Friday, May 10, 2013

LBC Topic - Letting Go

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away - well - not so far - Colorado to be exact - I learned to swim at a place we called The Steel Y.  You may ask why we called it that - the answer is quite simple, Colorado Fuel and Iron was a big deal in my home town - Pueblo. There was a time when companies  often provided things like recreational facilities for employees, their families and the community.  CFI provided a great facility  with a huge gym and if memory serves - an olympic sized pool. All this at a steel mill.  It was just as you'd find at any decent sized YMCA and so the calling it the Steel Y just made sense.

Strategically placed around said pool were large ropes hanging from the ceiling.  It is a little known fact that ropes thus configured are actually kid magnets. Like magic - the real stuff, no misdirection - a hanging rope - especially those near water - will have a line of kids waiting for a turn to swing out as far as possible on the rope and splash into the water.

Suddenly it's little (well - not really - little has literally never been a descriptor for me) Butchie Higgins' turn.  Now this particular rope was near the deeper end of the pool - 6-7 feet deep if memory serves.  You will recall I mentioned earlier that I was there to learn to swim.  You see the irony I hope in a swinging out to the deep end of the pool and not knowing how to swim.  Well fearless Butchie did - just as he was out over the water.  Self - he thought to himself - letting go here is not a good idea so lets sneak a return trip out of the one-way ticket that got me here.

So back toward the edge of the pool went Butchie - ignorant of the fact that the pendulum wanted to take him as far back passed the starting point as it had taken him out over the water. It was Butchie's first George of the Jungle moment -

only it was a wall and not a tree.  And yes - it did smart a bit but nowhere near as much as the guffaws and raucous laughter from the line of kids. 

Now Butchie was in a quandry - pride wounded, embarrassed and humiliated. What to do? Only thing to do was get back on the rope and do it again - only this time let go of the rope. Salvation and the return his rightly respected position in the local kid hierarchy would be his. So off he/I went to perform the heroic (stupid) feat of dropping into the deep end from the rope. To cheers of Go Butchie! he/I got up a head of steam and swung out over the pool - knowing full well that a second failure would decimate the remainder of his/my childhood and leave us sitting alone in my room forever as surely none of the guys would want to play guns or ball with such a failure. So at the peak of my flight over the water I twisted myself so that I was facing the edge of the pool from whence my stuck-on-dumb act began and I let go. I was free as a bird, falling through the air and into the water.  When my feet touched bottom, I let my legs bend and pushed myself toward the edge of the pool.  Shortly thereafter I was climbing out of the pool to cheers and backslaps all around, once again reclaiming my position in the kid hierarchy.

The moral of the story is actually quite simple -  letting go may not be the easy route but it's the smart one. Life's too short to worry about the past. Don't let yesterday take up too much of today (old Cherokee proverb). Or, if revenge is your motivator, just shoot the bastard and then let go and move on. Quickly.  To another state. Maybe another country. ;-)  Remember -

And what do my LBC cohorts think of today's topic??? Take a look - I know I will be - they're listed over there on the right.


  1. George of the jungle who doesn't let go, George Harrison pontificating on impermanence and my good friend letting go to get into a hierarchy. Great combination Shackman. I am letting all that go.

  2. I have let go all swinging..... For the moment!

  3. I was the kids that couldn't swim, so I would have been too terrified to let go. :)