Don't Allow Distractions to Become Derailments:
I was three minutes into a six hour swim when WHAM a freaking jellyfish the size of Kentuky launches a yoga pose across my face, setting it on fire. The event repeats itself once every fifteen minutes for the rest of the day. Sometimes the stings are to my face and armpits and then at times to my neck and stomach. Each time I get stung it distracts my rhythm, takes me out of my zone and places me smack, dab in the middle of reality. I think to myself, THIS REALLY, REALLY SUCKS! (I want to quit!)
I remind myself that a Jellyfish sting is merely a distraction, a minor test if you will, to see if I am willing to embrace the pain of my process in training to swim the English Channel. Greater tests often await me on weekends. We purchased a home on Cape Cod several years ago and many of my weekend ocean swims are done there. Every beach on the Cape now boasts a big blue sign with the words “SHARK ADVISORY, GREAT WHITE SHARKS LIVE IN THESE WATERS?” (I want to quit)
I remind myself that the likelihood of a shark attack is very, very low. Still the same I can't get the movie line from Jaws; “We're going to need a bigger boat” out of my mind. My thoughts also drift to fellow open water swimmer (Charlotte Brynn) that bumped into what she thought was a “log” on her Catalina Island Solo Swim, only to find later that day a sharks tooth embedded in her skin and a chomp mark on her hip!
Jellyfish, sharks, extreme cold water, sea lice, monotony and pain are all part of process of working toward my goal of attempting a solo English Channel swim next summer. Each one of them is simply a distraction on my way to goal. I will not let them derail my process. I will not quit!
My hope is that as you read this post you find something relevant to you within the story. You see each of us faces a unique set of challenges along the way to achieving any goal. Whether you are trying to write your first book, lose 100 lbs or finish medical school, you must face your own set of unique challenges. Each one of those challenges is simply a distraction, a bump in the road. Each one simply part of your process designed to test you. Designed to see if you have what it takes.
Often times in life we allow our distractions to become derailments. We give up simply because we allow the distraction to take on greater power then it deserves. Don't get me wrong, the distractions of life are real and often difficult to overcome. Remind yourself however that each one of them is simply part of your process. Don't you dare let them derail you! Stay strong, you've got what it takes!
A friend once told me that each time he gets stung in the face by a jellyfish he says to himself; “THATS ALL YOUVE GOT! WHERES YOUR BIG BROTHER!”
You may need to remind yourself from time to time that; “YES, I AM GOOD ENOUGH!” It won’t always be easy; it will always be worth it!