Defeating the Demons

June 1, 2009
By
They will find you. You can try to hide, but it won’t do much good, I promise. They’ll go to extremes: creep up from behind, attack when you least expect it, lurk in corners, strike you where it really hurts. They aim for deep inside of you, for your conscience. Sometimes they miss, by an inch or two, and you are free to continue on in a perfect world, content to resume a path of unbelievably good fortune. But don’t relax for too long; they’ll stop at nothing. Hit your determination, your confidence, your positivism, and they’re satisfied; they’ve won. They’ve destroyed the dictators of your success. As much as you try to avoid these mighty little devils, it’s no use. They’re skilled in deception. Shrunken to the size of almost nothing, their truly enormous impact suffers not a bit.
They are the demons of failure and they’re out to sabotage anyone and everyone’s success in this sport. Existing in the form of serious and minor injuries, ill-timed sicknesses, performance plateaus, lingering temptations, and poor swims, these demons are bound to show up in your swimming career at some point in time. It may not appear to be so, considering their amazing accomplishments and impressive composure, but even the most successful swimmers have been hit by these demons. The difference between them and less experienced age-group swimmers like most of you is that they have the skills and experience to ward off these demons. The sooner and the more willing you are to acquire these skills, the higher you will excel in this sport.
You can become a strong-minded, mentally tough swimmer like all those whom you idolize. You can be the swimmer behind the blocks who has knocked down and stomped on the demons. And you will touch the wall before the swimmer in the next lane who dragging those heavy demons behind him in the water.
Your physical ability, your strength, or your talent can’t help you when these demons send forth their unexpected blow. Instead, you have to search deep inside yourself for your determination, your courage, and your passion. Weak swimmers let failures break them down; they give up and let the demons snatch away their most intrinsic qualities of desire and motivation. They focus solely on what they’ve done wrong and why things didn’t work out exactly the way they had planned. Strong swimmers take their failures, look them straight in the eye, and learn from them, emerging from their negative experiences as better athletes, better people. They focus on what is ahead of them and keep the past where it belongs. They don’t allow a feeble demon of failure to put a limit on their dreams. Be the latter swimmer. Push through your disappointments with pride in yourself, and an acceptance that can give you peace of mind. Amaze those around you with your positive attitude in a time of such great grief. Hold on tightly to your love of swimming, the memories you have made and the friends that have become family. Do this and you will, undoubtedly, see a brighter day, a day of overwhelming joy and success, a day that you are quite familiar with, but which has been absent for far too long.
In the end, you can thank the demons of failure. After you have defeated them, of course, you can pick them up off the ground and thank them, sincerely and whole-heartedly, for they have made you unstoppable. He who has defeated a demon is immeasurably fiercer than he whose success has come easy. Whether you have experienced that which I warn you of, or you wait apprehensively for the speed bump in your road of success, remember one thing: your success in this world of swimming, and in this challenging life, cannot be defined by your failures, but by the way you overcome them.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

hellothere123 said...
Sept. 16, 2009 at 5:38 am
I believe it is supposed to be an article geared towards swimmmers.
 
writer24/7/365 said...
Sept. 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm
i like swimming and all, nut only swimmers can relate to some of the article. it's good though.
 
SometimeSoon said...
Sept. 2, 2009 at 7:46 am
This article is uplifting and all-encompassing in its theme. It is very concise and well written.
 
Annabelle7614 replied...
Sept. 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm
I agree with you. I love swimming and this article is very true!
 
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