I love the water. From a very young age my parents considered swimming very important, because my mom nearly drowned as a child and was deathly afraid of the water. Rather than have me or my brothers grow up with that stigma and fear, she insisted from the age of one that we spend time in the water: So much time, that I never had any skin on my toes because I played in a country club or community pool every day of our summer vacations. I’d been SCUBA diving since I was twelve, bought my first car (a year before I could legally drive it) by diving for golf balls in water hazards at about a half dozen country clubs, and once again found myself swimming several times a week. Prepping for a triathlon years ago and vacationing in Florida, I had decided to jog down the beach a few miles, and get in the water and just swim back. About half way back and a hundred yards off the beach I got caught in a rip tide that was moving me out to sea. These are pretty common and all you have to do is swim perpendicular to the current and not panic. It’s impossible to just swim against it and go directly back to the beach so you calmly stay the course and swim at an angle to it to preserve your strength and gradually move out of its pull. Then you can easily return to the beach.
The moment that I felt the tide, I stopped swimming and just treaded water for a moment and got my bearings. The pull wasn’t severe but I noticed a guy on a float who was drowsily drifting out to sea unaware of his plight. I swam over and explained what was happening, asked if he needed any help, and suggested that he begin the slow task of paddling out of the current. Surprisingly, he seemed unconcern and assumed that if there really were any danger, someone would come to help him. I suggested that “help” might be me, but I expected him to do his part. I assured him that when I got back to the beach I would tell the beach patrol but he really needed to start paddling now before he lost sight of the beach. Oblivious to the need to act now, I continued to swim about fifty yards more perpendicular to the current until I was free and made my way back to the beach. To my surprise the gentleman that was on the float had drifted a few hundred yards further than when I had encountered him and to the casual observer was slowly disappearing from sight. I informed the beach patrol who I assume rescued the clueless lounger.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Your career will be fraught with challenges and these will push you off course. The mistake is not taking a proactive part in adjusting your trajectory before it is too late. While I hope everyone is lucky enough to have someone come rescue them at the last minute, I am sure that most will not. About a year ago I wrote an article entitled “I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take It Any More”. Click this link and read it if you missed it. That proclamation along with a vision will come true within the next few weeks. Get ready, decide to recommit, and have the courage to take back what you have abdicated or others have taken away from you. BEST for Dentistry will be a reality by the Fourth of July. We want you to take advantage of this opportunity because we know that this is how you Summit. Here is a little “teaser” image, just so you’ll know what to watch for.
Everything is about to change.
Michael Abernathy, DDS