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Moving forward

The radio began to cackle and that's what ultimately woke me up.

Uh-oh.

I grabbed the clock close to my face. It was 5:15 a.m.

You know you're a triathlete when you wake up at 5:15 in the morning and you're already late.

A very loud expletive deleted shot out of my mouth to no one in particular.

I had accidentally adjusted the tuning on my radio alarm, hence did not hear it go off to wake me up in time for master's swim practice.

There was no way I'd make it to the pool in time.

Big sigh.

But here is where I know I've achieved personal growth: I didn't panic.

Granted, I had a flexible schedule which involved working at night, so I could afford to oversleep.

Instead of the panic of missing a master's workout, I merely went to the pool later in the day, shared a lane with a friend and pounded out one of the 3,000-yard workouts my coach has constructed for those who are not in an organized swim program.

Problem solved.

So much of life is about controlling how you react to situations.

Do you dwell on the negative? Do you embrace your mistakes? Sure there are lessons to learn but it seems the more I learn about myself the more I understand the importance of letting go and moving on.

It was a theme that was echoed by Linda Hill-MacDonald, the women's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo. The Bulls had just let another second half lead slip away for their second-straight loss. But the problem wasn't heart. The team played hard for 40 minutes. But, as Hill-MacDonald pointed out, it wasn't a lack of effort that was an issue. It was a lack of focus. More specifically, a lack of being in the moment.

Sure the other team would make shots. Sure your team would miss shots or miss rebounds or turn the ball over.

What was important wasn't being perfect. It's not about making the fewest mistakes even. It's about controlling how you respond to the mistakes. Do you let the past define you? Or do you learn and move forward? Do you go on to the next play? Do you stay in the moment?

I am not striving for perfection. I merely want to keep moving forward. I will build upon my past but I won't be defined by it. I will take what I've learned and continue to grow.

I will make the most of the present moment and live there. Life is too short to stay stuck.

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