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

Debbie Howard
2 years ago

“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!

See more tips on – Inspire and be inspired!

Comments (3)

Lovely memory
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
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 Gardinier Halstead
I love this story and the lesson. Thanks for sharing it with us, Debbie Howard !
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