Two Simple Words

2 Mar

When I was in the midst of all my training, when all I did was eat, sleep and breathe running, when my goal still lay out ahead of me and I was still reaching for it, I had a secret fear. And this fear was in my mind in the form of a question, two simple words:

What’s next?

This fear went against everything I was trying to teach myself- don’t worry too much, don’t think so much about the future, and certainly don’t worry and think too much at once. But still, I couldn’t help it. This fear was real. I brushed it aside, I didn’t dwell on it, but it rose to the top of my mind every now and again. I couldn’t help it. What WAS next? My triathlon goal had a very concrete date- on July 26th I was going to be a triathlete (I didn’t allow myself to question this. It was not a question. I was going to do it). But what would July 27th be like?

I’m sure this fear is understandable. When you focus your life around one thing, and that thing is suddenly, seemingly over….what do you do? I didn’t know the answer. I didn’t think the triathlon defined me, but for the moment, I was defining myself by that goal. It was what I talked about when I saw people who I hadn’t seen in a while. It was what I talked about with the people I saw all the time. It was the biggest thing in my life. It almost WAS me. What would I do without it?

What’s funny is, while I usually tell everyone in my life everything, I never admitted this fear out loud. I don’t think I wanted to let it out in the world; if it was only in my head it wasn’t as real. If it was only in my head I didn’t have to answer the question.

What’s funny is, one day someone gently asked me this very question: “What’s next?”, two words that exposed all of my hidden fears and my answer: “I don’t know”, wasn’t as scary as I’d thought.

What’s funny is, as we continued on in this conversation he asked me what my biggest hope would be. And I said, I couldn’t help it but even after everything my secret daydream was that my Prince Charming would be waiting for me at the finish line.

What’s funny is, the person I was having this conversation with was James. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was my prince. And he was indeed waiting for me at the finish line.

What’s funny is, this whole experience has made me realize that the question “What’s next?” is nothing to be afraid of. It works out in ways you cannot imagine. But it works out.

Something I’ve understood from the start was that nothing in life is predictable. You never know what’s next. But what I’ve learned is, you’ve got to have faith, you’ve got to believe in better days ahead, in the life you can create and the life you can’t, in the possibilities of the future.

I am not naive enough to think this means nothing will ever go wrong, that everything will always be perfect. No. But I believe in the magic of the every day and I can find the beauty in the life around me.

Even though there is too much stress lately and not enough hours in the day, even though there are angry clients and cranberry juice spills on beige carpet and a pile of laundry that threatens to overtake the bedroom that’s only slightly larger than the pile of bills, I still look around and see so many great things happening.

Babies are growing in the bellies of three of my girlfriends– women who are fabulous, women who will make great mothers, who will make the world a better place by raising children who will be beautiful people in every sense of the word. There are smiles on the faces of people whose smiles had been gone for far too long. There’s friends, and family, there are birthday parties and engagements. Love seems to be everywhere. There is music, and dancing. There are so many great moments that none of us could ever have known were next.

And yes, throughout it all, there is running.

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One Response to “Two Simple Words”

  1. 電腦 March 8, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    你的部落格不錯哦,我來享受一下~~ ........................................

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