You would think that I would know what to expect by now. Four summers in a row, I have taken my kid to swim lessons. The last two summers, I've avoided being the parent who is too involved in his child’s class. Actually, the instructors don't let any parents in during practice, so I had to find something to do while I wait. I have an ordinary routine:
o Drop off the kid to her lessons
o Swim some laps
o Sit in the whirlpool
o Pick up the kid
Last week something different happened before swimming. I got an email from the personnel section in my fire department about the next promotional announcement. Just like that, my ordinary swim routine turned into an answer for this question: How do you to take on your next challenge in life?
• Get in the water
o After checking the water temp with my big toe before swimming, the cold water did not excite me
o Committing to doing the preparation for a promotional exam made me shiver at the thought of the work that needed to be done
o Getting motivated to start a challenge can be trying
• It will warm up…eventually
o After forcing my body not to jump out the water, it acclimated
o It took me some time to get used to the ideal of beginning my prep for a new challenge
o Once I did, I got comfortable with the taking new action
• One stoke at a time
o I didn't start out swimming a lot of laps; I started out being consistent with small movements
o I am studying little by little. Day by day. Week by week. Until I reach my goal. One stroke at a time. One lap at a time.
o Big success comes from small steps.
Every day, ordinary people, like you and I, do ordinary things. If we pay attention, we may find extraordinary inspiration to take on new challenges.
About the Author
NICK BASKERVILLE has had the honor of serving in the United States Air Force for 10 years, followed by 4 years in the United States Air Force Reserves. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant (E-6). Nick also has 16 years of fire service time, with 13 years of that being in a career department in Northern Virginia. Nick has had the opportunity to hold positions in the Company Officer's section of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association (VFCA), The Virginia Fire Officer's Academy (VFOA) staff, and in the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) as a chapter president, a Health and Wellness committee member, and one of the IABPFF representatives to the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance.