Fall Forward

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It’s time to embrace cool temperatures, the crisp air and beautiful fall colors. Yet before we completely fall forward, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on this past summer.

This summer ended with me feeling courageous and excited about life, mostly because I tried things that I never did before. I remember growing up emotionally charged, stressed and worried to face the unknown. Human nature causes most people to feel these emotions, yet my fears, unfortunately, developed into a lifestyle of avoiding goals that required me to stretch myself.

One of my best friends decided to make it his personal mission to challenge my way of thinking about fear and encouraged me to do as many “first time” summer events as possible. One of my goals was to learn how to swim.

My childhood regret could have followed throughout my adult life if this summer I didn’t take a stand and shout, “Enough!” Recognizing that I was the only barrier preventing me from accomplishing this goal, I decided to begin taking private swim lessons; and it was only a brief period before I became a swimmer.

Here’s a few tips that might help you decide when to proclaim, “Enough.”

Have the courage to fail – It was entirely possible that I would not learn how to stand in the pool without crying, float on the water or swim. But I took a leap of faith and said that if I didn’t learn how to swim this summer, I would know how to spend my time next summer.

Do not get caught up in what others think – My private swimming lessons took place in a public pool. That made me fear ridicule from others for attempting to learn something as basic as floating in water. It’s rewarding to push through fear and embarrassment and remain focused on success.

Avoid mediocrity – I was so nervous to float in in the shallow end that I held the side of the wall with a death grip. I eventually decided to use that same wall to push off to help me paddle across the pool.

Just because my summer was full of courageous acts doesn’t mean the fall is a rest period. On the contrary, it’s time to turn up the heat and move forward to the next adventure.

A special thanks to my friend Ryan, Jen and Lara, my wonderful swim instructor. They are the people that challenged me to keep moving forward. As always, thank you as well for following my journey! Happy autumn!


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