Saturday, March 7, 2009

Conquering Self

About 4 years ago Rhonda decided she wanted to take up running. We got her some running shoes, but they weren’t very nice in case she didn’t like it. She hated running in the day because people might see her, so she’d run in the early morning when it was still dark. One neighbor saw her and criticized me for allowing my wife to run alone in the dark (I still find it funny that he thought I controlled that). We have a track in our community that is a little over ½ mile long in an oval shape, so she’d go there to jog. When she first started she could jog the short length of the track, walk the long length, jog the short length, jog the long length, etc. Over the space of a couple of weeks, she worked her way up to jogging the long length and walking the short length. She kept working at it for weeks and weeks, and now jogs 4 times a week for distances never shorter than 3 miles. She has become quite the runner. I am so impressed with her! She set her mind to doing something hard and proved to herself that she could do it. Not too long after she started, two of her friends started jogging with her, and 2 years ago they did the Ogden marathon.

Shortly after she marked that off her to-do list, she decided to do a triathlon. There’s a women’s only triathlon here that she decided to do. The only road block was that she didn’t know how to swim. But again she set her mind to it, and started to train. She went to the pool, but still had to plug her nose. We bought her a nose plug, but it didn’t work. It’s probably not possible to do a triathlon with one hand plugging your nose, so this was the first hurdle she had to overcome. When she kind of got over that, she would paddle in the water but wouldn’t move, she pretty much just stayed in the same place. She kept at it, and last May completed her first triathlon. I believe she feels pretty invincible now, not necessarily in an athletic way, but in a deep understanding that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She knows she can make the sacrifices necessary to do anything she wants, which gives her great confidence and power. She tries to keep these things quiet because her purpose is to conquer and triumph over self, not defeat anyone or anything else.

Rhonda does not consider herself any different than anyone else. She considers herself a very normal and average person. She is not a flashy person. She says if she can do it, anyone can do it, and although I consider her to be way above average, I believe she’s right. It’s a great motivator for me, and I hope I can follow her example with defeating the natural.

1 comment:

  1. A very motivating story. Thanks, Rob. And thank you, Rhonda. I've read stories like this a few times before. The stories I've read of such achievements have been written to explain, in part, why a particular person achieved greatness. The thing we aren't able to see, always, is that those people were great back then, as well, when they were doing those difficult things that allowed them to do "great" things later. But, you can't fool me. I knew about you a mile away and years ago.