Losing Oneself Through Service
Today’s guest post is from Kelly of Choosing Losing an amazing example of how volunteering your time, energy and talents to others can go a long way towards self acceptance. After reading Kelly’s post, think about how you could volunteer your time, and/or tell us about what you are already doing.
“The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself in the service of others”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“Kick….kick… breath!… Joey you have to BREATHE!!!” I swim along Joey, a young man with down syndrome, holding my arm under his stomach to keep his backside from sinking. He struggles to coordinate kicking, taking strokes with his arms, and remembering to breathe. More than once he has swam a length and a half of the pool without taking a breath.
Special Olympics Swimming has been great this summer. We have quadrupled the number of athletes have and are incorporating individuals with more extensive physical limitations. As Head Coach I’ve been trying to keep it all running smoothly, orchestrating our 25 or so athletes and coaches in our small adaptive skills pool. It’s been challenging, it’s been rewarding, and it’s exhilarating to see individuals with such heart working so hard to improve their athletic skills.
It’s also a time I never think about my body.
I’m walking around the pool in a one piece, often drawing attention to myself as the whistle-holding coach (“I’ve got a whistle and I’m not afraid to use it!”). I jump in the pool to assist athletes, jog around the perimeter of the pool to hand out kickboards without giving a thought to my thighs, and can’t keep a damn smile off my face the entire time.
My fear about swimsuits, my anxiety over if my ankles look like cankles, my hesitation to move in ways that might be unflattering… all these things completely vanish when I’m volunteering. When serving others I feel like myself, pure and simple. And it’s positively amazing.
Kelly: YOU are positively amazing!