Thursday, 20 January 2011
The Turtle and The Fish
Once upon a time, deep under the sea, there were two great friends - a Fish and a Turtle. Each week, the Fish and the Turtle would meet up and swim together amongst the reef and the reeds, chatting and enjoying each others company. As the days, weeks and months passed by, the Turtle and the Fish became better at swimming; each noticing that they were becoming stronger, more confident and capable of swimming further than they had ever, at first, imagined.
Realising that they were ready for their next challenge, the Fish and the Turtle took a deep breath and signed up for the Very Long Maraswim; a challenge they could only have dreamed of completing only a couple of years before.
The Fish and the Turtle leaped into their training with vigour and enthusiasm; and, as they did so, they continued to become stronger, more confident and capable of swimming even further than they had ever imagined. Everything was going well until one day, when the Turtle realised that the three strokes she had been behind the fish, was now six. The next day, the six strokes became twelve; and the next the twelve became twenty-four; until the turtle was swimming so far behind the fish, she could no longer see the her collage of colours flickering ahead in the twilit waters.
The turtle slumped down on a near by sand bar and sulked.
"What's wrong?" Asked a passing Sea Horse.
"I'm so slow... so much slower than my swimming partner; I can't swim with her anymore." Explained the Turtle. "I always thought she'd be a little bit faster than me, but I didn't think we'd be this different."
The Sea Horse thought for a little bit, then turned to the Turtle: "It's not so much that you're slower than the Fish that's the problem; you're capable of swimming just as spectacularly. However, I can see you're upset so I do have some magic medicine which will help you if you wish?"
The Turtle thanked the Sea Horse very much and accepted the magic medicine gratefully.
"All you have to do is sprinkle a little of it over your head every day, whilst saying the magic words I give you." Explained the Sea Horse, "And soon, before you know it, you'll be sprinting through the water as sprightly as your friend again."
And as the Sea Horse whispered the magic words into the Turtle's ear, the Turtle understood what had to be done.
Over the next few weeks, the Turtle and the Fish continued to swim at different speeds, sometimes together, sometimes alone, but as always the Fish was supportive, encouraging her friend to swim alongside as much as possible. Each night, the Turtle would sprinkle the magic dust, the Sea Horse had given her, over her head and say the magic words. Slowly, very slowly, the Turtle started to swim better and better, until finally, she was swimming confidently and capably, but most importantly, cheerily alongside her fishy friend.
Noticing the new found tenacity in her turtlely pal, inevitably the Fish was curious as to what had turned the Turtle's swimming fortunes around. The Turtle told her friend all about the magic dust and the magic words she had chanted each night and how, even though the magic dust had run out after a few days, she'd continued to say those magic words every night; until eventually, little by little, she'd become more confident, capable and cheerful. Eager to know the magic words, the Fish asked if the Turtle would share them with her.
"Of course," Replied the Turtle, "And they're so easy to remember just: Patience, Perseverance and Positivity. Three simple words, but they make such a difference."
How the story ends no-one knows; We like to think that the Turtle continued to believe in herself, and to make progress, and that the Turtle and the Fish completed the VLM together.
Distance: 4.1 miles - 5 mins @ 5k pace with 1 min recovery x 5. +1 lap Hunt Lane warm up and cool down.
Weather: cold - 0.
Feeling: slow again!
See my run here.