What I Know For Sure – Oprah and me

“I know for sure: Your journey begins with a choice to get up, step out, and live fully.” Oprah Winfrey
I am sitting on a plane on my way to Ironman Mont Tremblant and thinking about what’s next. The 5 hr flight from LAX to Montreal is long and curious. My friends are scattered behind me on a fairly full flight. I’m done watching a Superman / Batman movie (fairly depressing for an action movie). I’m thinking about the future. What’s next this week is the race of my life. What next after that is a big unknown.
I am a goal setting and a planner by nature. I love to think of the possibilities and plan for the next thing to happen. When I committed to doing Ironman in 2015, with my friends last year, I had a huge goal in front of me, and I set a countdown watch on my phone. Everyday I saw the days tick down, it’s at 4 more days. The thing is, I also delayed making any commitments nor plans after August 21, 2016, the day of Ironman. I have been so focused that I couldn’t even think about would be happening after that day.
Now, I’m just a few days away from it, and I know that the day after Ironman will be unknown. I’ve hinted that I want to cook more and play with the kids more, and go for walks with my wife more, race a bit less. But, it does feel very gray and wishy washy.
I bought Oprah’s little book to find inspiration and happiness. Each snippet is a page or two, pulled from her column “What I know for Sure”, which is also the title of the book. Every other snippet has me catching my breath and sighing a little, almost a tear. I read one chapter aloud to my wife and daughter, from the section “Joy”. It was a real tear jerker. Oprah’s friends surprise her with a special treat.
In once sense, this week is the end to my Ironman journey. It has been a choice to get up, step out, and live fully. Each phrase is really what happened with me, both literally and figuratively. In another sense, it’s the beginning of my next journey.
GET UP. I woke up early every morning for a year. Swims, runs, or rides began my day early, usually before 6am, and usually 6 days of the week. I also woke up every part of my life this year. To fit Ironman training into my life, I made my schedule work with my family, my church, and work. I woke up every part of my life to live fully wherever I was. Getting up is committing to a goal.
STEP OUT. A couple years ago I spent a few weeks working out what was important in life. Unique Genius Project was excellent in pulling out of me, what I loved and how I could do more of that. It led me to do a couple concrete things; I chose to start a blog and get more involved with Pasadena Tri Club. Serving on the board of PTC and now doing Ironman are both results of that soul searching time. It was stepping out into new territory and trying things I never thought I could do.
LIVE FULLY. To live fully, is to live without regrets and with purpose. To live fully, is to live in the moment, to be present. For me, that meant, I learned to enjoy the workouts and not feeling guilty about not being at home. I learned to enjoy being at home and not feeling guilty about missing a workout. I enjoyed my time at church to worship and feel God. I worked hard at work to give them my best effort. They say to live in the moment. I feel that moment, when my bike wheels first start to turn, at the beginning of a hundred mile ride. I feel that moment, when the water slides over my back, at the start of a swim. I feel it when I open the door after work, and hug my wife and kids.
Building something every day is my satisfaction. At work, I’m an engineer. I build things and that feels good. At home, I build a family and a home. It’s not all the plates you have to spin that makes you worried or tired, rather it’s the plates you get to spin to make a beautiful life. My kids are start school this week. My daughter starts driving lessons. My son starts high school. My wife starts carpools and lunches. Living life fully is being happy to be there, right there.

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