"If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done." Thank you Elizabeth Weber for that insight and inspiration. The Weber Foundation of Helping Hands, founded on the principle that, "Everyone Needs a Guardian Angel," is using the Lake Lure Triathlon in August 2014 to raise funds to assist individuals and families facing life-threatening illnesses or other catastrophic situations. I have offered my support while many of the individuals in my circle will be swimming, biking and running. One of those, Kam Parker, my life partner is doing her first triathlon for one reason (other than being encouraged by Elizabeth and wanting to support the foundation), she is uncomfortable in the water. Yes, she can swim fine, but has never considered jumping in with a crowd and swimming hard in a fury of feet, elbows and bubbles. Kam said, "I felt uncomfortable with the idea, so I signed up right away."
Toward the end of 2013, I chose to create a sweater, a cabled hoodie that stretched my knitting skills, and the nimbleness and strength of my hands. It wasn't that the pattern was challenging so much; it was the dedication I needed to get it done by the winter holidays. Despite my attempt, it became one of my famous "almost done" gifts that my family has come to expect each Christmas. Over the years my kids would get one sock in the box, and one on the needles, and my son said, "You can't help but appreciate the gesture, and just pray my mom actually finishes the second sock." The thick cabled PURPLE hoodie with cables down the arms, and up over the head did not have a hood on the day the family gathered for gift-giving. My son did receive a completed black and white skull and crossbones hoodie designed in Sweeden I had completed just in the Nick (that's Saint Nick) of time. But the purple hoodie intended for his fiance still hung from long circular needles. He began asking me daily, but gently, for the next 3 weeks, "Did you finish her sweater Mom?"
So, how do all these thoughts knit together? Obviously, a pattern all by itself is nothing but a plan, an idea, a wish or a dream. It takes desire, focus and tenacity to follow the plan, and then to follow through even if it becomes tedious, repetitive (boring) or too heavy. (Are we still talking about Knitting?) Completion is what brings about the dream; a hoodie without a hood isn't what it was meant to be and no matter what excuse you make it's not done until the ends are buried. If you want to give a gift to yourself as well as others, reach for something that stretches you, pulls you beyond what you feel comfortable with. Risk the frustration, the "failure," because YOU deserve what you DESIRE, and see it done, complete, finished, won!
Kam says almost everyday in our fitness studio The Fire, "You have to go there to get there." My future daughter in law says her new hoodie is very cozy.
It's 2014, pick a goal that you are uncomfortable with, then do it any way, no matter what. I am going to post every week of 2014 on fitness, knitting, health, food, friends and love. Period. Every week. No excuses. How are you pushing past the edges of your comfort zone?