The power of experience…

It is always interests me, watching individuals grow as athletes.

Not a conversation that I have with members, rather something I prefer to provide as an opportunity.

Something to talk about in the future, to reflect on and grow from.

As I drove to Auckland last week, I turned to Craig and suggested the idea of pulling over to lie in the creek on the roadside. For what purpose? Bear in mind it would’ve been approximately 10 degrees outside, and lightly raining. We were currently dry, warm and somewhat entertained by the chatter of the radio.

Craig replied, “Ha? What for? Do need a story to tell?”

My response, “No, but do you see the value?”

Lying in the creek would suck. It would no doubt be cold, tedious and somewhat disheartening. We may end up in the emergency room with mild hyperthermia, and yes, we would have story to tell. However, I merely wanted to point out the metaphor. Next time we did something hard, how much easier would it be than lying in that creek, freezing, not knowing when it would be over?

A crap comparison?

Try this.

During the weekend just gone, I had planned for our team to swim at Takapuna beach. The plan was to complete a number of laps, out to the buoys and back. The number of times depended on individual ability. We knew it was going to be cold, and I knew it would mentally test a number of our team members. However, it was not just cold, it was 13 degrees. The lane pool you swim in, normally sits at a cold 26 degrees. The water that comes out of the tap is not even that cold. After much debate, and considerable encouragement we did complete the swim.

The result was tremendous.

After that, how easy is any swimming going to be in the future?

The experiences you gain, that at the time may seem unachievable, ridiculous and pointless, will support you forever.

Having the ability to look back on something knowing it was harder than what you are doing now, will always make what you are doing seem so much easier.

But, you must be willing to create the experiences.

Test yourself, everyday.

Michael Gillum