Sink or Swim…
Sometimes in life you need to challenge yourself just to remind yourself of what you can do… swimming 13kms along the KZN North Coast to raise money for some well deserving charities seemed like a good idea when dared by a friend of mine during a festive party one evening. Facing up to the reality of the challenge proved to be a tougher prospect however and demanded hours of training and preparation over months. But it was the mental preparation that was most important, especially just before the big day…
I had trained as well as I would’ve wanted to, felt comfortable with my physical abilities, but still I found myself constantly grappling with feelings of inadequacy and fear which made me want to quit before even starting. On the day of the swim, I had to put on a brave face as I stood on the shoreline facing my nemesis – the open ocean… and the fear of the unknown. The first 100 metres were the most difficult; swimming through the breakers, fighting the currents and crashing waves, I was completely out of breath by the time I got out beyond the breakers. But then, we started on our way – stroke after stroke slowly chewing away at the miles and eventually I found my rhythm… just kept on swimming. At one stage the wind dropped off completely, the ocean turned into a mirror and the sun shone warmly on my back – I was loving it. The sense of freedom and achievement all at the same time was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life.
The whole experience got me thinking of the similarities between the challenge of swimming in the ocean unaided for hours on end and starting my own business… once you break free from the fear and self-doubt, and just get set along your path, stroke by stroke, hour by hour day by day – you start enjoying yourself and a feeling of freedom and self-accomplishment drive you forward. You realise your own insecurities are your worst enemy!
If I’ve learnt anything from my experience it is to just keep moving forward… Before you know it you will be closer to your goals than you ever imagined, and you may just shock yourself at exactly what you are capable of!!
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