and so fast but he hadn’t looked up to see where he was. We all hollered at the same time and finally got his attention to bring him back on course. When we all made it to the other side of the lake we had a good laugh while we were catching our breath and catching some rest before the swim back across.
Back across the lake was a lot like the first trip across in that our friend couldn’t keep a straight line. He kept veering off course so before he could too far away we would yell at him to get back in line. He needed that green Fidelity line they use in the commercials to keep people on their financial goals only he needed one in the lake.
This reminded me of how we are with our dreams sometimes. We plunge in and swim with all our might and then look up and realize we are nowhere near where we meant to go. Having the courage to at least jump in and swim is the first step, but once we’re in we have to be cunning in the direction we head.
I think of my own life and the choices I have made after realizing my dreams. It seemed easier to put my head down and just swim without any direction or any focus. I thought my dreams would either just magically be realized or else I would simply forget about them. Well, truth be told, no matter where I was when I took a breather and looked around, I knew exactly how far away I was from my dreams every time. It never magically appeared and I never forgot about it. It was there staring me in the face whether I wanted to see it or not. There’s something to be said about pursuing your dreams. No matter where you are along the way, as long as you are swimming in the direction of your dreams you will find peace and contentment. Whenever you start to drift or try to forget or ignore them, that’s when the trouble starts. Resentment, guilt, anger, and frustration are always the result of not pursuing your dreams.
Other than proving to myself I could start and finish the mini-triathlon, there were a couple other awesome moments that stand out about that day. First, our friend’s wife was pregnant and gave birth the morning of the event so he couldn’t come. Even though he was the one who razzed us and talked us into doing the event, he was the one who couldn’t be there. That gave us the chance to razz him back for years and years.
The other moment that stands out was a little different than the first. The guy who’s swimming was consistently more crooked than my 3 Wood on a hilly fairway had us in stitches. It was a picturesque morning. We registered for the event then were standing on this large hill overlooking the lake. As the fog was slowly lifting over the lake and the sun was peaking over the trees off to the east, our buddy gets all serious and says he feels a little uncomfortable. We all agreed and said we had the pre-race jitters and we were uncomfortable too. He paused for an awkward silence then asked if he was the only one who shaved his whole body for the event. We all looked around at each other then looked at him in disbelief and said, “You’re kidding!! Right?!?!?!?” Needless to say, he wasn’t kidding and we all busted a gut for a long time after that. The best part was the next week after the event when his hair was growing back and everything on his body started to itch. Every uncomfortable shift he made caused us tons of laughter! I’m not sure how much the smooth legs helped his performance that day but his smooth legs have been the subject of conversation at work for many years.
Are you on track with your dreams or are you swimming off course? Are you even in the lake? Do you need to take a breather and refocus before you plunge in again? Spend some time this week moving in the direction of your dreams. You won’t be sorry!