Swing Over the Top

I believe the most powerful dream I have ever had is to do a full 360 over the top of the swing set. Sure, I have had other competing aspirations—to jump to the fourth bar on the monkey bars; to travel to different countries; to go to a great college. Yet none of these dreams has held a candle to the adventure of swinging over the top of the swing set.

I can remember rushing out the big red doors of Nishuane School at recess. I had little difficulty conquering the other obstacles of the playground—merry go-round, monkey bars, jungle gym—CHILD’S PLAY. After making my rounds to the more menial amusements, recess always ended with the ultimate challenge: swing over the top. Each time I climbed into that worn black rubber seat, I knew there was a destiny waiting for me, and it was on the other side of that bar.  I’d pump with as much power as my 34 lb body could muster, each time inching just a little bit closer to my kid-dom heaven. I’d close my eyes and imagine the moment I crossed over to the other side. Sometimes I’d imagine crossing over into a parallel universe where everything was upside down. Sometimes, I’d imagine a crowd of envious onlooking 2nd graders who had tried their whole lives to accomplish what I would accomplish in kindergarten. As the visions got more clear, my leg pump would get more pronounced. My arms would pull vigorously on the chains to help build momentum. I’d give more…and more…and more…looking up at the bar for inspiration. Just as I’d approach my life changing moment, the chain would buckle and I would jump off into the pile of sand and woodchips below–the dirt on my knees my sign of defeat.

What was so miraculous about this dream was the fact that no number of dirty knees ever discouraged me from believing that parallel universe over the top of the swing set bar actually existed and that I could, in fact, reach it. It was a dream of my heart, not my head, and nothing but my commitment could get in my way.

That belief in the impossible has fueled every dream ever worth dreaming. I’d like to think that Jackie Robinson, Gandhi, Orville and Wilbur, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa might have given it an extra leg pump on the playground. Just one ounce of childlike faith in the adventure to the impossible has led to cures to polio, the end of apartheid, the building of the Sphinx, and the discovery of continents.

Challenge: Can you believe in one impossible thing this week?  Take it on with the same reckless abandon that made recess the best time of the day and then leave a comment and share what you are daring to believe in.

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”- Tony Robbins


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Simply Silly said,

    When I was young, I climbed fruit trees. With the different seasons, each tree became laden with sweet, colorful, delicious fruit. With care I’d feel for sturdy branches with alternating hands and bare feet. I turned the bottom of my shirt into a make shift basket and filled it with these green plums, yellow mangos and red apples. The tree was filled with treasures and I hunted for unscathed and unbruised fruit. As always, such fruit lay in the highest and thinnest branches for which grandma had a long fruit stick with a wire hanger for a hook. Unforunately, we always scrambled to catch them at the bottom of the tree. Most of the time they ended up on the ground scathed and bruised though still with their warm delicious juice. If there was time, I found a cluster of sturdy branches to lay on, rummaged through my find and looked out on those distant prizes. I’d think to myself, “If only I could fly.”

  2. 2

    Catrina Moore said,

    As a child I always wanted to come across that pot of gold at the other side of the rainbow. I never took the time to search for it myself outside due to the fact that it was always cold and wet after the rain. However, I do remember riding in the car with my mom and looking out the window. I would think to myself “Were almost there”. The closer we got, the rainbow always seemed that much farther away. I guess its now safe to say that there is really no end to a rainbow. After all the pain of the rain, its beauty will, and has always always remained suspended in the air.

  3. 3

    Delores Mack said,

    My “Impossible Dream” would be a world free of poverty and starvation. Poverty – it frustrates me to see people living in inhumane circumstances, don’t have clean water, don’t have shelter, or clothes, and basic necessities yet there are those who make millions & thousands of dollars and waste it on material things. Now it would be easy for me to bash athletes but there are more people who live lavish lives yet the world still has countries like Haiti with 80% of the COUNTRY living below the poverty line. This just shouldn’t be. Starvation – I am an avid TLC watcher and this channel loves to document people who weigh at least 300+ pounds and this just makes me sick. I love food. I love to cook and I enjoy eating but morbid obesity is absolutely ridiculous. It amazes me how on one end, there area people so large that he/she can’t even walk anymore, can leave their houses (literally cause they can’t fit through the door) and on the other hand there are those who are starving to the point where their bones are visible. Why? This is ridiculous. I just wish this wouldn’t be. I say my dream is “impossible” because if it does change, I don’t believe it will happen in my lifetime. Only God knows.

  4. 4

    Jerry Reed said,

    When I was young, one of the many “impossible dreams” was to dunk a basketball. My dad set up a basketball hoop on top of the garage and every chance I got I would work on my fundamentals and at the end of day attempt to dunk like Michael Jordan. Many of years past and I never reached that goal. I eventually I was able tap, which means to touch the bottom of the backboard while making a layup. Although I was never able to dunk plenty of good side effects were birthed from the goal. I learned discipline, work together with a team, need for hard work, and more. I say that to say sometimes we will reached our impossible dreams and sometimes we will not, but each opportunity is an opportunity to make you and your community better.

  5. 5

    Dre Dre said,

    I will try and live day my day. I have been living for the future not day by day and I think thats why I can’t get in my grooove so I think thats a little to deep but I felt like writing it lol.

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