When I was a kid, more than anything, I wanted to be able to fly. Peter Pan seemed like a dream come true, but no matter how hard I wished or how much Peter Pan Peanut Butter I ate, when I jumped off the kitchen chair I landed on the floor with a disappointing thump. Gravity sucks!
I wonder how flightless birds feel. Do chickens get bummed out when a robin or cardinal zips past their hen house? Is an ostrich jealous of a vulture or hawk, gliding over the open savanna? Do penguins feel inadequate as they waddle along while petrels swoop overhead? Probably not (a good lesson for humans not to covet thy neighbors' mad flying skillz, btw), since each has nicely developed alternatives to get around.
One of the boys' books ended with a quote that "Penguins fly in the water." I've looked for an attribution, because I thought it was so sweet and pithy, but it seems to be a common refrain. It's a nice metaphor--excel and enjoy the medium you do work best in and don't worry about the ones that slow you down.
I've repeated this in my head over the last few weeks, because I've started swimming to add a little aerobic work into my schedule. I love gliding along in the pool with just the sound of bubbles and water splashing in my ears. I feel so streamlined and elegant--unlike the clunky, sloggy feeling I get when trying to run--pound, pound, gasp, wheeze. I feel akin to those little tuxedoed Southerners, darting and spinning beneath the waves.
So I'm all about finding your best medium and taking off. I'm not saying dodge the challenging stuff, but sometimes it's best to let yourself do something you enjoy and can be good at with just a little bit of effort.
For the record, I really like raw seafood, too.