Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cotton Row 10K-Take Five...Better than Decent (part 2) I was saying in part one, a friend asked me how I did after the race and I said, "decent".   I may have added the part about this being my second worst CRR10K ever.  I think my friend marinated on that comment because a couple of days later I got this email:
I don't know what your IMLT finish time is, don't care, never will.

When I was in the Georgia marathon, back in March, several times I would
think "I'm tired". Then, I'd remember "Dana did one of these, after
biking 100+ miles. I can do this."

Same thing when swimming 2.4 miles in Chattanooga.  "Dana did this, and then
rode 100+ miles, and then did a marathon. This swim is EASY. "

So, quit worrying about your finish time. I know you are.

2015 IM Chatt will be difficult, and you don't need to be stressing
about finish times, that will make it difficult, and no fun. Don't let
finish time suck the joy out of your training.  A day will come when you
cannot complete an IM. Heck, a day will come when neither of us will be
able to do a 5k. So, rejoice NOW, and enjoy the opportunity to
swim/bike/run in God's creation.

(visualize Billy Graham thumping on the podium)

And you didn't do "decent" in Wet Dog. You kicked butt. I was THERE, I
HEARD you yelling when you saw the results.  (Side note-I screamed like a 3 year old that just got a pony for Christmas!)

You represent the "common man". You are the athlete for the 99%. You're
not the high school track star. You're not the collegiate swimmer.
You're like the rest of us. And you succeeded. Home-town girl done good.
Don't act like 2nd place is "decent", it is awesome.

One of the definitions of "decent", according to Webster, is "adequate".

(Thundering voice) IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN?!

(visualize wiping forehead with handkerchief, taking a breath, the crowd
is in shocked silence)

Brace yourself: When you say you did "decent", you are distancing
yourself from the rest of us, who would LOVE to get 2nd place in age
group. Really? Don't want to hang out with us anymore? Think about it:
you have athletes who are just trying to COMPLETE a triathlon.  They are
reading your blog. What do you say to them, in next-to-last place, that
they did "less-than decent". No, you would tell them that they rocked.

REPENT!    :)

Now, please stand as Brother Bob leads us in 'Just As I Am'

Let me say...this was an email God intended me to get at the exact moment I got it.  I had just finished physical therapy for the day and was lamenting over being "so weak" and thinking "WHY ON EARTH CAN'T I GET STRONGER?!" and even "I JUST NEED TO QUIT TRYING"!!  I had been ruminating over my finish time from Monday's race training run.  When I got this I just started crying.  I would never tell anyone who had given an effort they were "decent".  (And to be clear--anyone who starts a race gives an effort...anyone who starts to train for a race gives an effort...anyone who gets off the couch gives an effort---it's all relative, but it's all en effort!!)


I must have read this email 25 times (I've only had it a couple of days, I'm sure I'll read it hundreds of times more).   I thought I was getting better about this pattern of thinking but have somehow slipped back into it.  (Maybe I never really got out of it?)

I can't say I did awesome.  I can't say I am proud of how I did Monday.  I can say I did better than decent.  I can say I'm really glad I did it.  I can say I accomplished the goal of the day.  I can say I am getting stronger (even when I don't feel like it in any given moment*).  I can say my measuring stick is ME.  I think that's the biggest reason I can't say anything I ever do is awesome, because I generally hold something in reserve, hold back, don't try my absolute hardest.  I'm only letting myself down when I do that.  And, maybe I'm letting other people down as well.  One of my favorite quotes says this:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"     (emphasis mine)

So, if the inverse of this is also true, when I don't let "my" light shine (God's light through me), I'm unconsciously telling other people they don't have permission to shine either...   That's plain crazy!  
I know I don't want to live in a box, and I certainly don't want you there either!  So, go shine your light!

Read about this sculpture here.


((*My doctor warned me about evaluating how I'm feeling in a moment-by-moment or day-by-day manner.  He said to ONLY evaluate my progress on a MONTH-BY-MONTH basis.  So I try to ask myself, "am I stronger today than one month ago?"...CERTAINLY unequivocally YES.  So the next time I whine about not getting stronger I will remember this email and REPENT!))

1 comment:

  1. Well said!

    I've read your post several times, things I need to learn.

    The words from Williamson and the "Freedom" scultpure express, so eloquently, what your friend is saying. The sculpture is beautiful!

    btw, there is a poster of the sculpture, available from here:


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....