Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ten More Strokes

My father died five years ago after a six year fight with cancer. I know -  a real conversation starter, right?

As with most of the world tonight, I am feeling reflective, and I have been thinking a lot about a piece of advice my dad gave me once. I can't remember what the problem was; I just remember the advice. It began with a story, as usual, and I am sure I rolled my eyes when he started.

He told me about an older man who had just finished swimming the English Channel. The interviewer asked him if it was difficult (silly question) and how the man made it across. The man replied thusly:

"Whenever I wanted to quit, I told myself to swim just ten more strokes. Anyone can swim ten strokes, right? So I'd swim the ten strokes, and then after I was done I could stop if I still wanted to. I'd say to just swim ten more, and that's how I made it."

The moral of the story (my dad always had a moral) is that anything can be broken down and completed if you just have the courage to swim ten strokes at a time.

So that's what I am attempting to do: just swim ten more strokes at a time, and not think about the vast spread of water in front of me.

Happy New Year to all!

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