The Power of One Year

Oct 03, 2011
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One year ago today, I was finishing up my first swim meet in over a decade. I had given up the sport as a slight and silent protest to my own disability. I didn’t think that I could ever be the swimmer I was, nor get any satisfaction from it without the use of my legs.

However, seasons change—or so they say—and with a new perspective built straight out of an eight-month period of bed rest, I started to change my mind.

I signed up for and swam a meet in California, quite blindly to say the least. I had no idea what I was in for, or who to help me with this glorified task. But, as dreams go, I refused to take the time to think of anything other than swimming and competing like I did so many years ago.

So without any clue as to what I was getting myself into, I flew to Santa Clara with little more than a backpack filled with swimsuits and daydreams. However, I am uncertain that I have ever made a better decision in my life.

This meet turned into more meets, which turned into records and selections onto teams that I could have never imagined for myself.

One year ago today, I would have never believed all that I could have accomplished with one single daydream of a goal.

What all of this tells me is that there is a lot of power in aligning your passions with your goals. After all, they should be one in the same, right? But it shouldn’t ever stop there. Once you’ve realized your goal, wandering astray.

Finally, not only must you move strongly in the direction of your dreams, but also take the time to look back and reflect—much as I am doing at this very instance, right now.

I am reveling in all that I have accomplished in the past year and I have never been more excited about a journey in my life. Without having the opportunity to recreate that swim meet that I first attended just one year ago, I am not sure that I would have ever given myself the time or benefit of reflection.

This weekend, my meet in Santa Clara was a success—not necessarily because of my swims, or times, or even my results; but because it gave me the chance to look back, just one year ago and soak that notion straight in.

A lot can happen in one year—you just have to dream it, allow it, and live it as such.

Author: Ryan McLean