I often think about what I might have become if I continued ultra-running, and injury had not sidelined my endurance career in 2009. I was on a steady path to run longer and further, and yet God had other plans for me. Within one years’ time, I was set to funnel that addiction into swimming the English Channel in the name of charity. Where might have the path taken me if I was able to continue running? It is hard to think about not ever meeting the amazing people I have in my life today because of that injury. Marathon swimming has become so much more than a sport to me – it has given me a platform to inspire.
The most common question I receive while on the stage is, “what do I think about when I am out swimming, or running, for long hours at a time?” Aside what I have written about that motivates me, I respond back with a different thought-provoking question: “When was the last time you spent a 12-hour period thinking about where you wanted to go with your life?”
One of the best places to take time to yourself, is a campfire in the woods with the full moon shining down. Let your husband, or wife watch the kids for a while – they can switch with you tomorrow night. Give it a try. What do you have to lose? Are you afraid of finding something out that you don’t want to face? Good. Facing what consumes you is the only way to be free.
Today, it seems we never have 10-minutes to sit and relax without something taking up our attention. Life always seems to try and squeeze as much as possible into our day. My athletic challenges are an escape into a solitary environment where I am in control of my mind and where it takes me. The endorphin release is powerful, and it allows me to come to terms with a lot of life’s problems; my own, and ones that plague our society.
Tell your family you need some alone time. Shut off your cell phone, close your laptop and leave the television on silent. Find complete silence. Think about what motivates and drives you in life. Who is it that made the most significant impact on your life? If that person was alive today, what would they tell you? Perhaps it is something that will send a chill down your spine and make you realize there is a gap in your life that needs filled.
We all know the saying, “Don’t take life too seriously – you’ll never make it out alive.” But, I would say that we don’t take life seriously enough sometimes. Ultimately, what drives you to the ‘success’ you want should take hard work, dedication and sacrifice. If there isn’t blood, sweat and tears in the equation, then you need to find a tougher life mission.
Pursue your passions and dreams in life. You have to make time.
I’m tired of hearing excuses – get it done. You’ll be glad you did.