Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So What Now?

You're going to think I'm crazy, but if you've been reading my blog for any period of time, and it has taken you this long to come to that conclusion, you're a little slow anyway. Why will you think I'm crazy? Because after the day of the big race, and after I had schlepped (o.k., so it was a fast schlep), and after I had hung out in the hot sun waiting for all my buddies to finish their events . . . I was still up at 5:30 am the next morning; because I just HAD to see the sun come up over Myrtle Beach one time before I went home.

Indeed, after my race, I had found myself stumbling toward the TNT tent in somewhat less than a straight line. I was a bit dehydrated, and in all honesty, it took me about an hour to drink, eat, and rest enough to start feeling excited about what I had accomplished. I started making phone calls and texts, and just enjoying the activity going on around me. For more than an hour, I sat on the barrier near the finish line—observing others as they finished, and waiting for Cathy and Easterlan to finish walking 26.2 miles.

The next morning, as I watched the sky blush with the approach of the sun, I started to consider what would be next for me. This year I've lost more weight than I ever thought possible, I've become more healthy and active than I ever dreamed, and though I've faced some emotional and psychological issues along the way, I'm emerging a stronger person. What is it I want to do next? How do I make it all stick?

Now, I don't know how many of you ever looked at your high school grammar teacher and said, “When am I ever going to use this in real life anyway?” Well, that moment is about to come, if you consider the subject from the teacher's point of view. The first year I taught grammar, I had a cracker-jack 7th grade. They were all SO smart. I knew from day one, if I didn't stay on top of my game, they were all going to make fools of me. The thing that surprised me, was that as I TAUGHT the grammar, I LEARNED the grammar on a more dimensional level.

Oddly enough, I think that's my answer here too. I've lost the weight. I've run the race. I'm learning to live with the occasional panic attack. Now, I want to take what I've learned and help as many people as I can, to accomplish the same goals in their lives. I know what it is to transform on the outside, but I also know that the transformation starts on the inside. I want to be a friend and a mentor, to people who will in turn succeed, and to become friends and mentors themselves.

The sun rose that morning, weightless, into a clear blue sky. I left the beach enlightened, and with a renewed sense of clarity. In my bag, I had seashells for my children. This is my 100th post. In my bag, I have seashells for my children.

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