WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LITTLE KIDS WHO SWIM FLY

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LITTLE KIDS WHO SWIM FLY

Post by Edward M. Power » Wed, 30 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Greetings!

Here's an advance copy of an article that will run in the May issue of The
Polar Press, newsletter of the Greater Columbus Masters.  Hope you enjoy it.

Ed Powers
Greater Columbus Masters
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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM LITTLE KIDS WHO SWIM FLY by Ed Powers
Last fall I went to an evening practice early and sat in the stands watching the little ones practice.  I was struck
by how fearless they were, how relentlessly persistent, how much fun they had.
I'd watch them thrash and flog their way down the lane doing "butterfly."  Some of them really didn't look like
they were going to make it.  But they'd keep on doing their flailing version of the stroke until they bumped into
another kid or the wall, then they'd look up and wait for their coach to tell them what to do next.  They were
e***d and having fun.  I'm sure if you asked them, they'd tell you their butterfly's great.
I gotta tell you, I'd have quit halfway down the pool, waded to the end and gone for a hot shower.  Okay, they're
too short to wade so maybe that isn't an option.  It's also not the point.
When do we lose the fearless optimism that allows us to try something and fail?  Again and again and again.  
When did it really start to matter that we weren't good at something right away?  When do we start to believe
that if we're not already good at something, we never will be?  When did trying something new stop being fun
and start being scary?
I re-learned something that night I watched the kids swim bad butterfly.  Before you get good at anything,
you've got to suck at it.  And you've got to keep sucking at it until you don't suck anymore.  And you can have
fun along the way.
I gotta go, I've got a lot of crappy ***stroke to do.