Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Success is in the eye of the beholder

On Tuesday, Helen and I swam together.

During our swim, we started talking about running. Then, out of nowhere, she rips off her goggles, shakes her finger at me and says, "I stopped by that hill you told me to run"

Me, taking a step backward thinking she's about to hit me.

Helen: Yes, I did. You know what I think? I think you're crazy. That hill is huge.

Me: Yes, it's big. But you don't have to run the whole hill. Start at the bottom, run a bit, turn around and walk down. Do it over and over.

Helen: My trainer even said to me, "She wants you to the run THAT hill???"

Me: I know it's big. But you of all people know that you don't know what you can accomplish until you try. I told you that I'd love to run it with you. Do you want me to go?

Helen: Not the first time, let me just go do it the first time by myself.

Me: Ok. Bits and pieces, Helen. Look at your swim. Last week, you swam 9 laps. Today, you did 16.

Two days later, my phone rings. I know the number. It's Helen.

"Tea, it's HELEN"

I ran the hill! I didn't stop! I made it all the way to the top. I did it! I'm so happy. Next time I run it, I want you to go with me.

A smile so big stretched across my face. I yelled out and starting jumping all over the house. I might have even thrown in the cabbage patch dance.

When we both calmed down, I said "You are amazing. Simply.Amazing." I sat there with the phone dangling in my hand, speechless.

Success tends to do that to me. Sometimes the feelings are so overwhelming, I'll break down. Sometimes it is the adventure that stuns me into silence.

As I head out on my run, I thought about Helen. Here is a woman who is quite old by many people's standards who was in a relationship where her husband took care of everything until he passed away.  She never considered running or swimming or biking or setting goals for herself.

Then one day, she drove past the gym and thought, "why couldn't I do that?"

And she did.