Do What Is Best For You


"Monkey See, Monkey Do" is the famous saying, right?  Children or so impressionable and it makes sense by nature they should be.  In the Wild, say like Lions for example, a Lioness shows her cubs how to stalk, prowl, and hunt successfully by having them watch her.  She doesn’t sit there and say, “Okay today we will start the lesson with prowling.”  No, she just lives her life and they watch and try to emulate what she does.  Also, nothing shows the bear cub how important and valuable they are - when a Momma Bear goes ballistic trying to protect them no matter what the odds.  This said, it should not be a surprise that many of our adult life lessons stem from early childhood memories of watching our parents and what watching their life can say about us.

I am going to tell you one of my best memories as a child.  I could tell a gazillion stories but one particularly sticks out as being one of the most instructional.  Now keep in mind, my mother was not intending to teach me a life lesson here, she was only living her life in the moment (like the lioness mentioned earlier).
 
So as a child, I was a severe asthmatic.  I was on eight different medications (timing is everything, haha) and unfortunately at an early age I was very familiar with hospitals and doctor’s offices.  Even with this said, my mother never wanted that to hold me back from anything I wanted to do.  Her philosophy was, “If you can’t breathe, stop whatever you're doing.  When you’re ready, just start back up again.”   My parents were both athletic, so it was no surprise to them that I wanted to take swimming lessons.  Unfortunately it was not turning out as well as I had hoped because I could not get the breathing technique down properly.  My mom used to be a Lifeguard and she did her best to teach me herself.  She instructed that the most important thing to do is never to panic (as for me this could also trigger an asthma attack).  So she told me that if at any point I felt an asthma attack coming on to just stop swimming and float until I calmed down enough to continue to get to the side of the pool.
 
One day, we were having a swim meet and I was very nervous because it was our very first one and I was not sure I could finish let alone win.  The coach didn’t have many kids show up that day so she told me to do my best.  Well, it was my turn and I jumped in the water and tried as hard as I could.  It was going horribly wrong because I couldn’t get my breathing down and my heart was racing even before I began the race.  I started to panic.  So I did what my mother said.  I stopped and I began to float.  With my ears under the water, I watched my coach running to the edge of the pool to where I was floating and she was jumping up and down yelling for me to keep going because I was costing them the meet.  I ignored her.  Breathing for me was more important at the moment.  I dreaded the moment I was going to get out of the pool because I knew the yelling would continue.  Then out of nowhere, I watch my mother leap out of the stands.  Flying at top speed she ran up behind my coach who clearly did not see her and then SHOVED the coach tossing her head over heels into the pool.  My mother then pulled me out of the water all the while screaming at the coach “How DARE you yell at my child!  She cannot breathe and you care about your F*ing Score?” And she continued to hurl F-bombs all the way as we marched into the locker rooms to go home.
 
You can probably look back through your life thinking about situations like this and what life lessons it taught you.  Or if you are a parent, you can see how when kids watch your actions what they are learning from you.  What did this situation show me?  The lessons I learned from this experience: (1) always do what is best for you, (2) sometimes you must stand up to authority for what is best for you or someone you love, (3) even if I am not the best - I deserve love and attention, and most of all.... (4) swimming is not my thing.
 


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