Okay, I hope you’re all not sick n’ tired of reading about my upcoming triathlon…
Cause to be honest, I kind of am myself.
I’m sick of talking about it. Sick of writing about it. Sick of training for it. Sick of being terrified of it. Sick of envisioning myself staggering out of a cold lake to run up a steep hill, throw my shoes on, and jump on my bike for the next nineteen rolling miles. Sick of wondering what the temperature of that water will be. Sick of being so swayed by other people’s experiences of triathlons and marathons and their opinions of what I can or can’t do. Sick of thinking about what to eat the night before and the morning of. Sick of sore muscles and feeling utterly exhausted.
After kindly listening to my latest apprehensions, two people in the last week have asked me… ”Is this really something you want to do?“
Like my friend Grace pointed out, that’s a lot like asking a woman who has been in labor for thirty hours straight and has only dilated to three centimeters if they want an epidural.
I’ve reached that grueling part… you know, where the end is in sight, but the end is perhaps the most frightening part of the journey, and you’re just not sure you’ll live through it. It would be so easy to just let it go. Afterall, sometimes quitting is the best decision. Sometimes quitting takes as much courage as persisting. Maybe I didn’t know what I was getting into. Perhaps my priorities have changed. Or it’s entirely possible that I’d be better off doing or focusing on something else.
Seth Godin calls this “the dip”… he defines it as the “long slog between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.” It’s that place where we must decide– is this a dead end, or is it merely a temporary setback? Is it time to stop, or is it time to keep going? Do I need to move onto other things, or can I push past this and reach for my own magnificence?
Given the opportunity to quietly back out, even under the grand guise of self-honor or disappointed over the fact that I’ll be missing a friend’s wedding the day of the race, there’s some part of me that won’t let that happen. It must be the WILD. It must be the slightly-crazy-but-saner-than-sane, sweaty browed, frizzy-haired animal in me, gnawing at any sense of reason I thought I had.
And thank goodness for her.
Because if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t even be questioning what I’m capable of. I’d be playing it safe. I wouldn’t be caught dead training for a triathlon or writing a book or leading circles of women back to their untamed, creative roots.
If it weren’t for her, I would worry about what other people thought about my hairy legs, my sinkful of dirty dishes, and my occasional niggling need for reassurance.
If it weren’t for her, I’d hardly remember that every day holds a new promise, a new beginning, and a chance to let go of yesterday.
If it weren’t for her, I’d melt into a sense of mediocrity, and probably be fine with that until who knows when.
She knows that there’s something on the other side of this worth all of the trouble, the angst, the heartache, the distraction… something I’m not sure I can understand or put into words in this moment. She knows that this is simply one teeny tiny step in the long journey of reclaiming my moxie. She knows that the moment when I cross that finish line, or even if I don’t cross that finish line, that it’s not the end… that whatever is gained by this experience is simply an extension of my willingness to evolve, and will spread vibrancy and possibility like wildfire into all other areas of my life.
So I will trust her. I will keep on keeping on for the next 18 days, and then, with her help, I will show up and outshine my own limited self-perceptions.
When you feel like giving up, never… ever… forget your WILD.