Wise Words from a Wise Father.

March 11, 2011

This is an e-mail I received from my dad today.

“Having goals and working towards them is the only way they might come true. If you don’t set goals in your life and work towards them weekly, monthly and yearly it isn’t very likely they will happen just because.

When I was a young man I had two goals… the first was to play in the major leagues and the second was to make the state swim meet. I was a good baseball player but never worked at it because I had other distractions… one of those was swimming. I loved baseball and liked to swim but because my father was a coach and I worked at the pool in the summers I swam more than I played baseball. Just so you understand the extent of this I swam 4 hours every day (including weekends and Christmas morning)… from 5-7 in the morning before school and 4-6 after classes. In between we had mandatory weight workouts for an hour 4 days each week. While I worked hard I was not the best swimmer on our team. Most of the other kids had been swimming for 10 years longer than me while I played baseball, basketball and causes problems. I was also not a very confident swimmer… I did not think I was very good. I waited until my last meet as a senior to prove to myself I was better than I thought. We had to qualify at districts to make it to state… the first 10 kids in each event. I had one event to swim… the 200 IM and my best time was 2:25:00 and to get anywhere near the top 10 I would have to swim around 2:10:00. It is pretty shocking if anyone lowers their times by more than a second at this time of year so no one gave it a second thought that I could qualify. When I dove in the pool that day this was my only, and last chance, to prove I was good enough to go to states.

That day I swam a 2:09:57… more than 15 seconds than my best time ever! My dad pulled me out of the pool to congratulate me and my teammates were going crazy. Pretty cool right!… I finished 11th and did not qualify for the state meet. Even today I wonder how good I could have been if I believed in myself sooner. So my message is simple… setting goals and working towards positive outcomes has many rewards even if they aren’t in the form of ribbons or trophies. You and Fred may or may not achieve your goals but in many respects the journey is just as important.

The difference between good and great athletes, good and great riders and good and great students is mostly confidence and belief. You have a pretty calm horse who will listen if you are confident with him… it is my Indian analogy. Jump on the horse and own what you are doing… Fred will respect that and try and do what you want.”

He has been supporting me since I told him my long-term goal (and short term ones too) for riding. My trainer is also pretty supportive and thinks that Fred and I can achieve the goals I have set as long as I get confident and keep motivated. So, we have a lot of work. MWUAHAHAHA. (*evil grin*)

I rode today but not a ton. Worked on some basic stuff and trotting circles near the end. I will ride tomorrow if the roads are okay and then I have a lesson on Tuesday! Wooo!

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One Response to “Wise Words from a Wise Father.”

  1. Brooke Says:

    This is a great post! So inspiring!

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