Looking Beyond the Fog
Looking Beyond the Fog: Working Toward Meeting Our Life Goals
Her name was Florence Chadwick and at the age of 34 she wanted to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast. It was July 4, 1952 the water was frigid and the fog hung on the water like a thick curtain shielding her from seeing anything around her. She was tired, cold and despite the encouragement from her trainer and mother who were in a boat next to her she asked to be pulled out of the water. Several hours later, still thawing her chilled tired body she told a reporter “Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I might have made it.” You see, it wasn’t the fatigue or the cold water that caused her to quit; it was the fog. Chadwick gave up because she couldn’t see her goal; she lost faith even though she had already become the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways in record time.
Thinking about Chadwick and the fog that clouded her physical vision I am reminded how quick we are to give up on goals and plans we have for ourselves because we lose sight of the goal and the end result we long for. Chadwick shared that because she couldn’t see past the fog she lost faith; she gave up because she couldn’t see the shore. All too often we allow ourselves to give up on a goal because the work involved is hard and the results are slow to show.
Armed with my camera on a crisp fall afternoon I marveled at the precise way the leaves land in the tight cracks and crevices of the landscape around my yard. As the lens began to focus on what I thought was an acorn a slow moving snail came into focus. Intrigued I watched for nearly 15 minutes as the snail slowly made its way across the red lava rock scattered around wooden steps buried in the embankment of the back yard. Creeping along the rock facing one obstacle after another the snail never stopped; it just kept moving. As I watched the snail I was reminded by a quote I recently read by world champion race car driver Mario Andretti : “Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.” For Chadwick the heavy fog affected her vision causing her to lose sight of the shore as well as her internal vision for the goal she had set. Losing focus of our goals will prohibit us from reaching our full potential.
In the past year I have become quite the “gym rat” spending at least an hour there every day. One particular dreary Sunday afternoon I forced myself to put on my running shoes and hit the treadmill. Tired, feeling a bit sorry for myself and less than enthusiastic I noticed a rather tall man enter the gym and approach the treadmill next to me. Giving him the customary hello smile I stared aimlessly out the window counting down the minutes I had left to endure on my stationary trek. Trying not to stare I noticed he was wearing a small backpack a jacket and a knit cap. What an odd thing to wear on the treadmill, or so I thought. Careful not to stare I watched as he pulled something out of the pack and placed it on his face; the backpack contained a small oxygen tank. He chose his speed, hit the start button and began his workout. How dare I complain within myself that I was tired and didn’t want to be there? How dare I feel sorry for myself for the circumstances of life at that moment? How dare I do anything but tackle that treadmill and be thankful that I could do it without the assistance of an oxygen tank. His name is Anthony and I don’t see him often but when I do I acknowledge him politely and admire his determination. I can only assume that Anthony’s goal is to keep his lungs as healthy as possible. I pray that he does. Writing this today I regret not telling Anthony just what an impact his determination and focus has made on my life; I will make it a point to tell him next time our paths cross.
What is it that clouds your vision and causes you to lose sight of your goals? I encourage you to look beyond the fog that has settled in your life path knowing that one day it will lift and the shoreline will be visible. Life is never easy; it’s not supposed to be. Lessons are to be learned on our journey and while some of those lessons are hard, I find that those carry the most meaning and give us the greatest reward. If our world was only full of sunshine and sparkles we wouldn’t really know the beauty that comes after a storm. There would be no reason for a rainbow in the sky if there were no rain. There would be no reason for flowers to burst through the dirt and welcome spring if we had no winter. There would be no victory to celebrate if we never knew defeat. Embrace the fog that lies in your way, keep moving forward and trust that it will lift and you will find yourself reaching the goals you have.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.
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