Has anyone ever laughed at you when you’ve tried something new?
When I got her text message at 930am, I laughed, as I remembered feeling as though I might drown just fifteen years before.
Wanting to be the cool kid at nineteen, I went to get my lifeguard certification. As with most sports, I thought I could simply muscle my way through it.
I didn’t bother to learn how to swim, nor did I practice. When the woman in charge of the certifications blew her whistle, instructing me to get out of the pool, I knew I was done.
“You look like you need to be saved,” she said.
So, when my friend Janice Bonner sent me that text message, encouraging me to do Swim Across America (SAA), my immediate response was, “I don’t know how to swim.”
“Swimming might help your hip, you get training as a part of the deal, and you get to contribute to a worthy cause,” Janice said.
Later that day, I got online to check them out. As I was going to sign up, I noticed that I could not sign up without committing to raising $500.
First, I tried to make my way around that commitment on their website, but it didn’t work. I had to either make the commitment, or forget the whole thing.
Before I could think too long, I pushed the “enter” button and made my promise.
By my third training session, I had two opposing emotions hit me at the same time: excitement and guilt.
I had learned enough to swim 100 meters without stopping, but I hadn’t asked for any donations yet. Yuck!
When I got out of the pool that day, I headed straight for my computer. I wrote an email about this challenge, and asked a dozen or so of my friends, clients, and colleagues to contribute.