defining moments – 1

Steve asked me recently what five defining moments in my life have made me who I am today…

  1. In middle/high school, I was a swimmer.  I remember one meet in particular where I raced the 200meter backstroke for the first time.  When I got out of the water, I could barely stand up.  I had essentially sprinted 200 meters.  I made my way to my coaches to get my final time.  Brent looked at me, head downcast, and said “Well, you were a second away from a double B time.” (BB is a qualifying time, like an award)  Celeste piped in, “No, he’s lying.  You made it!  Double B!”
    My response: “Brent, if I could move my arms right now, I would hit you.  But I feel like I’m going to fall over.”
    Brent: “Good.  This is how I want you to feel after every practice.”
    I have this natural tendency to save up my energy for something else, just in case some future something could be lying around the corner, requiring more of me.  My coach’s statement not only pushed me to pour every ounce of my being into swim practices–it changed the way I approach life.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Who knows what this afternoon will bring?  Why not invest in the now?  Do my best on this essay, even thought there will be another due soon.  Instead of saving that new skirt for an unknown special occasion, why not wear it today?

What moments define you?

2 thoughts on “defining moments – 1

  1. wow. makes me feel kinda lazy. thanks for the lesson. it’s a good’n.

    …and if i’m brave enough, i might just answer your question.

  2. Ooooh, I love this kind of thing. Makes me feel like I’m still in school.

    1. I had been in college for two years, and changed my major twice…from library science to secretarial studies, and knew I needed to change it again, for real this time. I happened to pick up a book from the library called, “Why Johnny Can’t Read”. Regardless of how well-founded that book is, it finished the thinking process for me: I would never be happy unless I figured out what my beef with the world was, and devoted my career to fixing it.

    My beef is that people are dumb because they watch tv and don’t learn to love books, the shared heritage of humanity.

    I would teach kids to read.

    I signed up to attend college two hours away, and got into the English Education program.
    Ever since the day I’d been old enough to say so, I always maintained that the one thing I’d never be was a teacher, because they have to deal with rotten kids all day. Now I do that, and they are not by any means all bad, and there are some luminous moments. I complain about my job about as much as I complained about working as a waitress, but here in this dark there are fireflies.

    I don’t believe that I personally can ever be happy unless I am working to be the change I wish to see in the world.

    More defining moments to come!

    And Lauren, I LOVE yours. I put off so much that I lose chances.

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