I find myself tonight thinking about risk. Any time we take healthy risks we grow. It feels good when we challenge ourselves. About three years ago I took a risk and started running. Now this may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but for me, running was a big challenge. I never liked running long distances, even as a kid. In third grade I used to cry after we had to run the mile. I know, sounds silly, but it’s true. But when Josh did the 3K with his 3rd grade class, he asked me to join him. At first I cringed at the idea. How stupid was I going to look when I passed out after one lap around the track? How silly was I going to feel as other parents passed me by? But after I ran and walked the whole thing I made a goal to be able to run one mile with no stopping and not requiring anyone to perform CPR on me. And so it began, that summer I started running everyday. I would run a little bit and then walk the rest and then the next day I would run just a little bit further. While I was challenging myself physically, I decided to challenge myself emotionally as well. Often times we are more willing do challenge our self physically while hiding emotionally. I decided to challenge myself in ways that would help move me forward in my career. So everyday I would run, and every time I ran further I would feel more successful and more powerful. I was doing something I never thought I would do, and as I felt the power building with in me I would channel it toward my goals in my career. Feeling confident I began to envision myself taking steps I had been afraid to take. And then I would challenge myself to actually go at take those very steps. It was really cool to see my progression both physically and emotionally at the same time. Everyday I ran a bit further and every week I was boosting forward in my career. Ya see, the career path that I have chosen involves a fair amount of risk, well, if I do it the way I believe I am supposed to anyway. I mean yeah, I could work real hard at trying to find a pedestal to climb up on and regurgitate the knowledge that I have learned, pretending to be some all knowing super hero, but I believe there is much more to it than that. I believe to be a good and effective life coach or parenting instructor I need to be real with my clients. I need to put my heart into my work and be me. Now you may ask, how is just being yourself a risk. I know, like duh, who else would I be. And then I would ask you this question. How often are you, YOU. If you think about your days think about how many times you didn’t give your opinion for fear of rejection, or think about how many times you reacted in protective mode throwing up your walls so no one would know you care what they think. You may even have gone as far to convince yourself that YOU don’t care what they think. I believe being your true self is one of the greatest and most rewarding risks you can take.
So anyway back to the running. It was so cool to watch myself progress both physically and emotionally at the same time, and most importantly progressing as a human being.
When I run I like to listen to music. There is this one particular song I listen to every time I run. I usually listen to it at the end of my run when I am pushing myself to keep going even though I feel I am going to pass out. The name of the song is Fighter by Christina Aguilera. As I would listen to this song I would give value to all my struggles. I would feel the ache in my legs and the pain in my lungs knowing if I pushed through, what an accomplishment it would be. If climbing Mt. Everest were easy, where would the reward be? And just as I gave my physical struggles value, I also would take the time to appreciate my emotional struggle. The moment I took a risk an accepted my adversities was the moment I became stronger. So every time I listen to that song it I say, thank you trial for what you have taught me, and I continue to fight to move forward. I no longer cower to fear. I no longer take a victim stance feeling as though I am not good enough or I have been wronged by others. I fight for my freedom. My freedom to by myself and to do great things.
Here are some of the words to the song…
After all that you put me through,
You think I'd despise you,
But in the end I wanna thank you,
'Cause you've made me that much stronger
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter
Obviously, those aren’t the only words to the song, but those are my favorites. I ended up running a mile on September 11, 2008. I still remember the excitement I had that day! I was then able to run the whole 3K that following summer at the 8/80 days run in Springport. My son Josh beat me by a mile, but it still felt great knowing I did it.
As far as my career goes I finished up my certification, and absolutely love teaching the parenting classes in Lansing and Jackson. It feels great to be passing on principals that have helped me so much.
Well, those are just some thoughts that were on my mind.