The most important thing in the world is to be willing to give up who you are for who you might become. -Marc Gafni

I experienced an amazing feeling, today. This feeling was that of exhilaration and satisfaction topped with surprise, empowerment and desire. It all came from my body in water.

Before I could experience all of those wonderful things though, I was required to give up an idea that I had attached to myself in my head. 

I love being in the water. I love it because I can goof around making funny movements like a frog jumping around vertically or a clown going for a walk in water. Splashing water on my friends or being an underwater human chair is something I am really good at, I have found out. I have enjoyed a few yoga positions too in water which look as if someone forgot to tell me that there is water around me! And last week, my seven-year old neighbor and I challenged each other to hear what the other was saying under water. I barely made out that she was saying “hello” and she barely made out that I was saying “Monkey”. All we could hear underwater was a gurgling sound. Yet, we had tons of fun giggling about it all.

But today, was different. I had come into the pool to train. The pool belonged to me and I belonged to the pool. My challenge: Can I make five laps in the pool? 

I realised that it was an ambitious goal for me. I said to myself, “I need the next three to four weeks for hitting this target”.

A moment later, I decided that I needed to test how far I can make it. 

Off I went. The first lap is a breeze. The second is a no-brainer, too. As I began the third lap, my lungs come alive. Now I am at more than half way point. I have to keep going. During the fourth lap, my lungs and my legs and my arms are all starting to give out a unified internal scream. I was so tempted to stop and give it all up. As I considered my fifth lap, all I hear myself saying in my head was: “You can because you think you can because you think you can”.* It was an hallucinating mantra going inside my head as if by itself. It felt as if my body would dissolve in the water any moment. I just keep on paddling. Now at this point, I was just kicking and gasping for air. My legs were flying all over the place and my arms were just making the movement, with apparently no strength. 

It did not matter now. Because I had just finished my fifth lap.

Then came the rush of joy and satisfaction.

I had actively given up the thought I identified with just a few moments ago: that I need three-four weeks to hit this target. I actually needed 5 minutes of realising that this was a carefully crafted hoax created by some force inside of me that had taken root in the crevices of my mind. Once I dropped all of that, the path was paved for me to feel the amazing feelings from the entire experience.

I had come into the pool to train my body. I left knowing that I had learnt to train my mind. 

-Sophia Ojha

* Before my swim this morning, I had glanced at this quote, “They can because they think they can” from Virgil laying on our window sill.




Marc Gafni is an American bestselling author. Check him out on Wikipedia as well as his amazing works on Amazon.