A week ago I completed my second ever Olympic Distance Triathlon. In case you're unfamiliar with triathlon lingo, it means, 0.9 miles swimming, 24.8 miles of cycling followed by 6.2 miles of running. Bellingham has had the very popular Lake Padden Triathlon (shorter distance) for years but this was the first annual Lake Whatcom Triathlon. So of course I had to participate and I was even more stoked that I got to choose my bib number. I'm sure you know what number I chose, especially if you looked at the picture already too.
Yes, there in that photo are all of my ribbons and medals from all the 5k's, 10k's, 25k, Half's & a Full Marathon, Sprint & Olympic Distance Triathlons along with my most recent Bib, #11. I don't normally care too much about race bibs but this one is special. This one has my number. I can't tell you how great it was to hear strangers and friends alike calling me Eleven during the race. People who didn't know my name saying things like, "way to go Eleven!" made me smile. Yes, I am an Eleven, my business is called Eleven northwest and my life path number is 11. I've always loved that number as it's repeatedly appeared at distinct moments throughout my lifetime. I was even sailing against a boat named "Goes to Eleven" last Thursday in Bellingham bay. What are the odds? So I'm attempting to figure out how turn the dial up all the way, cranking the volume up to Eleven. Who says we have to stop at 10?
That in itself can be interpreted in so many ways. How do I mean it you say? In all the ways. I'm striving to be the best that I can be. I want to move beyond my fears and reach for the furthest stars I can only imagine in my dreams. That's what I mean. I want to access the untapped potential and really live by my motto, "You have to believe it to see it." I'm working on the believing part, it certainly doesn't happen overnight to change 34 years worth of beliefs built from my life's experiences. But I want to believe that there's more to it and I want to choose what to believe from here forward. More and more science is proving the biology of belief, experiments in the quantum field are demonstrating the power of intention and expectations. Matter follows energy, we are the creators (albeit haphazardly most of the time) because most of us don't realize we are the source of our creations. The creations that show up as "reality" in our lives.
Most of us live our lives on autopilot. We have been trained to think that we don't have as many choices as we do on a lot of very basic levels. And there's lots of reasons for that as well, some good, some not so good, and though I hate to admit, some very very bad reasons. The point is we have to wake up to the fact that no matter how conditioned we have been, no matter where we are at in our lives, we can always choose to believe something different. We can choose to become more aware of how we are living our lives, how our auto-pilot programming is operating and if we decide we don't like the direction "auto" is taking us we can turn it off and take the helm. (Sailor speak taking over, ahem...) In other words we can decide to drive our own car instead of just being the passenger, we can take a right instead of a left more easily when we have our hands on the wheel.
All of it starts with being present enough with ourselves to take responsibility for the lives we are living. If you're happy and life is good, great, keep going, get happier, keep making life better. But if you're not, look deep inside your home computer system and consider upgrading your software that is keeping you locked into the same box doing the same thing. And remember you always have a choice, you have a lot of choices, moment by moment, day by day. The things you think affect the way you feel which affects the way you act and the actions you take and the things you create in your life. Take a moment to really consider this. Life is full of distractions for a reason. A lot of things in life happen for a reason and we always love to prove ourselves right even when we wish we were wrong about something. I know I do, especially when I find myself creating what I don't want, like running down the trail thinking about how much it would suck to step in dog poop and then squish. Aw, shit, why was I thinking about that? Same thing different day, different thing same day... anyway.... the point is to be vigilant and focus on what we do actually want in our lives. Like completing this race in a better place than I did previously.
The first olympic triathlon I competed in I just wanted to be able to finish, so I took it relatively easy and paced myself. I've been taught, "Better safe than sorry". I finished and I wasn't even sore the next day! This triathlon, I really just wanted to finish as well, but I wanted to finish faster than I did last time so I pushed a little harder and I finished faster but I still wasn't even sore the next day. I didn't turn the dial all the way up, I played it safe again. I was still really happy with my finish time and of course I loved not getting hurt from it but I know I can do better. I know I have the potential in me to keep improving in so many ways, if only I can get past my unreasonable fear of getting hurt. If only I can push past my current comfort level, beyond the usual "better safe than sorry" conditioning. Life is about more than comfort and safety. I think often times our capacity for greatness is severely hindered by our inherent biological craving for safety. It's time to push that boundary even if only slightly and a little more each time. That's what I'm working on anyway, if it goes to eleven, I want to see what it's like to turn it up all the way.
Although I do think I'm turning it up more and more all the time, stepping beyond what I used to think was possible. Did I mention that when I went to pick up my race-packet the day before the start, an Ironwoman named Mary told another lady who was wo-manning the booth that I was going to hula hoop during the entire run portion. I'm sure the look of shock & surprise on my face was funny as I was thinking, yeah right, hooping is enough of a workout standing still. I smiled and said "that would be cool but I'm not planning on it". However the seed was planted and with little reminder/suggestion and help from my man Mark, I did hoop and run the last little bit. Apparently I had plenty left in the tank... swim, bike, run, then run while hula hooping across the finish. Uh huh, crazy right? And oh so much fun.
Life is supposed to be fun!
Anyway, I could spend all day writing but I have a painting I want to start working on so I better get to it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful planet with me. I hope you all have a wonderful day.