Hello again! It has been awhile since I last wrote. And to be honest with you, part of the reason was because I didn’t have the “perfect” topic to write about. I was waiting for something to inspire me. And yesterday, something did. It was a classic act of ‘mind-over-matter,’…of courage…and of determination. And here it is…
My husband and I took our 4 kids to the local municipal pool yesterday afternoon to enjoy a day of fun in the sun before summer comes to an end. My two older kids decided to try out the diving boards. The pool has one low diving board and one high diving board.
One young boy, who was probably about 7 or 8 years old, climbed to the top of the high diving board and walked out to the very edge. He looked down…down…about 10 feet…to the cool blue intimidating waters below him. And he stood there. And stood there. And didn’t move.
The kids standing in line at the ladder below him were yelling a chorus of, “Come ON! Jump! Come ON already! We’re waiting!” The boy sheepishly turned around and replied, “Ok…ok…here I go.” Then, he’d look down at the water again…wring his hands nervously…and do nothing.
This went on for many minutes. The poor boy continued to apologetically reply to the kids heckling him from below. It also seemed as if he was responding to the scared voices inside his head, trying to convince them that he could really do this! He would conquer this enormous feat! He’d stare down at the water and say: “Ok, I’m ready this time. Here I go. I’m going to do it!! 3-2-1…here I go!” And nothing. He’d remain standing there again.
An older teen standing next to me at the side of the pool, threw up his hands, sighed, shook his head and said, “Mmmph! He’ll be up there all day. He did this before and just went back down the ladder anyway. He won’t do it.”
This made me root for the young boy even more.
But then I noticed how the voices at the bottom of the ladder got a little less ‘heckling’ in nature and a lot more ‘encouraging.’ The kids seemed to get less annoyed with the situation and instead, started pulling for him to succeed. I noticed them trying to coach him through it. One friend tried by saying, “It’s just like the low dive…umm…only higher.” I chuckled to myself. He tried.
Finally---after what seemed like an eternity---he closed his eyes and jumped!
The whole pool erupted into applause! And the look on the face of the brave young boy who emerged from the water made my entire day. Heck, it made my entire week! He was proud. He was happy. He had conquered his fears and he had won!
He swam to the side of the pool and was greeted with a circle of high fives and pats on the back from his buddies. And then do you know what he did? He got back in line to do it again. And this time, he walked right up the ladder, confident as could be, and jumped without any hesitation at all.
There will be many scary situations we’ll face throughout our lives. If you always take the safe, easy, ‘low dive’, then you’ll never experience the thrill and excitement of the ‘high dive.’ Sometimes we just need to close our eyes, jump, and pray that everything will turn out ok in the end. One of my favorite sayings is “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” It’s all about mind over matter.