Monday, March 24, 2014

It Takes Courage

What is courage?  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines courage as ‘the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.’  There is a large variance of what different people think to be difficult on a daily basis.  For some it takes courage to just get out of the bed in the morning and for others it can be as brave as walking away from one life to start new.   Throughout the past few weeks I have worked hard to be as courageous as possible each and every day. 

For me some tasks have been simple and some have been grand.  I signed up for a social media sight for business professionals despite being a bit social media phobic.  I dusted off my high school soccer cleats, met new teammates and headed out to my first rugby game while still being fairly clueless about the game.  I have picked up the phone and called strangers to get advice to help make decisions on my future career.  All these things have forced me out of my comfort zone and to me that is courage.  

 Literally everything in my life is changing and often time’s simple tasks seem overwhelming and daunting.   I have lived in a Training Center for the last eight and with that I have been fortunate to have prepared meals, cleaned bathroom, and many other amenities that have made my life as easy as possible.  As much as I have enjoyed everything that was offered to me at the Training Center I am now left needing to learn simple task like grocery shopping over again.   I am gradually learning to find excitement in each days new adventure and am working hard to take everything step by step. 

Being courageous can be life changing and I believe will ultimately lead to true happiness and success.  I know that each day I am able to leave my comfort zone will help me to find where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do.  I challenge you to find your own courage today and do something that is difficult for you and see how it may change your life.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Throughout the past month I have literally traveled around the world including a 30 hour travel ‘day.’  I have been very fortunate that in each place I’ve gone I have had friends to explore with and stay with.  I have a teammate who teases me because I have been able to meet so many people over the years.  She says it is my gift and explains she sees my love for the sport through the friends I have made.  I had never thought of it this way until recently.

Ironically when I was younger my mom seemed to always worry about me and my inability to branch out and make more than one friend.  I remember her sitting me down and having talks with me about how important it was to have more than one close friend.  I constantly disregarded her urge for me to make more friends.  Now, as I reflect back on my years of bobsled and the friends I made I am so thankful that my mom taught me the importance of keeping good people in my life. 
In each place I have gone I not only have had a place to sleep, but also friends who are willing to do anything they can to support me and to be sure I am happy.  My friends on my ‘tour’ have cried with me, eaten with me, skied with me, thrown up in helicopters with me, eaten more with me, snorkeled with me, sipped latte macchiato’s with me and danced until the sun came up with me.  No matter what things I have missed out on throughout the last month I have gained more experiences than I ever thought possible.  I have been told a time or two that it is not about the end point, but more about the journey.  There are many things on my recent journey that I have grown to appreciate (of course puking in a helicopter is an experience I could I have gone without).   No medal can compare to the people I have met and the places I have seen.  

I have been surrounded by some of the most caring people.  I have met complete strangers who are willing to not only accept me and befriend me, but have gone out of their way to include me and protect me.  I will forever be thankful for the generosity I have experienced and the friends I have made.  I guess as it works with everything it always goes back to the lessons we are taught when we are children.  I was taught to respect myself and others and maybe most importantly I learned the necessity of friends.