“There are many ways to get into a pool. But the stairs should not be one of them.”
I grew up in the pool. My eyes have adjusted to the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean. I used to fight with my mom about washing my hair daily after every dip in the water; she would threaten me with a story of chlorine turning my hair green. Regardless of its seemingly constant presence and my adoration of almost all aquatic activities, I harbored a twinge of fear every time I stood dry in front of a body of water.
The initial physical shock of all that cold water enveloping my body terrified me! I used to inch my body down the concrete stairs, ‘suffering’ every step of the way. Only when I reached my neck would I be able to quickly dunk my head in and begin to actually enjoy myself.
Well, my parents weren’t having that. Occasionally, someone would give me a little shove and I’d tense up as my body launched itself into the water. But then my dad taught me something fun that I still like to do today.
He would take my hand and we’d walk to the edge of the swimming pool. We would crouch and prepare for the jump. Then we would sing the following:
I feel good! Oh, I feel so good, hey!
Turn that frown upside down! And smile, smile… SMILE!
HEAR ME OUT: I know it’s cheesy. It is meant to be. However, when you’re six years old, it does the trick. The silliness of the little chant, a person I trust there to reassure me, and the giant smile on my face helped me ignore the fear and leap into the watery ‘abyss’. I never regretted it! I got where I wanted to go in the best way: quickly and with a smile plastered on my face.
Yet, here we are in every day life. There’s a goal in life but we just can’t seem to reach it. Here’s a question I like to ask myself: “Am I diving in? Or am I just edging my way into the pool, one toe at a time?”
Let me clarify: You may still make your way to where you want to go by tip-toeing your way there. Everyone has different paces for different goals. And I would typically end up in the pool even when I took the stairs! But know this: it was always less painful, faster, and more memorable to just take the leap!
Just dive on in! The water may be great! 🙂