Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful for the Journey

"YES" please operate on this side because my collarbone is sticking strait up on one side and pretty much horizontal on the other side. I'll take a new one made with a titanium plate & five screws please.

"NO" there is a button over here and you do not want to go into this side. This side is strait and happy. Thanks.

"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough." ~Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon, The Last Lecture.

I loved this book. It was quick reading and it really made me think about things. Leave it to a man that has terminal cancer to remind you about what's really important. Randy reminded me that most of the things in this life that we may think are really really big things, are actually pretty small things so don't sweat them. He also talks about seizing every single moment, because you don't know how many more you have.

December is a really reflective time of year, don't you think? You can't help but recap what's happened over the last year and even over your life. You ask yourself questions like, "What about this year really stood out to me the most?" "What did I do well, what do I want to improve and how can I remember those lessons for the future?" "What experiences changed the way I look at things, changed me as a person, and will now impact my goals over the next year, next five years etc.?"

I'm not really talking about resolutions here. I'm not sure those really exist (or they exist for like A-minute). I'm talking about the way we look at life. What was the most meaningful to me and why? Or even, What mistakes did I make that I never want to repeat, but most of all, what did I learn from them.
Life is a big old ball of hectic craziness sometimes. We're lucky to even HAVE clean clothes, our teeth brushed and food in the fridge at times! Let alone actually be THINKING about things.
Either way, it's a good time of year to do that and it always makes me think about myself, my character and who I want to be going forward so I can suck less and do a little better. I'm not saying I've come to any conclusions at this point, but there are a few things that I do know.
- This year has been hard, way hard and a couple of times when I tried to come up for a quick breath of air, I barely got one before I got pushed back under again.
- I've made other people's lives harder this year too at times, and I want to do better.
- I love triathlon, the people who are in this sport, the training, the mystery of all it all. Not so much about the placing or the times, but the way the sport continues to teach me new things and challenges me as a person, and as an athlete. It's the "QUEST" that keeps us all coming back each year. We're searching for that "perfect race" that usually only happens about 2-3 times in a lifetime. Things go wrong, that's the nature of our sport, but it's the quest that keeps us coming back!
This year someone asked me why I "wasted so much time training" because "it just doesn't make sense when you only have so much time outside of work to be devoting it to something like that." That was a tough one, because I knew right away that person didn't have one ounce of experience in this area to speak from, and they most likely weren't going to understand one bit of what I'm talking about or why I do it. I tried anyway, didn't really get anywhere!
- This year really allowed me to reconnect with a lot of my friends from the YMCA and I've realized how much I really love the people there. They are so supportive, so caring and so friendly (even when I don't want to talk at 6am in the morning!). They are true friends that I can go to with issues, or just sit alongside in spin class and not say a word and yet it still helps me that they are there. They make my training life and personal life so much more interesting and fulfilling and I feel so freakin lucky to have them. Never mind, I don't have any friends (I just talk about them on here so you think I do - fooled you! :)
- I've done things I never thought I could do this year. I traveled to races all over the country solo, learned to fix my bike (in minimal situations), fixed flat tires, drove to places 4+ hours away by myself! Many things that I would not have attempted a few years ago. I really believe triathlon has helped me have confidence in myself and a belief that I can do anything if I trust in my faith.
- Life is good. It's hard, it's unpredictable, and it's a chance for each of us to see what kind of legacy we want to leave behind. I'm not sure what mine is yet, but I'm always searching and when I get a whiff of something that feels right, seems right or just pulls on my heart, I try to follow it.
Those are my thoughts for today. I don't know that they made one bit of sense, but I tried.
It's a wild ride. I'm thankful for the journey and for the people in my life. You make it more meaniful and fun, and I'm not giving any of you up any time soon!!

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