Jason and I are blessed by a growing friendship with a fellow NSA‘er, Eliz Greene. (The smiling woman on the right, in the picture.) She has an amazing story, which I highly recommend you read in her book, Passion for Life: Five simple strategies to find the happiness, satisfaction and zest you deserve. She travels the world encouraging people to bring balance and fulfillment to their lives every day. Sneak preview: She survived a heart attack while seven months pregnant with twins! Her passion for life is a gift that is contagious! I love being around her!
Eliz is a triathlete and has completed four to date. This amazes me….swimming, cycling and running. Wow! You go girl!
I played sports in high school and have tried to maintain an active lifestyle since…but a triathlon?! Now, that takes dedication! Last weekend Madison was the proud host of the fifth Ford Ironman Wisconsin. More than 2,000 athletes completed the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile marathon run in cold, wet and windy conditions. It was a tough weekend for it, weather wise.
The day after the race, Jason and I were out and about and overheard one of the participants telling someone else that at the beginning of the swimming portion there were so many people in a small space swimming that it was as if he was continually being punched in the face. Yikes.
In all honesty, I have to admit that my ‘lazy side’ begs the questions…why?! Why put yourself through all of this pain and discomfort? Wouldn’t those athletes have rather been home watching football like the millions of others?
Eliz had told me that her and her husband Clay, also a triathlete, were going to be volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin. She sent me some of her thoughts from the day, which gave me a neat snapshot of her experience.
My highlights from the day:
Helping a very cold man get his warm/dry clothes on by putting my hands up his sleeves and holding his hand in order to shove them through the sleeves. (lesson: dryfit clothing does not ‘glide’ on wet skin and cold paralyzed fingers can’t find their way out of the sleeves) He said, ‘now I think I can run.’
Chasing down the #1 woman finisher with the items we didn’t have ready for her. This involved sprinting down the area lined with spectators — my return drew cheers, which was fun. I can sprint — if I hadn’t caught her in the first 200 yards, I was done for.
Helping a nearly blue woman put on a full set of clothing — including shoes, which I tied, during which she thanked and thanked me. Such a small thing, but it made a big difference.
All of Clay’s buddies finished — even the one who had four flats on the bike and only continued because someone else (who didn’t continue) gave him her wheels.
I don’t know why the athletes keep going through rain and cold and pain — then again I don’t know why Clay and I stayed through the next shift until everyone had passed through the area — except there is something incredible about being a part of the defiance of limitations.
These “moments” Eliz shared gave me chills. They gave me a new perspective on “Why?” Like she said so well, “there is something incredible about being a part of the defiance of limitations.” She shared that there were many athletes who did not look like your stereotypical tiathletes. Many were overweight, out-of-shape, old (running on legs that don’t straighten all the way and with backs that are permanently hunched) every shape and size. Somewhere deep within each athlete a passion was ignited to take this big challenge. How inspiring!
We are so comfortable in our recliners, content to exercise our thumbs with the TV remote (myself included). The thing that is so neat about Eliz is that she is a living example of her important message and mission. She inspires me to make the simple but meaningful changes in my own life to live with real passion.
We need to stand up from our couches and step through the invisible wall of fear that keeps us within our comfort zones. Living with passion is not always going to be comfortable… but it will be exhilarating!
When’s the last time a show on TV left you exhilarated and passionate about your life?
[tags]NSA, Ironman, Ironman Wisconsin, Eliz Greene, passion[/tags]