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Sharon, in her mid-sixties, has been coming to the adult swim class from the first day I started working at the pool. I always see her in the same blue and green flower suit, swim cap in hand, and a smile on her face way too early for her lesson time. While everyone else in the class works on their favorite stroke, swimming lazily back and forth, Sharon and I steal a corner of the pool to work on her biggest challenge, the back float. Try after try she would either roll over onto her front, or sink to bottom like a rock. Each time she failed, the expression on her face showed a touch of disappointment, but would then release a little smile, at the hope that maybe the next time would work.

“Don’t worry,” I’d always say to her, time and time again, “Practice makes perfect. You’ll get it one day.” She would always smile at me, dreaming of that one day when she would finally be able to do the task that she had been working so hard on for almost two years.

One Saturday, on a refreshing fall morning, leaves falling outside, we started lessons as usual, and I was working with another adult while Sharon was working in the corner on her back float. Half of the class had gone by when I heard my name being called.

“Matt,” she said, hollering across the pool, arm whipping back and forth trying to get my attention, “Watch this!”

It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Sharon fixed her cap, took a deep breath, and lay back on the water, arms and legs spread out, floating. As she lay there for a strong ten seconds, face above the water, a disbelieving laugh escaped her body. I, and everyone else in the class, joined right in, laughing along. As she did the float over and over, we clapped each time she did it, along with a round of high-fives, all rejoicing in her accomplishment.

Even though Sharon had been working on such a simple thing for almost two years, she had taught me that no amount of skill could replace patience, willpower, and hard work. After learning this lesson from Sharon, I apply this to my everyday life, to whatever challenges that I come across.

Don’t worry, I always tell myself, you’ll get it one day.



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theatregirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm
short, sweet, and to the point. While they article could be expanded on, I liked what you submit. Keep writing  
 
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