Second Chances

The road to our dreams rarely takes the route we expect. Dan Jansen skated and fell twice before he won gold. I bet Kerri Strugg didn’t envision her win coming with an injured ankle.

It happens in our writing too. The detours and setbacks get so frustrating, but it doesn’t have to end there. If we’re flexible and give it time and our best energy, good things come when we least expect it.

I swam competitively for years. One year, I was racing to qualify for state in the hundred yard breaststroke. It was my last chance.

I missed the cut by two hundredths of a second. When you're that close to's heartbreaking.

What did my coach do? Tell me too bad? Better luck next year?

No way!

I was scheduled to swim the 200 yard breaststroke later that same meet, so my coach and I decided to try to submit my split time from that race to qualify in the 100. That meant I had to swim my little butt off for the first half of the race (even faster than I’d gone in my earlier 100 yds.), and then still stick it out for the remainder of the 200 yards to make the time official.

It wouldn’t exactly be pretty or fun, and it’d probably hurt like hell in the homestretch. But it would give me another shot.

So I took it…and I made it!

We might have to hit a few circles and dead ends to get to our dreams. We might have to take a shot-in-the-dark chance that we think has zero possibility of panning out. In the end, those risks are worth it.

Cheering Us On Tomorrow: Mark Koopmans


  1. Sometimes it takes a little extra. And the determination not to quit. Good for you!

  2. That's awesome! It's really all about perseverance.

  3. Huh -- I coulda swore I left a comment on this post, Nicole...

    Just wanted to let you know I really liked this post -- Great message!