The pictures noted in this blog are from two of my most memorable wins during my pro triathlete career. I didn't rack up a lot of wins, but there were a couple that will always stay in my mind.
The sheer joy is pretty apparent from my smile. Now, as a coach, I get tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my skin when I watch an athlete that I work with cross the finish line with a smile. I know about hard work, sacrifice, fighting the head-doubting demons, physical and mental struggles with injury, set-backs and having to take time off. I'm aware of the time and effort (on many levels) it can take just to get to the starting line (which is a victory in itself). I know the question, "why am I doing this" that can go through the heads of some athletes as they nervously and anxiously await the start of a race. I know how hard it can be to push the limits of your body and to talk yourself through to the finish line. I know what it feels like to "be on" in a race - when all systems are firing well, mentally and physically. I know how putting yourself out there and going for something can make you feel vulnerable - especially when people are watching and have been part of your process. I get HOW SWEET IT IS to feel the payoff from hard work and a long stretch of focus. I'm here to say that it's worth it folks. It's worth the smile, the joy, the chills, the moment of crossing the line and the inner celebration buzz that makes memories. It's worth the setbacks too - and they are part of any process that matters.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, change your life, change your relationships, win a race, finish a race, or live out a passion - I SAY GO FOR IT! See the smile on my face? That's what the payoff of sticking to your goals looks like. My goals have long since changed, but I still focus on challenging myself often and in ways that do take me out of my comfort zone and that push me to reach. It's called living! Try it! Live out your life without regrets of wishing you had tried something scares you, knowing it could very well result in personal growth and opportunity for positive change.