"Do one thing everyday that scares you."
This quote is usually attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but it actually is from Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, who wrote those words in 1997.
Eleanor said in 1960, " You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
Kinda sounds like the BHAG, right?
And honestly, I haven't even really thought about the BHAG since they announced that this year would be the last for Ironman Mont Tremblant.
So, I tell you that story, to tell you this story.
I am back working Monday through Friday.
The museums have closed for the season, and even though there is still much work to do, the 4 museums the State Historic Preservation Office operates are not open to the public.
It is a time to regroup, plan for the upcoming season, revisit what worked and what didn't work, and catch up on things that have been put on the back burner while assisting visitors.
This season I spent the last 2 months learning and then covering for a co-worker who went out on maternity. Those 2 months were a lot of fun, a lot of stress, and meant I did not have a lot of time to do my own work.
I have a lot to catch up on.
One of the things I love about the season is having 2 days off during the week. I've written about leading a Women's bicycle ride on Wednesdays the past 2 years. It has been great, and we've had a great time. It will start up again next May.
But, one of the things I dislike is working weekends. I miss a lot of activities with the family. Hikes, bike rides, shopping trips (ha!), I miss that stuff.
Of course, on my first weekend "off", I took off with my friends to run the Vermont 10 Miler in Stowe.
I didn't die. I didn't get hurt (although it was painful). I finished. And I wasn't last.
The following weekend, I took J back to the climbing wall. It had been several months since he had climbed, but he got right up to the top. I didn't push him, but we will be making this a weekly trip.
After lunch, we helped B and his scout troop rake leaves as a fundraiser. After 3 hours of raking and hauling leaves, I was beat.
So on Sunday morning, I took a little time for myself.
I had heard for several months about a biographic film from Netflix about Diana Nyad, focusing on her attempts to cross the Straits of Florida, between Cuba and Key West.
It stars Annette Benning as Diane , and Jodie Foster as her best friend, Bonnie.
I had read Nyad's autobiography, Find A Way, back in 2018. It was one of the things that inspired me to do something crazy...like an Ironman.
But I think the thing that inspired me even more than just the feat itself, was that she did it at the age of 64, after attempting and failing 4 previous attempts. Her first was at 28. The last 4 was after she turned 60.
The movie has inspired me more today than 5 years ago when I read the book. And it is because I am in a completely different phase of my life.
Five years ago, I was the mom of 2 pre-pubescent boys--not even teenagers yet. I had a great job at the local bicycle shop, which afforded me quite a bit of free time to pursue training for triathlons, going into the schools to support my boys, and try new activities.
I also had some nice perks for cycling equipment.
And, I was also a fitter, thinner, younger, non-injured woman.
Today, I have a 40 hour a week job, 2 teenage boys in the throws of puberty, and no where near the free time as before.
I am also a recovering from injury, "larger," older, peri-menopausal woman.
The homones are raging in this household! My poor husband.
Anyway, this morning, while everyone was gone, I put on Netflix and watched Nyad.
It was inspiring, and I believe shows the passion and downright stubbornness when you have a dream so strong. It can alienate you and push away those you love, with your need to see your dream succeed.
To swim, without a shark cage, for almost 60 hours -- 103 miles -- without any "help", other than your guide boat that tosses to you water, and food, and keeps you on track, is crazy!!! She was not allowed to rest by holding onto the boat, or even have someone touch her.
No flippers. No wetsuits. No assistance what so ever.
Now, I'm not saying the BHAG is back alive, but it has given me a little bit of my mojo back.
Last post, I wrote about how I had lost my fire a little. Nothing really inspired me to get off my butt. I hurt all over, I weighed a lot, and I just didn't want to do anything.
Now, I find that reading, and watching these inspirational type stories really helps my mental state. They make me rethink what I am doing, and what I should do. It can give me the push I need to get out of my comfort zone.
Usually, I start to lose my urge in the middle of the summer, and the Tour de France reignites the desire to train and compete.
Not this year.
On our weekend away, my friends said I needed a goal...something to work towards. I told them I didn't. I needed a break. I wanted time off.
Now...maybe not. Maybe I do need a goal.
Definitely not a running race...although I know I will probably do the Vermont 10 Miler again next November.
But maybe something cycling related...maybe something swimming related now that my shoulder is on the mend. Nah.
We discussed a bike trip next fall--we had to cancel our trip to bike the Erie Canal trail. We re-considered the Erie Canal, but then looked at some other options. We discovered something truly crazy. Something that would definitely qualify as "Epic Shit". The Green Mountain Loop.
This 377 mile loop starts and ends in Burlington, Vermont, making a loop south, then east to the Connecticut River, crossing into New Hampshire then heading north toward Canada, before turning west and eventually south back to Burlington. There is 23,000+ feet of climbing!
The trip definitely seems interesting, but even as we discussed it, sitting by the fire the night before the race, I wasn't as excited as I should have been. In fact, I even downplayed it, and thought we should do the Erie Canal instead. (360 miles, and only 4800 feet of climbing--FLAT!)
Yup...my heart just isn't quite where it needs to be.
But after watching Nyad, I am starting to feel the fire a little more. And I think what truly inspired me was watching a middle aged woman fulfill her dream. A dream 30 years in the making.
Inspiration is a funny thing. What inspires one person can completely turn off another. And sometimes, the most unlikely things can inspire you.
Lately, hanging out with B and riding with him, and talking about cycling may just be that "little" thing I needed.
So much so, that I actually got on the bike today during my lunch hour last week. And recently, B and I did an actual gravel ride with others!
Maybe this is the start of something good. Maybe I do need a break...but my friends may also be right.
Maybe I just needed a good inspirational story to prime the pump so to speak.
Stoke the fires.
Get me out of my funk and start to move.
Swimming actually sounds good too. But I don't think I'm ready to go out for a run...yet.