Each year for the last five or six years I renew a specific goal when I go for my first time to the sea: to reach some rocks which are about 100 m from the shore. The distance to be covered is not important nor is the time I need for it. What is important, though, is to have a steady goal over the years in order to measure your effort/willing/stamina.
When we arrived at the sea, I rushed to reach these rocks and I got myself tired. Over the course of a year I had forgotten why I should start relatively slowly in order to reach without difficulties my goal. Despite the fact that the previous year we had several sessions of basketball and I built some muscles because I moved out, I failed. As the third quarter of the distance was covered, I was struggling already with the waves being really tired. That is when some thoughts of giving up “for a while” penetrated to my mind.
Then, I told to myself: “I have to go in no matter what, just like that kid in the movie GATTACA”. The rest of the story is not so interesting: I tried my best and I reached my goal (kind of predictable if someone is familiar with american cinema or has watched too many shounen anime).
Moral of the story: Never overestimate your powers. Working steadily with a feasible rate pays better than trying your best over a short time period.
The story is real, but it gets even more real if you replace the swimming activity and the sea with something else from your life.
Trivia: We had gone with my father. We forgot to take anything with us except to wear our swimsuits. We didn’t bother though to come back before having swum.