Monday, February 28, 2011

On Being Brave

On a weekday morning I was going through my typical routine.  A gloriously normal day, I poured myself a large cup of Italian Roast coffee and sat down with the morning newspaper.  I came across an article that caught my attention.  The article was about running.  Not just a little jog around the proverbial block.  The writer is aspiring to run a half marathon - yes, 13 miles of running. Now this Queen Mum is all for exercising the body and the mind!  Running, however, is more like torture and, therefore, avoided at all cost.  Any race with the word "marathon" is most admirable but would be out of the question. 

Women's Runner

The writer, by her own admission, is short in stature and out of shape.  She made it a goal to learn how to run and joined a running group.  *QM is admiring all this determination!*  As normal humans might, she was experiencing the inner turmoil of not really being an athlete or a runner.  She felt like an impostor on this day of her first official race of 6.5 miles.  If her other running club members only knew she was a fraud, they would laugh her out of the club.

She was predictably slower than the pack but determined to at least keep them in sight.  It didn't take long to feel the shame of not being able to keep even this small goal.  But she plodded along sometimes just walking rather then running.  Moving toward the goal was more important than doing it perfectly.  The goal was a finish line somewhere in the distance.  All the while she battled the inner voice that repeated to her all her worst fears and short comings.  That day she did finish her first race.  Her running partner was dutifully waiting for her at the finish line, cheering her on to do the one thing that had seemed impossible most of the way - FINISHING! 

Think about YOU for a moment..............not your HMS..........not your children.............not your parents.........not your book club, church, volunteer group..........just YOU.  What one thing are you wanting to do, try or learn that gives you a quivering stomach when you consider it.  Maybe you want to change your occupation, go back to school, take an art class, learn a new language, write a book, film a movie.  You may have it in your heart to start a charity, invent something fabulous, hike the Grand Canyon or climb Mt. Everest.  You may have a terrific business idea just waiting for you to start it all.  I'm talking about the BIG dreams that are lying quietly inside you.  You keep them locked down because that isn't as scary as letting them out where they can be ridiculed.  You won't let them out because they haven't failed if they can't see the light of day.  Somehow it even feels honorable to pretend that the dream doesn't exist.

QM's usually make terrific cheerleaders.  We are all about clapping while YOU run.  Gushing about YOUR latest artistic endeavor.  Being the sounding board for YOUR newest idea.  We are experts at saying, "I believe in you!  You can do it!"  We get comfortable holding our smile and our pompoms while everyone else is on the court sweating.   But there are times when holding the pompoms isn't enough.  You want a shot at playing the game.  You want to give it a try, break a sweat and see if you can make a difference even if it's only a difference that you will appreciate or benefit from.  You KNOW there is this "thing" in you that you were created to do!   The question to ask is are you going to let the "thing" out?


If you were seated at my kitchen table holding your warm cup of coffee, you would hear me say "I believe in you!  You can do it!"  "Let's put some concrete, finish-line goals on a piece of paper and get to work."  Doing nothing gets you more of what you already have.  Are you satisfied with that?  Doing something -anything, even if it is just walking toward a goal is better than just wishing your life away.  If others can, why can't you?  Who ultimately decided that others can succeed while you, only you, will most certainly fail?!?

Here is what our writer had to say, "The only person who thought my goal was out of reach was me."  Everyone else who witnessed her run that day had no idea what kind of discussion she was having with herself as she ran.  They saw a RUNNER not an impostor.  In my QM mind, wanting to run and not running would have made her an impostor.  Pretending to NOT be interested in growing by learning to run would have made her an impostor.   Doing this daring thing made her what she desired to be, a runner.

Women Runner at the Goal Line

She finished the article with a single sentence that deserves some quiet reflection - "I'm ready to run now that I've dumped my biggest naysayer:  myself."  (  Carrie Coppernall)

 "to encounter with courage and fortitude"
  The only person who can contribute your uniqueness is YOU. 

 Let's sip on that for a while..............................................................

I would love to hear from those of you who know what your dream is.  Follow the prompts to leave a comment.  Your posts will be anonymous. Sometimes the first step is just letting the dream out of the box.  Go ahead!  You can take the first step.  Tell this Queen Mum your dream............................

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