How did I cross the Han River swimming?

May Kim, a Korean student who attends classes with me at the Seoul National University invited me to participate in a particular competition, to swim across the Han River. I liked the idea and I said yes. What I did not know was that this challenge was part of a bucket list, and its one was being postponed years after years.

Me and May after crossing the river
Merey, Nash, Me and Tania

We enrolled at the gym where we swam together a couple of times to prepare. It joined our group Nash, Tania, Paulina, and Merey. We were not very disciplined with the group training but each of us prepared as best as we could to reach the goal. It was three months of preparation.

For May, crossing the Han River had turned into a ghost, because every year she made an excuse to justify her lack. She lost her confidence and did not believe that she would be able to get into. This year there was a social pressure from the group of people who decided to participate with her. That pressure was created by herself because she led the idea and we followed it.

Leadership needs communication and followers. When others -even if is only one follower- join your idea, then, a motivational inertia is created and press the outcome. The followers and the leader press and support each other.

No supporters, no fans with us the competition day, each one focused on their own challenge. The task was individual but a wish for personal improvement was strong enough to create positive vibes between us.

We swam 1,800 meters going back and forth across the river. The time it took was not important for anyone, some ended in 30 minutes and others in 50. The message here is we that we did it, and May realized she could do it and being a leader.

Thank you, May!

Are you happy May?