Heading into difficulties? Go faster!

If you want to survive challenging times, go faster.  Don’t hold back.  Attack them.  Those are the lessons provided by the strainer in fast-water training through a tube chute.  The lessons apply to life.

I’ve never been through the training (my job doesn’t require it and the prerequisite of knowing how to swim presents a problem, too), but my son told me about it.  The tube chute creates a narrow space which increases the force and speed of rushing water.  Fast-water rescuers train in how to deal with that.  The strainer is an obstruction put in the tube that blocks the normal path.   Swimmers can’t go around it.  They must go over it.  Typically, swimmers go through the chute feet first, but when the strainer is in position they must change strategies.  It can be the difference between life or death.

In life, we face challenges while under the influence of forces that we cannot escape.  We find ourselves in the “tube chute” of life and we need to learn how to change strategies to survive, whether literally or figuratively.  Sometimes the life we are saving is that of emotions, or self-confidence, or sense of value.  There are many types of death, and when we are in the grasp of forces we sometimes need to change how we move through them.  The swimmers facing the strainer provide the answer.

Instead of travelling feet first, the fast-water rescue swimmers change their approach completely; they switch from feet first to head first.  Instead of riding the fast moving water, relinquishing their control to the forces, (going with the flow) they swim as hard and fast as possible, headlong into the danger presented by the strainer and combining the forces of the water with their own forces and grit in order to propel them over the strainer and to safer conditions.

…headlong into danger…combining the forces with their own…to propel to safer conditions.  Who in their right might would accelerate to danger?  Those who want to survive.

I think of those caught in the forces of life with a monumental “strainer” in front of them, such as cancer or other health issues, toxic work conditions, abusive relationships, economic hardships, caregiving stresses or any of the myriad obstructions that get in life’s path.   They use the forces that influence them along with their own courage, will, determination, grace, poise (their own forces) to propel themselves headlong into life and living.

If you want to survive challenging times, go faster.  Don’t hold back.  Ever.

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