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PRICELESS GEMS

There are so many amazing lessons from this story, I couldn’t help but share it…
(In their honor I’ve created a new Category of stories:  Heroes Among Us)

Kids doing a triathlon

Kids living life to its fullest

Kid having larger challenges than anticipated out on the course…

Marines sweep in and make sure this kid’s dreams come true!

Life’s lessons:

Never underestimate what you can accomplish!

Victory is sweeter when you share it with others!

There’s a reason why Marines look awfully good in their uniforms – it’s because of the size of their heart!

Feel free to add to this list in the comments section…

Check out this story!

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RECOVERING PRINCESS: GOT OVER MYSELF AND JUST DID IT

Ruler of my universe...

Ever notice that sometimes smart people do stupid things? I’m a recovering Princess who’d joined a triathlon team despite my delicate posterior not gracing a bicycle seat in 27 years! Our first journey traveled near the Rose Bowl castle. I sighed hearing that a lap around the kingdom covered 3-ish miles. Having traveled that distance before, I would survive. Turning to leave, I heard “…Six times!” My blood grew icy as I fled beyond the cubicle woods in search of padded pantaloons for posterior protection.

I arrived to the far away kingdom’s border, where subjects warmed up their steeds. I mounted my silvery beast and followed suit. I plotted to ride as far for my first ride, as I could then return to a tub with musical bubbles – celebrating my first ride. The coaches made proclamations then sent us away – sun and wind through our helmets, reveling in the power of our own legs.

What, no shiny streamers?!

As I celebrated one lap and prepared for another, a man waved me down. I realized he wouldn’t whisk me away for a massage, rather he couldn’t let me escape until I knew how to change a bike tire. I cried, flirted and threw around my “First Practice” badge hoping he’d do it for me, but he was unresponsive. Eventually a kind soul came and instructed me while I did the work. After both wheels, I continued my journey! I made it 4-5 laps and returned to the cheering royal tunnel of love.

The coaches asked how I felt. I replied proudly “Tired – It was my first ride!” The coach unflinchingly responded, “You should’ve started earlier.” His sharp tongue cut me deeply but fairly. I instantly knew that doing “what I felt like” wouldn’t be enough. I would reach deep to bring my best to determine whether I sank or swam on triathlon day.

Honestly, I chronically suffer from underlying princess tendencies. Every workout afterwards, I panicked a little at new distances, new jobs, or new facebook accounts. While it seems easier to hire a huntsman to do your dirty deeds, I now prefer to stare down the dragon, arm-wrestle, defeat it, then turn around and help another do the same!

Slaying the beast...

MUSIC SOOTHES THE SAVAGE BEAST

I’m an all or nothing gal. I used to think it was a Gemini thing, then an oldest child thing, an Asian thing, supermom thing, now I know it’s a stubborn thing that needs to be obliterated – all or nothing! I feel the compulsion to cram as much as possible into the day.

When it's too slow, I swear time moves backwards.

My single-mom exercise plan, training for marathons, crammed in as many miles in one day as my sister did in a week. Training with philanthropic teams meant I socialized, gave back and trained at once – sucker for synergy every time! After training for a half-ironman triathlon, I haven’t resumed training regularly again simply because I know I should, would love to, or go mental without it. I prefer jobs where I’m grand central station in a busy work environment to slow, quiet days. Fueled by Stellarbucks, I run as hard as I can til all that’s left to give is nothing. My rationale rationalizes that I’m cramming two parents into one so if I’m taking time away from family, then whatever I’m doing better be big or it wasn’t worth it.

Of course, this mentality commandeered my blogging too. It wasn’t enough to write 365 words a day, I started a blogging periodical collection, spent free time ignoring my book club, instead reading other blogs learning more complicated tricks to drive traffic to my blog, as well as juicy tips of the trade. Tonight I focused on one simple tip to assist me with writing – MUSIC!

Some musicians are more distracting than others...

My system to write at night, about a situation I wandered through that day, got somewhat sluggish. The spigot I tapped to let the creative juices flow got dammed by all the workday newness to absorb. For a while I would surf the social media and pinning boards searching for inspiration, but truly avoiding the fact that I still needed a topic. Tonight, I’m up against my midnight deadline yet again, but listening to music reminded me of how moved I am by it which yielded 3-4 nuggets to polish when significant. It got me to slow down enough to relive memories, listen to lyrics, and not do anything besides sway and occasionally snap my fingers.

PAYING IT FORWARD FRIDAY: GO TEAM! (Click to the right to help now!) –>

In 2007, after finalizing a divorce and launching myself into the rest of my life, I signed up to run the 10th anniversary race through my hometown on my birthday. The race was the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon as in 26.2 miles. For perspective, when we moved worlds away from San Diego out to the sticks in Poway – I signed up to run farther than that.

I have no idea how a marathon got in my bucket list.  I never ran as a kid, except on horseback. Workout programs followed the trends.  In college I ran around the track, while the rugby team practiced on the infield, ending up with shin splints. It was then that I attended an information meeting for a fairly new program called Team In Training.  I didn’t sign up because I lacked the vision beyond myself to see how to complete it. Then, 16 years later, the planets aligned! I signed up!

Team In Training benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and families.  The training program molds you into an athlete and a fundraiser!  It SO thoroughly trained me, that I still remember the night before my marathon. I didn’t worry about finishing; I worried about not making it to start.  Talk about the law of attraction, when I got to the start area, I stepped off a curve, twisted my ankle, got through it and finished anyway!

Courage to start! John "The Penguin" Bingham

Beyond the event, the support I received, the mental arguments I won, and the people I met made it the most amazing experience ever.  I got to train alongside heroes!  Heroes who showed incredible bravery facing their, or a loved one’s, diagnosis, heroes sharing their stories of recovery or recurrence, heroes who blew past fundraising goals, heroes relentless for a cure.  I continue to draw on the endless inspiration from the experience so often that now my kids roll their eyes. I have done several events with the Team since and make such quality friends! If running is not your thing, they have options.  I highly recommend joining the Team for you and for them!