The CarFax report reads: “Do not buy for any reason. There is no longer any use and purpose for this car. It’s totally written off.”
Despite the obvious condition, a group of salvagers see something worthwhile in these severely damaged vehicles that can produce for them a profit. So, they salvage parts from these vehicles and use them to repair other vehicles or sell them to auto stores.
How amazing that something that seems so worthless has value after all!
Often times we think of bad experiences in our lives as useless, never conceiving that they can be salvaged and used for a greater purpose.
When I went to the swimming pool the first time, the daunting task of plunging 30 feet into a 12 feet deep pool sent fears up my spine. You see, prior to this intense training, I almost drowned before at Virginia Beach and this brought back those memories instantly.
For a swimmer that was no big deal, but for a non-swimmer that was like jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
As a result of not passing the swim test in time for graduation with my division, I was placed in the Temporary Holding Unit (THU) for three weeks. I felt disappointed about not graduating with my division, which I had made a strong connection with during training.
Most of the non-swimmers in THU were discouraged by the countless failures they had at the pool. Sometimes I too felt abandoned and stressed due to the negative environment I found myself in. However, on many occasions, I had to encourage them and myself, to not give up the fight.
My remedial swim instructors were very firm with me during training. They wanted me to pass as much as I did, so they wanted me to make the extra effort.
The training was intense.
We would do rigorous workout activities in the pool that took a lot of energy.
For three weeks, I consistently practiced the back stroke, doggie paddle, and prone float, all designed for me to pass the swim tests as soon as possible.
The swim instructors would always tell me to relax in the water so I can learn the correct techniques which would help me to pass the swim tests.
“How in the world am I going to learn to be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment?" “That’s like a fish learning to be comfortable on dry land,” I muttered to myself.
It was difficult for me to learn to relax in the water because of my near drowning experience, but after a resolved determination to pass the swim test and 44 long trips to the pool, I finally learned how to relax in the water, passed the swim test and was able to graduate.
Similar to the junk cars, how can I extract something valuable or useful from that trying experience?
If I had not encountered that challenge, I would not have learned to persist through trials. That experience taught me that there was more “fight in me” than I thought.
I learned how to adapt to an uncomfortable environment.
On several occasions I felt like quitting, but something in me didn’t allow me to. Instead, I pushed myself to continue pressing forward in spite of the odds against me.
Quitting was not an option because I joined the NAVY to take advantage of the benefits the military had to offer.
Similar to the salvage mechanics, there were valuable gems in that experience that I failed to see while going through it. However, in the aftermath, I discovered renewed confidence and a resilient spirit to pursue my goals in spite of any challenge I may face.
YNSN Mills currently serves on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in Newport News, Virginia. He is a graduate from John Jay college of Criminal Justice with a bachelors degree in criminal justice, magna cum laude. He is currently working on a Master's degree in public administration at said institution. He has published two books entitled, "A Butterfly Restored: 7 Keys to Experience Spiritual Enlightenment" and "A Butterfly Restored: Arise and Shine." He is currently working on his third book entitled, "The Wounded Soldier: A Greater Purpose."