13th April 2016
Life is full of patterns. Strange symmetries emerge unexpectedly and I’ve been aware that there is pattern of threes running through my existence at the moment. And there is a mysterious power to three.
I was struggling with Big Magic initially. I heard Elizabeth Gilbert’s message: be brave. But I was reading it in the context of blogging, and I felt blocked. Because blogging about running is impossible when you don’t feel like you’ve got anything to add to the dialogue. Running felt hard. There was a goal, but the goal felt like it was somewhere in the middle of a quicksand bog. And surely the story of running is that you are in love with it. I didn’t want to admit I wasn’t loving where I was. That it wasn’t coming together. Blogging felt impossible.
Daring Greatly made sense. I felt the shame. Ashamed that I wasn’t enjoying running. That I wasn’t running more. That I wasn’t blogging. But I wasn’t brave enough to say “I’m not loving this” and the shame that came with “I’m not on track for Comrades” was too huge. I just wanted to hide.
I understood the theories and concepts in both books. But I couldn’t push through the fear to make it apply to me.
The ninth book (3 x 3…) I completed was Triathlon for Every Woman. That was my breakthrough book.
I read my 10th book of the year travelling on Saturday, as it was a day of trains, planes and automobiles. (OK, no train, just a bus, but still 3 modes of transport), and whilst I’m the world’s slowest reader, I was entranced.
I’d been lucky enough to win a book voucher over on Jodi Gibson’s blog and on my new BFF’s* recommendation, bought A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington. I devoured it in 24 hours because it was electric. I want to buy a copy for everyone. It should be required reading on all school curriculums before kids can qualify for a school leaving certificate. This is not a theoretical guide about how to live beyond fear. It is the practical guide and masterclass about everything that Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown were trying to describe. This was the story of someone who just kept turning up. Did the work. Was determined to be the best version of herself, regardless. Yes, she is driven by a need to succeed. Yes she fears failure, but that drives her to keep trying.
So now I am inspired to keep trying. To keep tri-ing. Because somehow adding two extra disciplines into my training means that I enjoy all three, even the one that had become a millstone.
That is the power of three.
* Just because Meredith Atwood (Swim Bike Mom) has no idea I exist seems no reason for us not to be BFFs to my mind….