I quit swimming.
Three words that once marked a pivotal moment in my life.
I carried this lingering memory with fatherhood on the horizon and a seemingly ordinary life filled with adventure and success.
It was a decision made years ago, a mere blip in my past, yet it had managed to go unresolved.
I was the picture of success to the outside world, but beneath that facade lay a memory, a choice from my university days that had left a mark—an untold story, a journey of rediscovery that started with those fateful words.
The decision to quit swimming had been tough, but it didn’t define me.
I had always been involved in competitive sports, and university was no exception. During those years, I took a university swim class, seeking to expand my horizons and face new challenges.
However, on the first day, reality struck hard.
I struggled to swim a single length of the pool without gasping for breath.
It was a blow to my athletic and confident self-image, and that same day, I quit the class.
Years later, life presented me with a crossroads. My wife’s achievement in completing her first half-ironman inspired me. Her determination and resilience lit a path for me to follow.
I signed up for a half-ironman, a race that included a daunting 1.2-mile open water swim.
My commitment to this challenge was strong despite my limited swimming skills. The initial training sessions were tough, a reminder of my past failure, but I persevered.
The fear of open water was a hurdle, but it was one I was ready to face.
This journey, undertaken before becoming a father, became a significant chapter in my life. Three months after overcoming my fear, my daughter was born. The confidence and mental strength I gained from tackling my fear proved valuable as I navigated the challenges and doubts of parenthood.
Since university, my determination to redeem myself has become a part of my ‘can’t-quit’ mindset, propelling me forward.
Then came the day of the half-ironman.
Standing at the edge of the clear waters of Lake Cahuilla, I felt a mix of fear and excitement. The 1.2-mile open water stretch lay before me, both inviting and intimidating. With each stroke, I battled the memories of that university day.
But I refused to give in.
I completed the swim, a triumph of determination over doubt, marking a meaningful point in my life.
This journey continued.
A year and a half later, I faced the half-ironman again, this time in France.
Memories of the past returned, but I had changed. I had grown stronger, both physically and mentally. The swim was challenging, but I never considered quitting.
Reflecting on this journey, I realize that ‘I quit swimming’ is just a memory, a reminder of a turning point.
It reminded me that even deep-seated failures can be conquered with determination and resilience, preparing me for parenthood with newfound confidence and strength.