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Between A Rock and A Hard Place

August 18, 2010

When was the last time you truly challenged yourself?

My confrontation with challenge came about three weeks ago when I signed up for a half-marathon training program. Running a half marathon had always been a secret dream of mine and only recently was I able to take the plunge and finally sign myself up. The source behind my sudden burst of courage? Without a doubt I had help and encouragement from friends and family. Rarely are we able to truly challenge ourselves without some outside push or assistance. But that help only takes us part of the way. To go the full 100 you have to be ready to motivate and encourage yourself. No one else can do that for you.

Finding that strength, the one that takes you above and beyond and pushes your beyond your comfort zone is never easy.

When I was pushing the submit button on my half-marathon registration form, a moment that I will assure you was not easy, my mind raced back and back to a memory that I will never forget.

Imagine this:

It was my family’s last hoorah in Australia before we were scheduled to move back (yes back) to Indiana. We started in Sydney, our home of nearly 5 years, and traveled up the coast and then back down through Central Australia where we ended in Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. Let me preface this trip down yesteryear by saying that I was a shy, timid and unadventurous youngster. Always one to take the more cautious route, I never minded blending in with the background, allowing others take the stage and letting those “dare to be great” moments pass me by. So when our tour bus came to a stop besides the mighty Ayers Rock I had already made up my mind that there was nothing anyone could say that would persuade me to climb up that giant rock.

The Climb Up Ayers Rock

I could tell in an instant how disappointed my father was. He was always the first to encourage and say, “yes you can.” But one look at the chain link fence that you had to grasp (no harness, I repeat, no harness) as you made your ascent up the rock had me planted firmly in the “absolutely not” stance. “I can’t do it,” I told him. His response…”yes you can.”

The truth was that deep down I really did want to climb that rock. I wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else, that I wasn’t some wimpy, blend into the background, non-risk taker. This was the only chance I was going to get, so why waste it and live a life full of regret?

Climbing up that rock, reaching the top, and signing the “log book” will forever be one of my proudest moments in life. A moment that still fills me with happiness. I will never forget the feeling of excitement as my father and I reached the top of that big giant rock. It was a turning point for the “I can’t do it” part of myself. A turning point that has stuck and hopefully stick with me years and years and years to come.

So I ask you this…when was the last time you challenged yourself?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    August 18, 2010 10:52 pm

    9 days ago when I committed to myself and the Twittersphere to do the #30blog. Oh yeah, and take on a couple of other writing gigs. #Challenged

    • August 19, 2010 8:11 am

      So far you’re doing an incredible job with your blog posts Jason! That’s a huge challenge to undertake. But just having the motivation to step up and do that for yourself is in and of itself rewarding.

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