So often in my blogging, I tend to focus on how I've changed over the past year or so. But today marks an even more substantial milestone in my life. Ten years ago, I quit my job, car, apartment and all trappings of a "normal" life. I took my life savings, crammed it all into a backpack, and jumped on a plane to Europe to live in hostels unknown for three months. What a risk! What a thrill!
It was the best, most important decision I had ever made. The decision that has led to so many other important decisions in my life. That moment in life taught me that the unknown is a GOOD thing. While the idea of the "bad" stuff can be scary, the risk of not knowing and missing something beautifully unforgettable is even worse.
I have no doubt that without taking this risk 10 years ago, I wouldn't have had the balls to fully commit in my relationship with Stephanie because of our cultural and religious differences. I'm truly amazed at how life is like a giant dominoes experiment sometimes.
What's funny though is that in life, as in dominoes cascades, you can sometimes be lucky enough to arrange the tiles and tip them at just the right moment to get the result you want. I was lucky enough to place the dominos to fall in my favor, and even luckier that my unintended Rube Goldberg experiment has gone off without too many hitches. Though to be fair, when I came back from Europe, the job that was supposed to be waiting for me had vanished --victim to a merger. I was jobless for six months, and showed up to my 10-year high school reunion living at home with my parents, with platinum-dyed hair, a bushy goatee, and driving my parents' beat-up Oldsmobile Cutlass.
I was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. You can imagine the delicious irony showing up to my reunion in such style.
I'd still do it all over again, without changing a thing.
But what the hell does this have to do with triathlon?
Simple. Triathlons are scary. There's that whole open-water swimming thing. And with sharks!? Why would anybody want to do that??? And oy, the cycling! You can fall and die or get paralyized so easily! (Heck, I almost did a few years ago.) Don't even get me started on the running either. You could fall over and die like all these other runners out there when they get heart attacks and keel over.
Ironman!?!?! You can't be serious!!!???
Life is scary. Expectations are scarier. Pressure can be terrifying.
But the risk is worth the reward, in my opinion. Whether deciding to buck what your parents want, or a lucrative job, or a nice car, -- or in our case what people think of our "lifestyle" -- what matters is getting the most out of life.
Ten years ago, I made a choice to do just that.
I haven't looked back since.
And if you're reading this blog, I suspect you're not either.
68 days and counting.