If my years had themes, last year would have been “The year that I did what someone once told me I couldn’t” and this year would be “The year that I did the things that I didn’t even think I was capable of doing.” I know they almost sound the same, but really they aren’t. When I set out on my new life just over 2 years ago, I was determined to do the things that I had always dreamed of doing. I was raised to believe I was capable of doing what ever I wanted as long as I was willing to put the hard work and dedication required… into it. However there was one very important factor that was missing, that I was never made aware of… Sacrifice. At the unmarried, recently divorced age of 31 it has become a reality that I may never meet someone who wants to keep me forever, I may never have children, and my number one concern may always just be centered around my goals, my career, and my genuine care for others. It’s been a hard reality to accept. I don’t take any of it back, I wouldn’t want to change anything. It’s. Just. Not. What. I. Expected.
Dr. Phil says I’m getting dangerously close to an age that put’s me into a high risk pregnancy. Having said that… I haven’t watched one of his shows since then.
Screw you Dr. Phil. But what sucks is that he might be right. He had actual scientific facts to back it up. He said that women in my generation were lied to when we were told we could have it all; an education, a career, a healthy marriage, and babies later in age. Meanwhile, I have friends who have kids entering high school.
But this post isn’t about babies. It’s about realizing that no matter what you set out to do in life, that there is a possibility that you will actually succeed. People focus to much on the downside, they try to prepare themselves for the letdown. I say phooey to that! I mean imagine what you could accomplish if you truly believed you could succeed even at the things you couldn’t even imagine yourself doing. This adage is very similar to the saying, “Imagine what you could do if you couldn’t fail.” but it’s different. When I think of the latter quote it makes me think of all of the hopes and dreams I have had since I was a little girl. The first one is so much broader in thought, I mean imagine how you would feel if you did something so out of character that it seemed ridiculous that you would even try.
A couple months ago my family decided that we should all get together for a family reunion, but being the non-conventional family that we are we couldn’t just have picnic. No, we decided to sign up for one of the most challenging 10 mile long obstacle course mud races in the country, Tough Mudder. The way that I pictured it, we were going to go about 10 miles (easy breezy) and swing on some monkey bars, climb a few walls and possibly swim in some extremely cold water. One of my brothers told me that if I got tired he would carry me (insert princess complex here). Well was I wrong, not only was it 10 miles, but it was 10 miles up and down a ski mountain, I don’t know exactly how many vertical feet I trans-versed that day, but I knew I was in trouble when my good leg, the one that doesn’t have a metal plate and 6 screws in it started to hurt. I was the last one in the pack and patiently every single person in my family waited for me. While my pride wouldn’t let me quit my family knew more than anyone that I was in bad shape. Meanwhile, I was being passed my people with prosthetic arms and legs and I just couldn’t even imagine what it must have meant for them to finish. That’s what got me to the end. The last obstacle was electrified and I was warned at the beginning of the race that if I had metal in my body to not attempt the obstacle (Oh and did I mention I signed a death waiver), but I tried it anyway. The finish line was so close and I wanted to do all of the obstacles. I would like to say that I didn’t get hurt, but I would be lying. My family lined up shoulder to shoulder and we decided that we would all run into the hanging electric wires together, side by side. I do have to admit, I let them get a little head start on me, but it was at that moment that I understood true camaraderie. As soon as I saw they were three jumps ahead of me, I just started running and for the first time in my life I wasn’t running for any reason other than to follow my family. We had all been taught to be independent in our group, but maybe a little to independent in my case. It was refreshing, I smiled as I hit the first wire. I remembered thinking, “I’m with them, every. single. one. of. them” I was so happy. I only had a hundred more feet to go to the finish. I hit the second electrified wire. “That wasn’t that bad,” I thought. Then just ahead of me a spaghetti strand of wires, I moved right to avoid them, only to hit a highly electrified wire with my right shoulder. I felt the electricity run across to my left shoulder and down my leg straight to the plate. With only ten more feet to get out of the obstacle I staggered out and collapsed only 20 some feet from the finish line. I didn’t want nor expect anyone to wait for me. I just wanted to lay down on the ground and cry. (and I’m not a crier). I have never had anything hurt so bad in my life. When I could see again through the black spots, I looked up and above me was my entire family. Not only those that participated, but the ones that waited for us at the finish line. I couldn’t believe it. I know my family loves me, but I didn’t expect it. Standing over me, were my 3 brothers that participated each of them asking me if I was o.k. I couldn’t talk. It hurt to bad. I couldn’t move and I felt really stupid for causing a scene. They kept asking if I was o.k. and I just started laughing and crying all at the same time. I never answered, (maybe cursed a little) until I heard one of them say, “If you don’t answer us we are going to get a paramedic.” That is when I said, “I’m fine, I think, It just hurts, really really really bad.” They let me catch my breath and then attempted to carry me across the finish line, until I begged them to put me down. My brother voiced, “We tried to carry her, she’s too stubborn.”
And isn’t that just life in general, most of the time you’re fine, It just hurts really really really bad. I won’t ever be sorry that I did it. I know I’m a better person because of it. There is something that changes a person, when you think about giving up and you not only push yourself a little further, but you push yourself so far that you didn’t even think you were capable of doing such a thing.
… To be continued.