Don't Quit: A Treasured Lesson From My Dad (Pssst! Pass It On!) by Debbie Howard
“You’re not going to be a quitter!”
That’s what my dad said to me when I was 14 years old. I wanted to drop out, halfway through the YMCA’s eight-week lifeguard certification course. Why? I learned the final test included swimming underwater for the full diagonal distance of an Olympic-sized pool – something that seemed out of the realm of possibility for me. Somehow, he knew the struggle of trying to achieve my goal – whether I made it or not – would be of great value to me.
Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I set about figuring out how I could succeed. I practiced night after night, submerging myself face-up under the water in the bathtub, holding my nose and breath for increasingly longer times. I managed to obtain my certification and get a job that summer as a result. In this one lesson from my father I learned:
- That sweet feeling of succeeding at something you set out to do.
- How to build my own confidence.
- Why it’s good to challenge the seemingly impossible goal.
It’s definitely been a gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Daddy, for taking the hard line all those many years ago!