About this sample
About this sample
Words: 670 |
4 min read
Published: Aug 14, 2023
Words: 670|Page: 1|4 min read
As a child, I remember watching Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, and being awestruck by the raw strength of water, daydreaming and visualising myself as a mermaid. My first swimming lesson started soon after that. The fear that gripped my heart, entwined with my childhood dream motivated me to enter, and when I did, a sort of ‘survival instinct’ kicked in. Arms and legs flailing all over the place, I kept my head above the water. When my coach helped and motioned me to calm down, I realised my feet could touch the floor of the children’s pool. That day I learned my first lesson. Every problem can be solved with a calm mind. Since then swimming was placed in my life as a sport. In this essay I want to share some life-lessons which I have learned from swimming.
At age seven I started participating in club races. There was one girl who was my biggest competition. I perceived her to be an amazing swimmer. At first, she would win but then slowly I started winning. This had one learning curve for me, a healthy competition where we cheered as the winners went by and most importantly that same girl who was a competitor to me then, is my best friend now and forever. I learnt to compete with the true spirit of sportsmanship and that gave me a superior perception of a genuine bond.
In 2014, I fractured my leg while ice skating and was in a full leg cast for three months. I was unsteady and precarious on my legs and had lost hope of swimming. Months of not practicing left me behind while others propelled on. My mother pointed out that the best form of physiotherapy was to swim. On the first day I was very tentative as I was unable to move my ankles. I cleared the clutter in my mind and started thinking that anything is possible if a person puts her mind to it and kept a positive attitude. There was no reason to have a cognitive dissonance. I knew that if I created the correct temperament and belief in my mind then it would automatically reflect in my physicality and performance. After a year of vigorous training I secured the Individual Championship.
Coming to present age, last year I won District and State level and represented my state in the National’s Swim Competition. I remember there were twenty-three competitors in my race. All the girls were twice my size. I was anxious and felt intimidated. I had a pre-decided notion that they were extraordinary. At that moment my eyes met my mothers and she encouragingly and enthusiastically called “you can do it”. I snapped out of my fears and walked towards the pool with much introspection. I got into position to dive. At that stage I thought I needed to create my own personal best. The gun fired and I accelerated. Pushing my own boundaries, I finally bagged the third position in the Nationals. That race taught me fear was a self-created illusion and one could accomplish anything with hard work, discipline, purpose and focus.
Swimming has taught me to have a right attitude. Limitations as well as liberations has all to do with your mindset. I recognized that life is all about having faith, believing in yourself, and also balancing it well by learning from people better than you, their age being no barrier. I learnt to find tranquility in the daily chaos, to breathe calmly, to find freedom in the solitude of the water, and know that if you ever want to return to the commotion of life, you can. I realized that it wasn’t my circumstances in life but rather the decisions that I made during my journey that transformed me incrementally. I would like to quote:
“You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.IV.V
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