In June of 2004, Robert and I drove up to Topeka, Kansas where I planned to compete in my first open water triathlon. I had done two triathlons before this. Both had been pool swims. This was to be my first in open water – which means not a pool but a big lake!
The morning was chilly. I checked in. Racked my bike. Set up all my gear. Then waited. I kept a sweatshirt on and socks. Eventually I even put on my swim cap just to keep my head warmer.
As I waited until it was my turn to swim, I saw other swimmers getting into the water long before their time to swim. I’d look at them and shake my head and wonder, “How can they do that? I’m freezing on shore, they must be really, really cold in that water.”
Before long, it was my turn to swim. I went down to the beach with about 25 other women in my swim wave. They were all as nervous as me. I went right up to the water and stuck my toe in the water, I had to know what I was getting into! Lo and behold, the water was warm. It was really warm. Those “crazy” people that were in the water long before they had to swim, they were the smart ones! The water was warmer than the air! I laughed and hollered up to Robert how warm the water was with a huge smile on my face!
Isn’t so much of life like that? We look at something and think it’s scarier or worse than where we are right now. But then, we get to that “scarey” place or that place that seems “worse” and we realize that we were so very wrong! It’s wasn’t that scarey. It wasn’t that bad. It is actually wonderful and fun.
When we take these chances, when we brave and face our fears and the things that hold us back, when we step up to the edge and jump in, we open up an entire new world of possibilities. We do things we didn’t think we could. We experience people and life in ways that wouldn’t be possible if we hadn’t set the fears, the hesitations and the self-doubts aside.
Things aren’t always as they appear. If you are looking at the water and thinking it’s cold….go ahead, jump in and see for yourself. It may just be warmer than you think! And, you are not alone, God will be with you!
Be strong and courageous! Don not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Look the virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.'”