Equipped to Climb the Ladder

By Rob Poindexter, Writer and Sailor

“Wow,”  he thought to himself. The large indoor pool area looked immense as he stood there alone at the foot of the high dive. It soared some 25 feet in the air above the glassy pool’s surface, over 5 times higher then his own 8-year-old frame. Many times he had stood here, only to be told by his mother or some other well meaning adult that it was far too dangerous for him.

Well, none of those would impede him now. He had slipped into the pool area while everyone else had moved on to other activities at the club. He looked up the tall ladder leading to the lofty perch, and then allowed his eyes to trace the board out to the edge, and from there followed his imaginary line of descent down to where he supposed his body would make contact with the water’s surface. He had planned this scene many times in the past year or so, and now he was face to face with the reality of it.

He knew it would not be easy, but the thought that it wasn’t possible never entered into the picture. He let out a soft sigh as he reached for the ladder rail, rung by rung he hoisted himself toward the ceiling, stopping briefly about halfway up to check his progress, looking down first , then up at the board, then across the pool. Concerned, but undeterred, he continued his ascent.

He knew from this height, if he slipped and fell to the hard surface below him, he would be seriously injured, if not killed. For now, those thoughts had to be abandoned if he expected to succeed in this endeavor.  For even at this young age he knew what we all eventually come to realize, that, of course being that fear is usually the number one reason we fail so often in life.

Finally, reaching for the top of the rails, he stepped onto the board. He had two choices at this point, but only one option as far as he was concerned. “After all,  jumping from the board would certainly require less effort then climbing back down the tall ladder,” he thought to himself.

He stood , wide eyed, looking around the huge empty room. The ceiling was still no less then 25 feet above where he stood now, the pool although immense when standing next to it at ground level, didn’t seem to be as large a target from this new perspective. The hollow silence that can usually only be sensed in these large indoor pool areas, felt somewhat intimidating to him.

He walked cautiously to the end of the board, careful not to begin his jump before he was ready by slipping off the side of the narrow runway. Knowing that this may be the last time, for a long time, that he would get this opportunity again , he stood enjoying and taking in, his new vantage point. Finally, the time had come, so he took in a long breath, filling his tiny lungs to, what he hoped was full capacity, and without a second thought, leapt from the board, with no particular target other then the pool itself.

He broke the surface of the pool’s motionless water feet first and continued to slip below the new waves he had caused. Once downward momentum finally gave way to buoyancy,  he kicked his way back up until his mouth and nose were once again able to take in fresh air, and swam to the nearest pool ladder. Once there, he turned himself around and hoisted himself so that he was now seated on the top rung.

He had done it. He was thrilled and relieved to have finally accomplished that which had seemed so overwhelming until just a few short moments ago. What’s more,  he had survived.

Not unlike our little friend here, we have faced our fears at some time or another, and like him we had choices about how to best handle those challenges in order to achieve our goals.

Was he equipped properly to achieve his goals? I think so. He could walk, he could climb, he could jump, he could hold his breath, he could swim. Leave out any of those abilities and I dare say, he could not have jumped from that board with the same amount of success as he demonstrated.

We find the job we’d like to have, we make the proper connections to secure an interview, and then we make our way to the office to be measured by those who will have the last say on the success of this venture.

We are set to enter the ‘pool,’ if you will.

Very little, at this stage of the game, is as important as a well written, professional resume.  You may want to look at it as your life ring in the pool of the job search. For without it you are very likely to be drowned out.

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8 Comments on “Equipped to Climb the Ladder”

  1. Steve Says:

    Prepared or not, sometimes you simply have to jump…


  2. There are still times when I am afraid to jump, when fear takes over and doesn’t let me move forward. Though I have done much of that this year, there are still times when I am reminded of how it feels to be facing your fear… back down or go up. Thanks, Jacqui!

    • Robert Says:

      Jacqui told me how you had taken quite a leap yourself this past year. Let me just say congratulations, and thanks for the comment. I hope you are always happy with your decision to jump.


  3. Another fantastic post, Rob.

    I love the comparison of the pool dare devil to the job seeker making the change and trying something new.

    It IS scary, but the rewards are great.

    Erin

    • Robert Says:

      Erin, as usual,your comments are greatly appreciated. Jacqui is my first filter, and then I depend on you as the backup to gauge the interest in my musings.

  4. Sharon Says:

    Loved the comparison! At first I thought that was you jumping as a boy.

    • Robert Says:

      I am sure at some point in my life it was me, but I had to change the names to protect the innocent (my mother is still very much alive). Thanks for the comment, Sharon. I’m glad the comparison resonated so well with you.


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