Climbing the Water Slide to Success
We joined the YMCA this month, partly because we love the idea of being able to go swimming when it’s snowing and freezing outside, and partly because we’ve vowed to “get in shape” this year, no excuses. I’ll admit that so far we’ve only used the family pool, but if you have three little ones with seemingly endless supplies of energy, the pool is a wonderful thing.
Of course, it costs money to join the YMCA, and we had to take that into consideration. When you live on a budget and like to know exactly where every dollar is going, even a small monthly fee is something to talk about. But finally, we agreed it was worth it. Plus, I tend to be motivated by financial matters, so the very fact that we’re paying for the membership makes it more likely that I’ll actually use it. Family fun and a personal obligation to actually adopt a healthier lifestyle...sounds like a good deal to me.
When we were at the pool last weekend, my oldest daughter looked up at the waterslide with more than a little longing in her eyes. She’s tall enough to go down the slide, but she doesn’t quite have the nerve to do it. Water has always been a little bit scary. She learned the basics of swimming last year, but the slide is still too much for her.
“Do you want to go down the slide?” I asked her. It was obvious that she did, but she looked quickly away, shaking her head. “It’s okay, sweetie,” I told her. “You’ll go down it when you’re ready.”
A lot of us have that waterslide in our lives. Something that seems a little too scary or a little too big to tackle. A dream that is just too daring or a challenge that is just too complicated. But the difference is that it’s something we want to do, something that we know isn’t just scary, but exciting and fun. Something we know is worth it.
While we were getting everybody out of the pool, my daughter slowly walked towards the waterslide. She looked back at me, and I gave her a smile. She climbed up to the top of the slide and the lifeguard gave her the thumbs up. For a minute I thought she might come back down, and for a moment I hoped she would. After all, this was one of those moments of growing up and she was facing this fear alone up there. But of course she didn’t turn back from the water slide, she flew down that slide like nothing else, and we could all hear her laughing along the way. We didn’t end up leaving the pool for another 30 minutes.
The thing is, my daughter wasn’t really alone up there. She knew her family was waiting for her, cheering her on, and the lifeguard would be watching, ready to help. We aren’t alone in facing our own personal waterslides either. Whether it’s your family, your friends, or even your credit union, somebody is rooting for you too. So whatever that scary-exciting dream is for you, maybe it’s time you started the climb. After all, deciding to take the plunge is the hardest part. I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.