April 10, 2020
If you or anyone you know is struggling...
Fight the Fight
I miss a lot of things these days. There are some empty days. Most can relate.
I love standing out on deck and watching the fight. I miss watching swimmers fight to be better. Sometimes better means faster. Sometimes better means more positive. Sometimes better means earning a spot in a lane or a group. Sometimes better means more supportive.
There is a fight for something every day. I miss watching swimmers walk in everyday, often twice a day, knowing there is a fight to be fought. Each swimmers fight is different, specific to them, but each has a battle to fight.
Everyone doesnýt win their battle everyday. I miss watching swimmers walk in the day AFTER they didnýt win a battle. It takes courage to fight hard battles. It takes even more courage the day after you didnýt win. AND swimmers keep coming back. I really miss that.
The struggle is universal. It always has been. It always will be. It isnýt always easy for anyone. If fact it is hard most of the time. The truth is, whether you admit it to yourself or not, most swimmers love swimming because it is hard, because there is struggle. They love the battle. They love the fight. They learn that which is easy lacks satisfaction. They learn that which lacks challenge also lacks a sense of achievement. The foundation of both satisfaction and achievement is struggle.
Today, tomorrow, the next tomorrow, and the next, next tomorrow embrace the struggle. Be willing to fight the fight. If you do not win today, fight tomorrow. If you do not win tomorrow, fight the next tomorrow. If you do not win the next tomorrow, fight the next, next tomorrow.
Sooner or later all the fighting, all the battles lead to something. For each person ýsomethingý is different. For one person ýsomethingý is a time or record. For another person ýsomethingý is getting to go to a certain meet. For another person ýsomethingý is having friendships forged out of shared battles. For another person ýsomethingý is looking in the mirror and seeing an athlete staring back. Sometimes all the fighting, all the battles lead us to a place that we didnýt even know was possible when we started. I miss seeing where all the battles lead to.
Take pride in fighting the fight. Today, tomorrow, the next tomorrow, and the next, next tomorrow. If you need evidence that fighting the fight is ýTHE PATHý. Remember who you once were. Dust off some old ribbons and look at the times. Pull out the t-shirts from all the places you have been. Look at an old picture of yourself and then look at yourself in the mirror today. You are who you are today because of the fights that you have fought, the struggles you have endured, the battles you have waged in the pool and out.
Now realize ýTHE PATHý goes both directions, not just coming from where you have been, but also leading to where you are going to goýif you are willing to fight the fight.
If you had goals a month ago you can still have goals todayýif you fight the fight
If you had a dream a month ago you can still have a dream todayýif you fight the fight
I once ask a swimmer, ýHow long did it take you to become good / better at something?ý
The starkly honest answer given was, ýOnce I started tryingýý
If you are struggling start trying to fight the fight. Then do it again the next day and the next, next dayý
Fight the fight. That is ýTHE PATHý.