Photo credit: Pietro Rampazzo, Unplash
Florence Chadwick had a goal. Her goal was to swim from Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean to the mainland shores of California in 1952. Chadwick was no stranger to extreme endurance sports. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
When Chadwick set out on her swim, it was foggy and cold. She could barely see the safety boats alongside her to help guide her on the journey. Regardless, Chadwick continued her swim for 15 hours straight.
When Chadwick pleaded to be taken out of the water, her mother, who was in one of the boats, told her she was close to her goal of reaching the California mainland.
A short time later, Chadwick, who was physically and emotionally exhausted, stopped swimming and was taken out of the water by one of the people in the safety boats.
After Chadwick was pulled to safety and in the boat, she discovered she was less than a half of a mile from shore.
The next day, at a news conference, Chadwick said something to the effect of if she could have seen the shore, she thought she could have made her goal of making it to the beach.
Unfortunately, the fog was too thick at the time to see the shore.
“Seeing the shore” is the crucial phrase and part of Chadwick’s story. If she had a clear picture of the beach near the end of her journey, her motivation to swim the last half mile was likely to be there.
Chadwick did not give up. She tried to swim the same route again about two months later. The same thick fog set in as she began her journey, limiting her visibility. However, this time, the difference was that Chadwick kept a solid mental image of the shore, her final destination, in her mind from start to finish.
Chadwick successfully made the incredible swim on her second attempt!
For any significant goal in life, seeing the shore, the final destination, is mission-critical to your success. Having a solid vision and a picture of your end goal is super important. If you have a strong enough “why” behind your goal, and if you can see the result of your goal in your mind’s eye or feel it, you can move mountains.
Having a clear picture of the finish line is the difference between quitting and finishing your race strong with your best-ever performance.
When you can see the finish line, you have hope once again. Hope is that extra something you need that gives you the last energy push to reach a seemingly impossible goal. Watch a running race sometime. Just about everybody picks up the pace no matter how tired they are when the finish line is in sight.
Said another way, hope is the emotion you need to access to cross the
finish line to reach your destination and, therefore, your God-given potential.
Have you given up a few feet from your goal? Do you need hope once again to cross the finish line of your dreams? Are you willing to give your goal or plan one more try?
If you can find a way to see the finish line, like the final
shore illustrated above, the extra energy burst will come to win your race. Seeing
the final shore, the finish line of your goal, gives hope and a reason to finish the race.
This year, I’ll be teaching how to set big goals, establish a strong “why” behind your goals in life, and new ways to see the finish line clearly in our track and field program and a couple of other nonathletic venues this spring.
After two years of COVID lockdowns, I’ve found that almost everyone needs to find new ways to see the shore again to help reset and reach their goals and dreams. An extra burst of energy is needed to cross the finish well.
We are coming out of the pandemic era. Now is the time to go after significant dreams and goals once again.
Like Florence Chadwick, find new ways to break the tape this year. Make and keep a strong mental picture of crossing the finish line to your goals and dreams.
Florence Chadwick, Photograph by Bettmann