Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rowing a Story

On 3 September classes started and I started working two jobs, then the next day rowing began at 4:40AM. Someone asked me yesterday when I sleep and after thinking replied, "I go to bed at 10 if possible and sleep in my car". Literally, I'll be heading out there in an hour or so for a nap. Two sleeping bags, a comforter and a pillow are always in the back of my Jeep. The days of each week are like a piece in practice where we do 10 strokes "on" or hard, and 10 "off" at a normal-paddle pace.

For anyone who's followed my blog since 2010, you have some idea of what an big decision it was to return to rowing (see February 2011 ). Sometimes after thinking and thinking and stressing you just have to decide what you want your life to say when you look back on it. I simply didn't want my story to include such a regretful cliff hanger that would never be fulfilled. There needed to be a but in there. "I quit but...I went back and left it all out on the water." Ironically, or maybe not, the same quotes in that post were the ones that have inspired me to get back in game. You can't live for anyone else and their expectations of you. Mentorship and leadership are invaluable, but ultimately you will be the one to give the account for your decisions and blaming it on someone else is weakness.

So often we get caught in a period of difficulty and in the face of decision don't consider the future, only how to escape the present misery. When we're gasping for air while working out, we don't push through. A relationship requires more attention and work so we leave or get divorced because things "just aren't working out". Too often we don't consider how those decisions under pressure will affect us in the future. We might be tempted, and very likely, will leave out those scenarios or breeze over them in conversation because they contain moments of weakness and missed opportunities.

During the summer I read and listened to podcasts, internalizing aspects involving direction, decision making, and story. All three of them are interconnected. You've just have to choose where you want to go and if the way you're living now is working towards that. (Says the soon-to-be graduate without post-graduation plans).

Photo: William J. Ingalls

"A character is someone who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it."
(See Don Miller's blog on Living a Good Story. Usually, I despise anything with numbers in it telling you how to solve life's problems but he does make some good points). 

*I'll be posting some new work soon. Maybe even an audio piece, if you're lucky . 

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