Do you settle for second best in your life and your relationships? I remember the first time I read the quote above. It was quite early on my spiritual journey. There were 2 things that struck me about the quote:
The person being quoted was Michelangelo which translates to Angel Michael- this led me to learn more about this incredible artists’ life
I got present to how many times I aimed low
I have been curious about trying a triathlon for a couple of years now. I never investigated it because I’m not a strong swimmer and I’ve just started cycling and running more in the last year. Yet, something about triathlons always spoke to me.
Then my yoga teacher told me about Wanderlust Toronto. A mindful triathlon that involved a 5k run, 90 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of mediation. I was willing to take that on.
I shared this even with others, and soon there were 8 of us going. We each set a goal for the event. Me and a couple of others wanted to take it on full out. And the others set the intention of showing up and trying their best. They gave themselves permission to complete the triathlon on their own terms, in a way that resonated with their body.
The event was more about community than about competition. The triathlon took place on Saturday, and for those who live in the Toronto area, you will remember that it rained pretty hard over the weekend going from a light drizzle to a complete downpour over 36 hours.
All 8 of us showed up on the weekend, constantly looking at the skies, wondering when it would begin to rain. Four of us started the race and the other four (all of whom had declared that they wanted to show up) decided that they were not prepared to get wet, and didn’t want to potentially get sick. So, honouring their intuition and their personal goals, they decided to leave. (note: I’m not knocking their choice- these ladies are up to huge things in their personal and professional lives, so I honour them choosing what was right for them in that moment).
Of the four of us, I was the third to cross the finish line. It was an interesting journey. I had been training for this run. I knew I could run 5 k, yet only a short while into the run, I was running out of steam. Then I realized the problem was that I was overheating. I was dressed in layers in anticipation of the rain. Darn it- I wish I had peeled them off before the race and left it all in the coat check.
Once I tied 2 layers around my waist and took my winter buff off, I felt like I could run again.
Then I got tired again… man, this was the longest 5 K I had ever run- I can run 5 K, even with a couple of short breaks, in about 40-45 minutes. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed. I overheard some other participants commenting that we had already been running for 45 minutes and there was no end in sight.
Then, the heavens opened up… wow! I was sure glad that I had all of those layers with me after all! I found shelter and put 2 layers back on- a fleece and a raincoat, so I wouldn’t get chilled. I also put my winter buff on, so the cold air wouldn’t make the core of my body cold.
Other runners made make-shift rain coats out of garbage bags, and others waited it out under a tree.
I ran and did my best to avoid the biggest puddles.
As I came up to the last 100 metres of the run, I was joined by my friend Carol, who lives big. She ran the end of the race and crossed the finish line with me (she had finished the race a few minutes before me).
And boy, did it ever feel good to cross that finish line.
The yoga didn’t happen. They danced a little and I don’t know if they got a break in the weather to do the meditation. We were wet and getting cold and celebrated our accomplishment and decided to call it a day.
I was so elated, happy and proud of myself for sticking it out and accomplishing what I did. (I still feel giddy about it!)
I am so glad that I aimed high and while I wasn’t able to complete the triathlon, I completed the most important chunk for me. I took on a bigger goal of running and tuning in to my inner athlete (a term that’s on my spring board- a vision board with a twist). I am so glad that I didn’t settle for second best. I am so glad that I still went for it even though I could have left with the others. I’m so glad I’m still delighting in the success of what I accomplished.
What do you do in your life- do you aim high and be conscious of who you are being to achieve your results, or do you set easy goals because you know you can easily reach them?