The 18 degree swim

A few years ago, I swam when the temperature outside was 18 degrees Celsius / 64 degree Fahrenheit. For someone who’d spent most of my life in temperatures above 30 degrees C / 86 degree F, this was a huge deal. The water in warm places is nice and warm.

I’ve been living in cooler temperatures since and I generally need to summon a good bit of resolve to dive in to cooler waters.

Here’s the funny thing – just before I jump into water that feels cool, I tell myself – “I swam when it was 18 degrees once. I’ll be fine.”

While I’m not sure I would consciously wish adversity or extreme experiences on anyone, this experience is a reminder that surviving extreme experiences (even less extreme ones like swimming in slightly cooler water :)) comes to define us in ways we can’t imagine when we’re going through them.

So, if you’re going through a tough experience right now, take heart. You’ll likely stretch your abilities to persevere while you’re at it. And, once you’re done, you’ll realize that your new found strength to persevere will actually make many other experiences in life easier to handle.