Then you become horrifyingly aware of the ever increasing burns in your muscles. Your lungs are filling up and your panic level is multiplying. You’re drowning. The final destination is way too far. I will never make it. Why am I drowning, you say. Well, maybe because you’ve stopped swimming. It is boring and is taking too long, you say. Maybe you underestimate the the importance of swinging your arms and flapping your feet. Maybe you neglect the fact that you’re a lot closer to where you’re going than where you’re coming from.
Because you fail to look back and appreciate how far you’ve come. Because you fail to realize that the mind is a powerful place and thoughts can cripple as much as they can build you. Maybe you don’t yet understand that you are what you think. Because you become so caught up in the final destination that you forget to focus and appreciate the journey. Maybe you thought it would be easy but now realize how wrong you were. You forgot that it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you’re moving but with each swing of your arms, each flap of your feet, with each inhalation and exhalation, you’re pushing yourself farther away from the starting point and closer to ending point.
The crippling cramps remind you that stopping is a lot worse than slowing down. Then you realize that despite everything, you’re moving and there’s no point going back. That you’re far too deep to not make it all the way. That it’s either you hug the ocean and become one with it or keeping swinging, flapping and breathing; but you cannot do both simultaneously. That it’s okay to cry because the this same ocean will wipe away your tears and comfort you. That it’s okay to take a break, tread, feel the sun on your skin, inhale the salty air while learning a thing or two from your surroundings.
Maybe it is then you will see those ahead of you, those behind you and understand that you’re not alone. That these people are also going through the same thing you are. Then, you will be appreciative of where you’ve come from, where you are and be motivated to keep moving. You will be grateful for the mere fact that you’re still breathing because you will see people hugging and becoming one with the ocean before your very eyes. You will also see people fighting their way through and you will wonder how they’re doing it. Then, you will understand that they didn’t stop. That they might have slowed down, flipped on their back, or changed their swimming technique but they did not stop.
So you will keep swimming because the ocean has hugged many and many have hugged the ocean.
Because you understand that this is an eternal, deadly embrace where the beginning and the end become one.
So you keep swimming because you will not be one of them.