As we’re packing up our house, we’re finding things that we’ve long forgotten about. You know those things that you bring from one house to the next, only to find them again, 3 years later and think “oh yes, I remember that.” Well, that happened this morning, and what Brett found truly changed my life. Enough so that I want to share it with you all, so maybe it will give you the incentive to get out and try something new, to go for a goal, to dream what might be.
Back in my early 20’s, about 10 years ago, I was struggling with a lot. I had graduated college, but didn’t know which direction to go in, I was still battling an eating disorder, I didn’t have collegiate swimming for “protection” (aka-I lost my identity) and felt a bit lost in the world. To most that doesn’t sound like a lot, but to me, it was. Especially having been a competitive swimmer for the majority of my life, and then all of a sudden it was gone was very hard.
I can’t remember where I came across this piece of writing, but I wish I did. I’d like to tell you of that moment where I read it and my world changed. It didn’t, it was a slow and gradual process. But in the end, it did change my life. I took it to heart and slowly made decisions that weren’t the safe and easy decisions. I risked because I did not want to regret. And I am proud to say, that since my early 20’s, I have not had one regret. Everything that happens, good and bad, is meant to happen. We need to learn from our mistakes, change what needs to be changed and not make the same mistake again. As the years went on, the good started to take over the bad. And here I am, about to make another life change, excited for the future, and about to risk again. And no matter what happens, I will not regret it. Only good can come from things, you just need to know how to look at it.
Here are several examples:
1.Dealing with an eating disorder-yes, those years were mentally and physically tough, but it allowed me to see one of my future goals in life-to assist other young athletes in preventing future eating disorders.
2. Starting our tri shop in Oregon/becoming an entrepreneur- it was successful enough to pay the bills, but it wasn’t successful enough to live on. What it did allow was for me to be exposed to the inside world of endurance sports, which ultimately assisted me in getting the PowerBar job.
3. Tearing my hamstring, developing a nerve injury and being taken out of endurance sports for 2 years-this one was tough to see, but it’s now clear. The time I was given away from training allowed me to have time to focus on my family, my career, schooling, become a better coach with more empathy for injury, more grateful for the health I have, and ultimately, lead me to another career.
Yes, there is risk and reward. Risk in order to achieve more. But don’t be foolish, I’m not talking about taking risks where you are risking your health, your family or anything crazy. Don’t go to Vegas and put it all on black. That’s not the risk I mean. Think about what you really want in life, and don’t be afraid to go for it. If you’re in a job you hate, why? Think about what you truly want in life and go for it. If you have passion for something, you can make money at it and be successful. It’s scary at first, but take that leap of faith in yourself. And then if things don’t work out, sit back and think on it, you’re going to see the positive come out of the negative. It might take a few weeks, a few months or a few years, but eventually you’ll see a positive emerge. Don’t let a fear of regret hold you back.
So here it is, I hope it helps you the way it helped me:
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose one’s feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing
They may avoid suffering and sorrow but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live
Chained by their attitude they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom
Only a person who risks is free