It seems to be that I’m doing about an annual post with the philosophy behind the quote “Do one thing every day that scares you”.
So today I wasn’t in the gym during classes because I was at my daughters swim meet. She has been swimming with the TL Orcas for two years. The kids start out learning to swim freestyle, then add backstroke, breast stroke and finally butterfly. We found out this last week that Caitlyn’s coach had put her in for butterfly for this meet. Her initial reaction was “I don’t want to”. She was coming from a place where she didn’t feel she was good enough to compete in the butterfly.
Now, a little about my daughter. She has a bit of a perfectionist streak. She hates to fail, particularly in front of other people. This is a trait I have been working hard with her to get a handle on because it really is the biggest thing that will hold her back. When she encounters something she struggles with her tendency is to just quit and assume she’s incapable. So, given that, she’s seeing the butterfly as something she may not do well in the meet at, and doesn’t want to put herself out there where she may fail. Fortunately her coach had already put her in and we weren’t about to pull her out of her already assigned heat. We talked a lot this week about just getting out and giving it a go, and that she’d do as well as she could, and it was about learning and experience.
So, her heat comes up. She was assigned into the last heat because she didn’t even have an initial time to base her placement on due to the fact that she hadn’t even done butterfly at a time trials so there was no way to know where she should be. She hit her mark and dove in. She did fantastic covering the 25 yards in 28.28s. This is about middle of the road for competitive swimmers her age. Which actually means she’s relatively better with butterfly than she is with either backstroke or breast stroke. She ended up winning her heat by a significant margin. Of course I’m a proud papa, but more in that she just got out there and did what she could. It is so much about attitude an approach. Performance will come with the work.
Get out there. Try new things. Never fear that you may be terrible at something at first. Who cares? Try, have fun and try again. Getting better is just practice and training. You can’t improve if you don’t stretch. Taking yourself beyond your capacity is scary. Excellent. Scare your self regularly.