My dad should have been Yoda.
Yoda and I.
This is no exaggeration as his mantras are not only a regular part of my life, but are heavily scattered throughout this blog. On paper, they sound like 100 percent cheddar cheese, but when they’re coming from my dad, it’s nothing but authentic dad-isms.
I thought I had heard them all, but recently I was in a bit of a sticky situation and called my dad to get some perspective. I was ready to give up and he laid it out straight, “You can either be a baby or a warrior. You choose…It’s a choice that you will have to make every day and the good thing is that you get a choice. Now make it.”
It was a little tough love, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.
That day, I chose to be a warrior and it’s that same cheese-ball mantra that carried me through my first open water swim of the season.
I arrived at the lake early to ensure that I could get in and do my drills prior to the group swim. I squeezed myself into my wetsuit for the first time this season and slowly waded into the water to start finding my anxiety-free place.
I started by going completely under water.
Then putting my face in the water and blowing bubbles.
I proceeded by doing breaststroke to the open water swim lanes, took a deep breath and told myself, “You’re either a baby or a warrior. Choose one.”
And then I swam, talked to myself, and swam a bit more.
I popped my head up after my quick warm-up and knew that I had made my choice and everything was going to be ok.
I soon met up with the group and proceeded to swim the entire open water workout without any anxiety, constantly reminding myself of my new-found favorite mantra.
Whether it’s open water swimming, clipping in, standing up for what you believe in, battling illnesses, or facing your fears, my dad reminded me that we are given an incredible gift every single day and you get to choose the outcome: are you going to be a baby or a warrior?
Once you’ve chosen your answer…the rest is easy.