Rewind five years (2009): you would find me in Orlando, Florida working for the "Mouse" at Walt Disney World. This would be the beginning of a *magical* three-year career at WDW working in hospitality, recreation and resort development building Disney's Hawaii Island resort, Aulani.
Now rewind three years (2011): I had just won a USA Triathlon national age group title and was preparing to debut as a professional triathlete. I had my sights set on honing my skills, recruiting sponsors and making the USA 2016 Olympic Team. Triathlon was my life and the focus of my time, energy and resources.
It took alot to get me to slow down (literally). Take a step back. Gain some perspective and get clarity on where my life was going. I felt as though I was the captain of my ship calling the shots and determining my course. BUT those knee surgeries were NOT in my plan! Who would want two surgeries in three weeks? Hello?! Nobody signs up for that!
Yet now I can look back and say:
Hallelujah! I'm so grateful for those surgeries. I'm glad things didn't go according to my carefully mapped out script!
Although surgeries and the therapy that followed weren't fun at all (and I wouldn't wish it on anyone), I can see how I've changed. I am a better person because of that valley in my life. I am a more complete person having things NOT go according to my script.
Heck, just look at my photos and what I'm doing now! I never planned this (being an au pair, living in Europe, attending French language school…) into my life and yet I've never felt more fully alive!
- Let go. Let go of your dreams and goals. Release them. Ask God to take them and replace them with His dreams for you. After all, the God who created you knows you better than you know yourself! :o) He will guide you towards your sweet spot -- the point at which you come FULLY alive!
- Think outside your box. Think outside your little world. There is so much out there to discover and learn. Don't limit yourself! Life is bigger than you! As I once heard: if you can wrap your mind around your dreams, they are NOT big enough!
- There's no way around the valley. You have to go through it, like it or not! I know it stinks, but it's Life! We each have to go through our own valleys and trials. No one can go through it for you. You can't bypass it. You have to go through it! And when you're going through it and it's dark, rainy, cold and gloomy and you haven't seen the sun for weeks, REMEMBER: there's always a rainbow after the rain! Don't give up! Your rainbow is coming!
I had to focus on hitting my target heart rates, staying in the right exercise "zones," paying attention to form, pushing my mind and body past its limits....and I did it. I lived that life. I started swimming when I was 7 years old; swam through college on an athletic scholarship; worked my way through the ranks of triathlon all for a little girl's dream of representing Team USA at the Olympics. For 20 years I lived the life of a competitive athlete chasing after a BIG dream and I'm glad I did it. BUT I'm also glad (AND very grateful) to be in a new chapter of my life.
It's easy to just keep going in a direction because that's all you know. It takes courage, faith and guts to stop, pause, reflect and re-navigate. We have to reset our GPS at times.
Don't just keep doing something because that's all you know and you don't know what else to do. It just might be time for you to reset your GPS and start going in another direction.