February 9, 2013

“You have seen some sh*t Mary.” My friend said to me. “And you are still a nice person.” I laughed. I thought about that later again for some reason. Every now and then I stop and I look back at what my life has been, what I have been through. I have seen some sh*t. I have had some really… let’s say… interesting experiences.

I think that’s why I do what I do. Many things have happened to me, to all of us…. that have no explanation. No reason. Make no sense. I could sit at my kitchen table and try to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense. When you go through something (and it could be good or bad) you have this level of energy, and I have to do something with it. I can’t sit and cry and try to make sense of things that don’t make sense.

Often I don’t want to talk about it. I just have to swim through it, or bike through it, or run through it. Or get on my mat and practice through it. I have cried oceans in my goggles. It doesn’t matter exactly what happened… and not all experiences have been horrible experiences. While I have seen some sh*t I have also been blessed with the opportunity to experience the best of the best in this world. And I do the same thing.

When I am swimming, or riding, or running I have a purpose for that. Paces, HR and wattage. But those quickly fall into the background. I move from my heart and being in motion allows me to ride that energy. Even if the session is an absolute disaster….. I feel better for having done it.

Last night a  friend  recommended a book to me called “The art of possibility” and just the title made me smile. That’s what life is…. it’s possibility. Every single day brings a fresh start in some way and every single day there is possibility. That gives rise to hope. If there is one thing I will always have, I will always have hope. My hope has been tested. My hope has been taunted. I have watched things collapse to the ground with my life inside of them and I have also watched things build themselves back up and build me back up with them.

When I get in the pool, get on my bike…. when I am in movement of any kind it’s like my canvas. In my youth I was an artist. I could actually paint and draw and create. There is a painting in my parent’s house… a black and white of my pointe ballet shoes that I painted…. and these days I don’t think I could dip a brush in paint. A life event literally sapped that artistic ability right out of me. Either that or it’ s buried somewhere within me. I grew up a dancer and a swimmer (imagine those shoulders in ballet class) and every now and then…. I wonder if I could dance again. (I am not ready right now).

The ability to express myself through movement has always been what has saved me. Knowing that the abilities I have could be taken from me at any given moment has taught me to appreciate what I have the ability to do…. and to use the platform on which I stand for positive in this world. Not one single day goes by that I don’t thank God for this body and for this life and all I have been able to do with it. As I said earlier our lives are our canvas….  mine is pretty darn colorful and mine is pretty darn full.

Through the things that I do I have gotten to be around the most amazing…. amazing people. One of my biggest passions is collecting people in a way. I want to know you, your story, what drives you, what breaks your heart, what fills you up, what you have survived. We all have a story and it comes with good and it comes with bad. We are where we are now for a reason. And I want to know it. I want to know all of it. What sustains you, what makes your heart beat. What’s your passion?

Sport is my canvas. It’s helped me to survive, it’s helped me to learn, it’s helped me to process. It’s been my greatest therapist, and it’s given me the platform to help others. I know athletes who have much more talent than I do and don’t appreciate it half as much. I would rather my shoes.

Yes… I have seen some sh*t in my day. I think we all have. It’s helped me relate to others, it’s helped me to understand others, it’s helped me to reach out and say to someone else….”I have been there brother.”
It doesn’t really matter what the experience is….. it matters to know we are not alone. No matter what. Life is possibility. Possibility gives rise to hope. And as long as we are breathing….. we are still in the game. We could be down 34-0 with ten seconds on the clock. But we are still in the game.




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