The Risky Business of Risk-Taking

“Who says you can’t go home?”

There’s a song with that line in it, so well sung by Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles. Home is a source of comfort for all of us. Familiarity, routine and our own space is what home is all about.

With athletics, many of us still feel that same comfort zone in the pool, on the rink, or on the tennis court. Perhaps there is a familiar path or road to run or bike on, or a field where friends gather to play football over the holidays.

But many of us have chosen to move on.

“Been there, done that, I ain’t lookin’ back on the seeds I’ve sown…”

There are many people who, sadly, do not share that home-y feeling, likely due to burnout from the sport, an injury, aging, or maybe just a bad experience while participating.   If there was a way to let people know that going “home” to your past is really OK, I would shout it from the rooftops. There are both health and mental benefits to “going back” to a world where you scored that goal and crossed over the finish line.

That takes risk…but that is not for everyone, though.

During a visit to church awhile back, our Monsignor’s homily was all about taking a risk and stepping out of that “safe” zone. What the takeaway meant for this follower was do not be afraid to put on a swimsuit and dive back in the water again. Hop on your bike and pedal on a wide, level trail and take in all that nature offers.  Lace up your skates, carefully step out on the ice and take a counter-clockwise spin around the rink.  

That’s another aspect of home. The pool is my home since it’s a skill I can do fairly well. One must shield their eyes when watching me run, but others have the ability to effortlessly run like a gazelle.

I’ve competed in a few Masters swim meets, but after 2 years of not swimming the grueling 500-yard Freestyle (20 laps of pure joy, not!), I’m debating whether to give that particular event another whirl.  There is a meet in a few weeks in which I’ve logged into register, checked off the 500 Free box, unchecked it, checked it again and am poised to uncheck one more time.

Then I log out.  Wimpy me.

My back is already messed up from the 2,000,000+ flip turns I’ve done since I was a teenager.  My shoulders are beginning that “ouchy” phase from time to time, the classic sign of an aging swimmer.  However, my head is GOOD – I feel that mental toughness alive and well in me, which is the key factor in surviving, oops, swimming, the 500 Free.

So, stay tuned to see if I remain at “home” with the easier events, or take that risk and go for it!  

“If it’s a million miles away or just ten miles up the road”

Author: sinkorswim204

I'm a “veteran” Broadcast producer as well as a former high school and collegiate swimmer who still loves to write. I hope to inspire others to stay afloat in these often turbulent waters while enjoying some new challenges in my middle age.

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