Don't Quit: A Treasured Lesson From My Dad (Pssst! Pass It On!) by Debbie Howard

Fatherhood Father's Day
5 years ago

Don't Quit: A Treasured Lesson From My Dad (Pssst! Pass It On!)

“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!

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Elisa Schmitz
This is so awesome. Dads are often the best at motivation. Thank you for sharing this lovely story about your dad, Debbie Howard !
Ann Marie Patitucci
I love this story and the lesson. Thanks for sharing it with us, Debbie Howard !

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