The sun crept over the horizon, the mist and fog cleared and there it was, the water in which I would swim in very shortly. The hustle and bustle of the already arriving athletes greeted my ears. Anticipation continued to rise in my stomach, reaching my ears.
I barely slept, and couldn’t eat anything when I got out of bed in the early hours of the morning. Nervous couldn’t even begin to describe how I felt about taking on this feat.
This idea, this dream, this goal had been taunting me for years. Even before I accomplished other feats of athletic strength that I had discovered after college, I had known that this was something I wanted to do someday. I had written into my bucket list years ago, thinking it would be fun to try someday.
This someday was here.
I watch others arrive with their own cheer squad, as I unloaded my bike and gear from my car. I didn’t bring anyone with me, which in the end was something I needed. I needed to do this one on my own.
On my own, for someone who seeks approval and looks to others to define who I am, is a hard thing. But I needed to do this hard thing. I needed to prove it to myself, that I hadn’t let myself fall too far behind where I wanted to be.
As I walked through the body marking station and set my bike and gear up, I took in all that was happening around me. Women, all shapes and sizes were setting up their gear. The pro athletes, the groups of friends, the young girls, all seeking to tackle this course. A different kind of energy infused the transition area, an energy that can’t be found many other places. The kind of energy that comes from doing something out of the ordinary, the something that isn’t for everyone, the something that pushes your body past what you think it can do.
Sure, I had run races and done hard things in the last 6 years of my life, but this was the one thing that I knew that would show me what I was made of. This gave me a chance to redeem a very hard summer.
For me this was more than a race, it was marking point in my life.
See I had just spent the previous 2 weeks laying on my couch in a depressed state, angry that I didn’t have the summer break I used to have, mourning the changes going on in my life. Some good, some hard, but changes none the less.
I slacked off in my training, too sad and lethargic to get out in the heat and train. I was tired, spent from a hard school year and harder year emotionally. God has wanted to do stuff in my heart and mind and I had been running, because I know that what he wanted me to surrender was not going to be easy. Putting down dreams and hopes even though you know that your God is faithful is still a hard thing.
This event has become a pivot point. I want to choose to live differently than I have before this time. I want it to be a moment that I told myself “enough” time to move forward, to take steps toward where God has me headed.
So that morning as I got out of bed, earlier than I had in 2 months, I faced a big goal and some ugly demons in my head. I couldn’t have just not done it, not shown up, telling others that I was injured and not prepared. But that isn’t how I roll. I was going to do it.
And…I am glad I did.
During the triathlon, I biked past women cheering others on, shouting encouragement up hills and towards the finish. I ran with women who were ready to give up. People I didn’t know shouted my name and gave me cheers to keep pushing myself further.
So friends, I write to speak out about doing hard things, about pushing yourself to not settle in with the demons, to give yourself the chance to prove yourself wrong. More than anything to wake yourself up from a stupor that comes from wallowing during hard seasons.
I am not an expert, I don’t have it all together. My Instagram feed lies to you, because I choose not take pictures of the days I don’t get off my couch. I often fail and skip workouts and run from hard things. But I know that on the other side is a better day. After mistakes and failures there is a moment when you can just start over say, “Today, I begin again.”
Today is someday, I can start over and begin the ascent from the valley, to move toward a better day. Not to say it is easy or without challenges, but that when we put one foot in front of the other, you will continue to move forward. Friends, choose to move forward. Choose to take a step, just one step at a time. Eventually, you will find yourself on the other side of the hard thing, the someday you didn’t think would happen.
So friends, what is one hard thing you have been putting off to someday? (Maybe yours isn’t physical, but emotional.) What is one step you need to take to get there?