I think about a lot of stuff, which you know if you’ve read my blog at all. It all flows out of my brain and lands here. It’s sort of how I process stuff. It’s like processing out loud and it’s a little therapeutic. Today I’m thinking about my story, and what I want it to be 15 years from now. Of course, it’s not one of those things where the answer has leapt out. I wish it was that easy.
Here’s the low down as I see it so far. Did all the planned stuff. Grew up in the woods, great family, normal ups and downs like any other family. We were the family that was always doing. Winters, we were skiing. Summers, we were horseback riding in the backcountry, sailing, boating. Bottom line, lots of doing. Not a lot of downtime. And we had a great time. So when I had my kids, I felt like I should always be doing. I wasn’t content to just sit around the house. It made me antsy, anxious, feeling like I was missing out. But I stayed busy doing stuff, just stuff, nothing that really made me happy. Ok, of course hanging with my kids was fun, but there was still more I felt I should be doing.
Then, somewhere in my late 30’s, I found I could ride a bike, a long way, and I was in love. At first, 20 miles was a long way. I thought I’d die. But it got easier, and I kept going. I discovered that I really like to ride a long way, seemed like my body was meant for it. I had great friends and we had some crazy adventures! Overnight bike trips, double centuries, competing, riding with fast guys…things I never would have thought I could do. I meant so many kind, amazing, inspiring people. People who accomplished much more than I ever could, who rode in with me on some of those rides that were tough, encouraging me along the way. Cycling was my passion.
Then life threw me a few curve-balls. So what else is new, right? That’s what life does. Ok, so now what. Well, you adjust, that’s what. I slowed down. I hated it, but I slowed down. But I got used to it and as much as I still had passion for cycling, not spending all day on my bike wasn’t a bad thing. Except, I missed my bike. I missed getting out in nature, in God’s creation. Getting out and exploring, pushing my body, seeing what I can do.
So I started swimming, and I can’t run, but started walking, fast. And if endurance was good for cycling, I’d better do that for swimming and walking. So into the Bay, onto Half-Marathons, Marathons (or, marathon, one…but I’m not done). I don’t know what it is, but I really like endurance events. I love the camaraderie, I love pushing my body, and I love the adventure.
I think today this is spilling out my head because it has to do with my story. At least my story so far. And I don’t know that it matters, but here’s what I think. I think that anyone could do what I’ve done and all that I still have on the list to do. I honestly do. I think too often we self-impose limits on ourselves. We listen to what other people say, or what we say in our own heads, about what we can’t do rather than what we can do. This is where I am thankful. I had my foot amputated when I was 4, and my story could have been much different. But my parents never treated me like I was any different than every other little girl. So all that “doing?” I was doing, I didn’t have a hall pass, I didn’t get out of PE, I did everything everyone else did. And what a difference that made, it set me out on the right course. So it never occurs to me that I can’t do something.
That’s the same challenge I’d put out for anyone else. The only thing limiting you or anyone else is that voice in your head – or maybe it’s someone’s voice – but you can ignore it, that’s ok. And I think I want that to part of my story. I want to find ways I can help shape someone else’s story. Help some other woman believe in themselves and believe that those big dreams they have don’t have to be dreams, they can really happen.