Finding your True North

Call me crazy because I recently signed up and paid to enter a TRIATHLON! I decided to give the SheRox Triathlon a whirl. My friend, Jill, mentioned it to me a few months ago, and I gave it about 5 minutes worth of consideration. She mentioned it to me again on Leap Day, and this time, I gave the notion several days consideration. Maybe it was the wooziness of the extra day in the year or my approaching birthday. I've never competed in anything before. I barely can ride my bike up hill as evidenced by my poor outing last Sunday; the only pool I've navigated across is the rain pool across the street this week; and I've only been running to to catch a bus. However this is all going to change and I'll be cross training as soon as I join a gym to get into some sort of shape to take on this challenge. I feel that something within me has changed over the last few weeks. Part of it is turning 41. Even though I'm already in my 4th decade I feel like I want to accomplish something. I want to do rather than just wish. There's also a great deal of believing in myself and realizing that - YES, I CAN DO THIS (more on a riff of what would you do if you knew you could not fail...) I lost 50 pounds, a major accomplishment and I'm proud of it. I want to continue losing more weight as well as tone up my body and have it be more useful. I find I am discovering a self that I didn't know existed. Call me Sporty Spice - I think I am finding my inner athlete and jock!

About a month ago, a co-worker and I were talking about being true to yourself and doing what genuinely makes you happy. I said that I wasn't and her answer was that of course not because what really makes me happy is food-related work - cooking, writing, teaching, etc. She said it reminded her of an expression her husband always says "You have to find your true north." It exists, you just have to follow that internal compass.

Which leads me to think about all the other things I want to try to accomplish - weight loss being one of them. My neighbor and dog-walking buddy, Michele, and I were talking about her friend Barb, who wrote a book. Barb's book is about her experiences related to her dog Duffy and his impact on her life through. He died and I think the story goes, she wrote a book to help her deal with the grief. Barb is a doer. She takes risks and isn't afraid to look foolish, though I'm sure, she rarely does look foolish. Barb persevered and got the book published. Then she decided to market the book herself and has been successful with the marketing efforts. She's been on local television spots, has gotten a bunch of publicity and will be selling the book at several local stores in Philadelphia. All this because she just Did It. She didn't just say, "Oh, I want to write a book." or "I think I can write a book." She actually wrote the book and illustrated it.

As Michele and I were marveling at her gumption, I'm shaking my head and grinning to myself all the while thinking huh, why can't I do something like that? I can. I just haven't. To which Michele said she once saw a tapestry or hand painted sign in a craft store that said "Sure you can do it, but are you gonna?" Meaning - why bother buying this cute little hand-crafted tchotche when you can make your own? I don't think the question stops here or that the answer is to find an excuse not to do something, or to take the easy, prepared road out of answering the question. I ask myself, why not? Why not try something new? Why not try to complete the triathlon? I am good at what I do - I have to just do it.


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