Let your light shine!

“Is that you Myssie?”

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I had just gotten out of the pool and finished my run/swim brick when I saw an old friend and greeted him with a big, wet, sopping hug. It had been a few years since we had talked and caught up quickly under the beating sun by the pool.

“I was worried for you for a while. Just a few years ago you were on top of the world in Real Estate and at Rotary Club.” He beamed a huge smile when he said that.

“But then it was like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. And you bounced back. I see it every day but you probably don’t. You have touched so many people with what you have done. Don’t ever forget that.”

He went on to tell me that he’s heard of so many women who had similarly taken a back seat to their family once they reached a certain age or pivotal point in their lives. He also said that those same women saw what I was doing and challenged themselves to attempt their own similar goals regardless of their age or athletic background. His words were so validating to the laps I had just finished and the goal that swam around in my head. THANK YOU PATRICK!!!

Most of my life (with the exception of my pageantry years), I sat on the side lines in the stadium stands cheering on those I loved and taking photographs of them doing awesome physical feats. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be doing what I’m doing today. I am lucky – seriously lucky – that I entered this journey with some highly experienced athletes that had incredibly generous, patient hearts. They understood my personal goals. They respected them and never once tried to alter them. They were MY goals.

I had a goal many years ago to become Miss Texas and then Miss America. I was fixated on it. In four years, I entered 22 pageants and won or placed finalist in 20 of them. The only 2 that I didn’t place or win was Miss Texas. I was really really good at winning. I was uber competitive. So much that I became another person. I was constantly checking out the other competition, reviewing their stats and videos, finding their weakness and making that my strong point. I became that wicked evil girl that pageant reality tv shows spotlight for the drama and ratings.

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And that really wasn’t who I was but it was quickly who I was becoming. Thank goodness for Julie and Noe who both sat me down and opened my eyes about their friend they missed inside of me. Noe’s words in the courthouse parking lot will forever echo in my head… “Why are you ALWAYS comparing yourself to them?”

I aged out of pageantry, retired and hung up my heels but went on to “train” countless winners successfully with that lesson in mind. “Don’t compete against the others. Compete against yourself. Make yourself a better person.” And that’s exactly how my pageant trainees won.

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These women didn’t find a characteristic about another contestant to make fun of while saying it was all fun and games. They didn’t use passive aggressive antics to play with the minds of other contestants nor spread gossip and innuendo around the contestants. They won on their own merit… not by trying to dim the light of the others.

Your light does not shine brighter by dimming the light of others.

Long story short(er)… I understand that some people thrive on competition. I, however, DO NOT. I do not like who I become when my ruthless, competitive spirit emerges. It takes great effort to muffle that person that I did not like within myself (nor did anyone else like).  I am a goal oriented person. My focus is on MY finish line… not someone elses. My goals are measured by me, internally, by small incremental babysteps that go in one direction… FORWARD. So that when I fall, when I fail to achieve that step I was planning on, I know how to get back up and keep moving because I’ve been there already.

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

Larisa, my Matron of Honor, at my wedding almost 20 years ago!!!

On Tuesday, I was able to put those mental blinders on my Matron of Honor, Larisa, as she ran two miles with me for the first time. She was inundated with the same fears we all have.

  • I’m too old to run this fast
  • I’m too old to run this far
  • I’m too fat to run this fast
  • I’m too fat to run this far
  • I’m too out of shape to run
  • I haven’t run since high school
  • My knees hurt
  • My ankles hurt
  • My hip hurts

I stayed by her side the entire time and put my iPhone on my arm with the speaker towards her. “Keep the pace of the music and we’ll be just fine. Pump your arms and keep your hands above your waist at all times otherwise you’ll get chorizo fingers at the end of the first mile.”

“YES!!! I do get chorizo fingers!!!” she exclaimed. That’s when the light bulb turned on and she gained faith in that I knew a little bit about what I was talking about.

“Ok, we’re going to jog from here to the light pole and then walk to the next but still keep our hands relaxed and up. You’re going to feel yourself losing your breath. That’s ok. Sing or whisper Mary had a little lamb. Trust me. I know it sounds crazy but it will get your breathing back to normal.” Ya, I think I lost her trust on that one.

I kept her stride short like the marathon shuffle and the conversation shorter so she didn’t feel pressured to talk and show the embarrassment of losing her breath to me because I know I am embarrassed to hear my own gasping breath. I needed her to finish this with strength and confidence to come back and double what she did today the following week.

Those last two light poles she hit the fastest pace she ran the whole time! She ended her two miles strong and fast and our conversation ended with the topics of glide and sports bras. SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT! And then she joined the rest of the gang for a beer. *I went home 😦

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It doesn’t matter what your limitations are. With the right people around you who understand and share and/or respect your goals, anything is possible. A few people can do this all by themselves. I am not one.

Like I said before, some people thrive off of competition. I do not. I thrive off of the positive energy and enthusiasm of those around me who also have big goals. There is a BIG difference.

If you are considered a friend of mine, please, know that I will never compete against you. If you try to force me to compete, I will either distance myself from you or let you beat me by not putting forth effort… or both. Beating you is not my goal. Beating CANCER is. 

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So to clarify, my next event is not including fundraising for a cancer organization. It is to make myself a better person inside. I am still healing and thankful that I have found a healthy outlet to do so for myself and my family. I have to do this one for myself so that I can know that I can keep moving forward. I fell off the horse at CapTexTri. This is me getting back on the saddle again. I gave my goals to my coach. In a nutshell, my goal is just to finish it.

That’s all I need to make me happy with myself again. Just finish it.

And then I’ll get back to my promise to Sissy and Momma in the right state of mind, love in my heart and surrounded by good, supportive people.

 

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