What Lies Within Us

The theme from my high school graduation ceremony came from the forever-famous Ralph Waldo Emerson,

“What lies behind us and what lies before us is nothing compared to what lies within us.”

At the time, I was disappointed with how cliche the theme was and after listening to the quote repeated in what seemed like 4,000 graduation speeches, I never wanted to hear that stupid quote again.  You can imagine my frustration when the quote popped into my head while I was thinking about what I did today.

You see, I signed up for a half ironman today.  Vineman 70.3 will now dictate my race schedule, weekends, workouts, and therefore my life for the next 8.5 months.

For a few years I have enjoyed participating in triathlons.  I did my first race about five years ago after I learned to swim at the ripe old age of 21.  I tell folks that I suffer from “Adult Onset Swimming” and that I am a hydrophobic triathlete.  So why triathlons?  My only explanation is that swimming is the smallest portion of the race.  Plus, after I exit the water (typically in the bottom 10% of my division), I never get passed again.

Back to the quote.  I have done the Vineman 70.3 race before.  In July, 2010, I took to the vineyards of Northern California and took my first shot at the 70.3 distance.  To put it lightly, I sucked it up.  I experienced leg cramps for the first time in my life and I was completely unprepared.  I suffered through painful cramping for approximately 4 full hours.  I finished the event but about 40 minutes slower than I expected and more than an hour after I had hoped.

I signed up for the race again for a little redemption.  I am giving myself an opportunity to prove to myself that what lies behind me (a horrible attempt at a successful race), and what lies before me (another shot at completing this event successfully), is nothing compared to what lies within me (my ability to dedicate myself to this purpose and achieve the goal that I have set for myself).

Preventing the Re-run: Try signing up for something that requires a long-term commitment.  Need an idea? Cooking and photography classes have always been on my list.

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7 thoughts on “What Lies Within Us

  1. You are a powerful woman with incomprehensible possibilities and capabilities. You can do it. The first race was not a defeat, you tried and finished, that all in itself is a victory. Now you are well acquainted with your challenge. You know what it all means. You can succeed! GO

    • I think I may print out this comment and put it all over my house so that I can remember to believe in myself. I read a quote from Joel Friel (a renowned triathlon coach) today that seemed appropriate, “Failure is common, perhaps even necessary. It is not a sign that you aren’t capable. Rethink, revise, and press on to your goal.”

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