To Dare Greatly

There are many days I sit on my rowing machine and visualize, to the best of my ability, what it will be like to row on the ocean. Not what it will be like to row across the ocean- but rather, just what it will feel like to be sitting just a foot or 2 above water level, looking out across the expanse of water, and rowing. Rowing with the waves and swells and rowing against them. Some days I try to feel the wind pushing at my back; others with the wind in my face. Most days I have focus and calm- regardless of how hard I work.

The last two weeks were nothing like this. Isn't is so hard sometimes to juggle all that is vying for one's time? The balls all just fall down and for awhile it seems I can't do anything well at all. I just chase the balls, lean over, pick one or two up, drop one or two in doing so, and then start picking them up again. I try to embrace and neutralize this frustration, knowing damn well it most likely will come to me when I am on the water in some form or another, and am slowly getting better at doing so.

Then there are the times I get paralyzed from the realization that I will miss an entire swim season for my girls and 2+ months of the summer before my son moves out to college. I will miss after dinner conversations (the ultimate bonding time for my family), piano practice, and baking bread and sweets with everyone. I will miss my family. I will not be there for the tears that will fall and the smiles that will beam. And, sometimes this kills me. It guts me.

My children put on such brave faces. They support me and tell me, yes, they will miss me, but they know this is something I want badly. And I hug them and love them for it. I tell them they too must go after what they want. I tell them I will miss them fiercely when their dreams take them away from me- but I swear to them, and to myself, that I will not get in their way. I will support them.

When I was 20 years old, I moved to Greece. Many people asked me what my parents had to say about it. I told them I hadn't asked them if I could go- I just told them I was going. But, my mom told me she was with me on the decision. She had my back. I could come home if it didn't work out. She didn't give me permission- I had already made the decision. But she did give me support. Now, with this row, well, again, I didn't ask her for permission. And, I know this is really hard for her. She is worried and I feel horribly for making this hard on her. But, she supports me. She has my back. 

So, again, I look at this quote above. I think about rowing across the Pacific and the goal of breaking the world record for a 4 woman trans Pacific row...and I want to row this ocean. And, I really want to break this record. And, I realize that I have already begun to dare greatly. I am in the arena. And my children, my family- I believe they too are in the arena. They could have been unsupportive of my row- but they are not. They are strong and valiant- even more so than me at times. It is my quest to row. My dream. And they are being pulled along for the ride. But they are going along with such grace and understanding it is they who are triumphant.