Thursday, June 9, 2011

Changing the Challenge, Challenging the Change

The alarm went off Tuesday morning at 3:15AM for the last time--officially. I am certain there will be others, but just not in the frequency of this last year. That morning was not unlike all the others, however. I still woke with a smile, grunted out an effective streamline stretch, and acknowledged that I am still NOT on bed rest.

As I drove to the pool, I did so with a fair amount of excitement about it being the last, but also a little fear and sadness of its finale. I believe that this schedule has truly played an enormous role in my confidence level over the past several months. Virtually EVERYONE has something to say about 4AM workouts, and that alone has made me feel like a strong, motivated, challenged, and deserving competitor.

I will miss those early mornings for the camaraderie of those crazy enough to join me, for the pride knowing that I was well accomplished physically every morning before most people even get out of bed, and for the challenge of telling myself that I could do it every single day.

Perhaps I will just have to find a new way to challenge myself and to seek that radiant confidence that is found most readily in doing rather than thinking.

So far this week has been about recovery from those moments, but also discovery of new ones to come. I am anxiously awaiting new moments of joy and pain and sunshine and rain-- to quote some guys that became the face of unseen voices once upon a time ago.

Nonetheless, I am taking my time to soak in all of the emotion that goes along with the training and looking forward nervously to the preparation of Parapan Am Training Camp soon to take place near the end of June. Looking forward, yet covering my eyes with one hand in fear of those unknown and complicated emotions connected to competition.

My hands can't seem to hide nor console, but that is exactly how it should be. And THIS is exactly how I should feel.

I have never been so nervous and full of anxious fear... yet so extremely happy and fulfilled.

This is exactly what life is all about. Accepting challenges and altering your experience based upon that. Seeking out new challenges when old ones aren't as affective or desired anymore. Living for the challenge of today and hoping for another tomorrow.

I am ready to take on these new challenges and face my fears of moving forward. I live for the challenges that make me feel vulnerable and awkward and uncomfortable-- because those are all emotions that are raw and, more importantly, true. Those emotions, catalyzed simply by the challenge, create more of a life for me than I could have ever imagined on my own.

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