Swimming struggles and other challenges

In elementary school I was on the swimming team.

I thought I was a good swimmer since I learned to swim at a very young age and we had a pool in our backyard.

Visions of winning gold medals were quickly wiped out as I started practice with the more experienced swimmers on the team.

Laps were much harder than making a whirlpool in our little pool at home.

My heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest. When I came up for air I wondered if I would ever catch my breath.

I worked hard and improved. Eventually I competed in a local meet. My confidence was high but I wasn’t too cocky. Nerves got the best of me as I jumped before the gun and then waited too long to go the second time.

A third-place finish was not what I had hoped for.

In my final season of floor hockey I won a bunch of awards.

Our team was awful. We only won a few games.

Throughout the year I tried to carry our team by scoring as much as possible while I was on the floor.

It wasn’t enough.

The accolades were nice but I wanted to win a championship.

Years later I was asked to fill in for an adult floor hockey team.

Sure, I can still play. I figured I would be a little rusty, but after a few minutes I’d be right back to peak form.

Boy, was I wrong.

I ran all over the gym floor, trying to do too much, as we got obliterated by a much better team (with a full roster).

To say I was “rusty” would be going easy on me.

The next day my shins were telling me that I wasn’t a teenager anymore. Another lesson learned.

We all have gifts. Some of us find out what those gifts are at a young age and pursue them.

Some of us don’t until we are older.

I was athletic at a young age. I was also creative.

Both have stayed with me in different forms, over the decades.

What’s interesting is that even if we have a gift, that doesn’t mean we will automatically be successful.

Many times I thought that was the way life should work.

With sports, I thought for sure I would someday “make it” to the big leagues. (probably in Baseball)

In the creative realm I thought I’d be a writer by the time I was done with college.

None of which has come true.

As I think about the challenges I’ve faced in sports and life, it helps me to appreciate that exceptional success does not come easy, and even if you work extremely hard, there’s no guarantee you will find success the way you envision it.

In my early 20’s I started playing tennis. It came naturally to me and I loved the sport.

I thought about trying out for the team in college but never did. A few years later I hurt my shoulder being too aggressive with my serve.

Looking back I realize I should have joined a team and got some proper coaching.

Since the sport came naturally to me, I didn’t think I needed help. Eventually I paid for it.

It was around this time that I began a serious writing discipline.

Every day I wrote for at least one hour.

Once I had a few completed stories I decided to submit them for publication.

I collected quite a few rejection letters.

Discouraged, I started to question my “calling”..

Maybe I wasn’t meant to be an athlete OR a writer.

I may have stopped playing sports competitively but I still write and create.

In a way, strength training has become my “sport” of choice.

As I strive to improve and become the strongest version of myself, I know struggle is a necessary part of the journey.

We need the resistance, just like we need the weight on the barbell to help us grow.

Without struggle, there is no adaptation.

All the failures and loss and rejections I have endured have pushed me to become more than I was before.

Each challenge provides a new opportunity to learn, to evolve and to grow stronger.

Sometimes the end result is not what we had in mind. That’s life.

If you are knocked down and can’t run. Crawl. Keep on moving forward.



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Jim White

Jim White

Creation is the way. Transformation today. Metamorphosis play. Onward. To lay out in desert degree.