Overcoming Adversity

Two of the most popular Swimwatch stories were written by Jane and deal with the difficult decision or retiring from swimming. Here is a story written by a different swimmer that tells us about her decision to come out of retirement and give the sport another go. We wish her well.

Overcoming Adversity

I reached a bit of an uneven portion in the road that caused me to get a damn flat tyre, and I know what you’re thinking, ‘Come on girl – a flat tyre? That can easily be replaced!’. I really wish that were the case, but for some of us something as simple as a flat tyre is not an easy expense. The car I drive symbolises my life, and I absolutely love it, but it has seen better days. The road that I follow leads to my potential future, and all the obstacles have become this uneven portion I must overcome to reach my destination. I want to think that if I push my vehicle hard enough it will reach the finish line without any casualties, but I definitely will not make it in this situation.

This is where my mother comes in. She offered to help me, but wanted me to make a choice first.

Mum: ‘I know how desperate you are, so I am going to give you two options: I can either buy you a new tyre with no need to pay me back, and you walk away with your car. Although, it will probably break down again in the next few weeks. Or, I buy you a brand-new car’.

And I immediately think ‘uhm the new car! Hello!!’, so then she goes on to explain,

Mum: ‘The new tyre will probably last you a few weeks at most, but the new car. The new car will get you places with much less problems to stress about’

We start going back and forth exchanging pros and cons, what-ifs, and other alternatives, and I start to feel put off by the idea of a new car. I mean I’ve had my old car for 2 years now and I love it. It might not be the greatest, but I am too comfortable to give it away. And a new car? That’s so great! But then the fuel is more expensive, it’s higher maintenance, the check-ups are more frequent, and so on. So putting all these things into account gets me a bit worked up.

Me: ‘I want to take the new car, but then the effort to maintain it will be even more frequent and expensive than the car I have now, so I don’t get how that’s supposed to help me’

Mum: ‘Think about it, with your current car there are more chances of it breaking down compared to a new car. The new car will be worth it if you put in the effort’

Me: ‘But that means higher maintenance and more work’

She looks at me absolutely stumped,

Mum; ‘Well what’s so wrong with that?’

And she was right. I hate to admit it, but my Mum was right. What’s wrong with putting more effort into something that will benefit me in the long run? There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just a lot of damn work. But that’s the point she was trying to make. It may be tough, but it will be worth it. She gave me the rest of the week to come to a final decision. It is now my last day to decide.

The truth is, there is no new car. There is no new tyre. But there are two options that I must choose from to seize the right life opportunity. I can either stay in my comfort zone and constantly hope for the best with life expenses, whilst slowly altering my future to match my finances. All done on a small ass budget. Or I can start fresh once again, and hop back in the pool, go for scholarships and other beneficial things that will get me much further in life. I really wanted to take the easy option out and just stick to my small budget i.e. the new tyre option, but it doesn’t cut it anymore. The choice of a brand-new car, or in this case putting back on my togs, absolutely terrifies me. I did not enjoy the last few years before I hung them up (or at least what I thought was) for good. But like mum said ‘the new car will be worth it if you put in the effort.’ Right? It was difficult the first time but maybe things will be better this time round. After all, this is the only way I’ll be able to reach my true destination. The togs certainly don’t fit like they used to, but I guess I’ll work towards that  – haha.

I have made my decision. I am taking the brand new damn car. I thank my mum for making me realise that this option isn’t a hindrance, but a gift. This is the only option so I’m hopping back in the pool. I am going to come back with a stronger, and mature mind-set. I will not go through the same bullshit I did in the past. I assure you, this time will be different. This will not be to regain some title or for gaining honour. I am not doing it to be a role model athlete. I am doing this to broaden MY horizons. I am doing this to benefit MY future. I am doing this to make MYSELF proud. I am doing this for ME.

I will overcome my adversity. I will reach my destination.

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