With the weather getting warmer, I wanted to share a story. It’s a scary story.
One day, a couple of years ago, I was out for a run, lost in thought, when suddenly a flood of ideas came pouring into my head. Ideas that I wanted to include in my upcoming speech.
So, I decided to cut my run short and quickly jot them down on my phone before I forgot. I figured I’d just finish my run later.
As I walked up the driveway, I couldn’t recall where my phone was. I checked the kitchen where I ate a smoothie bowl—nope, then I checked my office—nope, then I checked the couch, even in between the cushions—nope, darn it. I had no idea where it wa--
Ah-ha! I saw it on the patio table.
As I made my way outside, I saw my kids swimming in the pool with my nanny’s kids. I wasn’t concerned because just last week, I asked my nanny if her four kids could swim, and she assured me they could. So, the kids were having a blast, you know, free swim and all.
I love the sound of children laughing and playing so I sat down on the patio and grabbed my phone off the table. I started to jot down my notes.
In my peripheral, I see my nanny jump into the pool fully clothed. That’s weird.
I assumed they were playing some game, so I continued typing.
But then I heard her frantically calling for one of her kids, and I saw her desperately trying to reach the deep end. I looked in and saw her child was at the bottom of the pool.
I jumped in, not realizing the weight of a drowning child. I struggled to bring her kid to the surface, but I eventually managed to swim to the shallow end, hitting the child's back seven times until she vomited water, and I knew she was alive. That was nearly too much to handle, but then I noticed that my nanny was drowning too.
I swam back to the deep end to rescue her as well.
The whole thing happened so quickly, in just a minute and a half. And to this day, none of the ten people by the pool that day knew what had happened. No one saw it.
That day was crazy, and it's a memory that will stick with me forever. It was a lesson learned—and the fact that so many kids drown each year is a reminder of how important it is to be vigilant. Swimming ability can change in an instant and it's not enough to simply ask someone if they can swim.
Trust, but verify. You must always have eyes on the pool and be prepared for the worst. And I've found that the pool in this story is a metaphor for many things in life and in business.
Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend, and remember, safety first!