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Nov 21

Destination: Dowling Ave

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

0839_i94_wb_nearexit228As a twelve-grader I was, I was a “survivor.

I survived, not in a life-and-death manner that some do today, but as an endurance test.

Spanish class was my least favorite class, so it was there that I tested my endurance the most.

Since I was already watching the clock, I decided to see how long I could hold my breath. “Go!”
– More than 45 seconds
– A minute
– 75 … 90 … 100 seconds
I was silently feeling so proud when I finally made it to two minutes.
The best I ever did in high school was 2:04. I was so proud, and breathless.

That Was Then This Is Now

As an adult I seldom thought about those childish days, but one day when my family held our breath through Minneapolis’ Lowry Tunnel I was reminded of my old standard.

I held my breath from the south side of the Lowry Tunnel almost to West Broadway. That day it was a two minute drive. Memorable, but not remarkable.

The next time we took the same drive I tried to make it passed West Broadway, I did, barely. Google maps confirms that it was 2.6 mi, 3 mins. Diaphram-aching and foolishly I did it, but it was a foolish effort at endurance, because I was driving.

The next time we made the same drive, I had Amy drive. Inhale deeply. Exhale deeply. Repeat. I held my breath. From the south side of the Lowry Tunnel I held my breath. Diaphram-aching. I was starting to get dizzy. I was determined to make it well past three minutes. I wanted to make it until Dowling Ave. It hurt so bad. I had Dowling in my view. I could read the sign. WHOOSH! I exhaled. I couldn’t make it.

I’ve never gotten that close again. I was so disappointed I never even figured out how long I had held my breath, until now. Thanks to Google Maps I know that it’s a 4.3 mi, 5 minute journey. Even if Amy sped a little, which she doesn’t often do, I probably made it to four minutes.

That Was Then This Is WOW

I was proud of myself. I beat my record. Take a look at this “breathless feat.”

“Don’t hold your breath for this record to be broken any time soon. With a world-record time of 22 minutes, a Danish man can now once again proudly proclaim he can hold his breath underwater longer than anyone else. In an attempt to top his own spot in Guinness World Records, Stig Severinsen managed to hold his breath for an astonishing 22 minutes flat.” 1

I was proud of my accomplishments. It was “the best I could do.”
I had no idea that the benchmark was so much greater.

I think most people are that way, they try, and try, and try, and get discouraged.
Then they settle for their previous success like I did.

Mysilentscream for you and me is that we heed the call to boldly go for it; stretch, strain and succeed.

Note: After I completed my first draft I saw a tragic news report. Nicholas Mevoli was attempting to set an American record in a deep diving competition this weekend. While attempting to reach his goal he sustained an injury. Fox Sports reported that efforts to revive the diver were unsuccessful. If you pray, please pray for Nicholas’ family, friends and fans as they grieve.


1 – Reproduced with permission from the editors of World Magazine: Issue: “2012 Daniels of the Year,” Dec. 15, 2012

2 – Photo Credit

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