SWIM OUT TO YOUR ISLAND
Swim out to your island is a phrase that we use at our training facility. It was inspired by a young man named Sam. Sam trained at our facility for a few years as a swimmer and then went off to Colorado State University where he really began to live life. During the summers, you may have seen him come in and work out intensely and then quietly shake my hand before leaving. What he doesn’t realize is that he inspired us here at ARDOR Elite, simply by living his life and seeking to enjoy the experience of life. Not in the way most people do, but in a way that suits him and his dreams, because for Sam life is about the experience.
Sam decided to get together with a group of friends and travel to this beautiful lake in Colorado, which is typically swarmed by speed boats and jet skis. As Sam and his friends watched the watercraft speed up to and around this tiny island that sat in the middle of the lake, they had an idea. They wondered what it would be like to experience the sunrise from that small uninhabited island. They suspected that the island was quasi off limits to camping or foot traffic, but they could not let go of the notion of enjoying a sunrise from that unique place.
As a group, they decided it would be momentous to spend a night on the island and then camp out and wait for the sun to rise, so they waited until late at night and then put their camping gear on inflatable mattresses, since they didn’t have a boat. They swam a mile and half or so out to the island and set up camp. In the wee hours of the morning, they woke up in the cool pre-dawn darkness hoping it was going to be worth the gamble. When the sun came up, they were not disappointed. As they sat, a gilded orb surrounded by tangerine rays began to take over the horizon and spears of light bounced across it. In the quiet of the communion, they took a couple of pictures, packed up camp and swam back to the shore before anyone else was the wiser.
This simple but elegant event has a lot to teach us about life. One, sometimes you have to break some small rules or routines to truly live how you would like. Know that during your journey, you may have to rely on something as flimsy as an air mattress, and you will just have to trust something as fragile as a dream, and as unproven your confidence in yourself and believe that it will be sufficient to accomplish the task.
Second, it teaches us that sometimes we have to leave the safety of the shore to truly reach out to experience the things that we dream about. Often the safety and security we are comfortable with are disguises for our doubts, fears, and worries that we might not make it. It takes guts to swim out into the darkness of the unknown, a darkness filled with fear of failure, the chill of rejection, and the enveloping world of self-doubt. But, if we have a goal or a destination in mind that can operate as a compass guiding us through the darkness.
Expect a cold reception as you near your island, and that there will be some long and even darker predawn hours that you have to endure. As you near your shores, realize that while you have traveled far already, that there will be even bigger trials and tribulation the closer you get to your goal. Presume that just before the sun comes up, you will be at your lowest. You will be tired; the journey will have frustrated you and the waiting will seem interminable.
Keep your eye on your goal, continue talking about your dream and never lose hope that your dream is worth the cost you have paid. And when that glorious sun breaks over the horizon, don’t think of the naysayers, those that quit along the way or even about how difficult the journey was. Take time to enjoy the sunrise and appreciate that you had the courage to pursue your dream. Knowing that you are stronger than before, believe in yourself a bit more, and have experienced life!
Go experience the sunrise of a new day and the miracle of a new beginning and the accomplishment of a Dream.
ARDOR Elite Training Academy, Inc.