I’ll let you in on a secret. Sometimes, the things you think aren’t possible, actually are. Sometimes, suspending your disbelief so that you can focus yourself on doing instead of on disbelieving is what it takes to achieve a breakthrough. Sometimes, you need to believe in magic, or luck, or miracles, to live really really big.
I’ve been reminded of this twice since the first of the year. (Perhaps God is trying to tell me something.)
The first was in my New Year’s Day yoga class. I was there, doing my personal best (or so I thought) when I noticed something amazing happening on the mat behind me. The woman there appeared to be floating from pose to pose effortlessly. It was as if her feet didn’t even need to touch the floor. This was not a cupcake class. It was challenging, and long (2 hours) and hot (95 degrees). Yet this woman was unaffected, possibly even uplifted by it all. I later learned that her name is Tonya Butler, and she is an experienced yogi as well as a yoga instructor. As such, she has some videos on YouTube. I was so glad to learn this so I could show my husband the feats of strength and grace I’d witnessed. The odd thing is that I was not envious of her. I didn’t feel worse about myself. I was simply inspired that not only was this level of yoga possible, but also that it was transpiring right next to me! Here is one of the videos. I mean, really. Just amazing.
The second reminder? You’d better sit down for this one. You are probably familiar with a marathon – a 26.2 mile running race. This can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 or more depending on your speed and is quite a feat of endurance.
An Ironman is a marathon PLUS a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride – all back to back in one event. The winners finish these races in 8 to 9 hours and all competitors must finish within 17. SEVENTEEN HOURS. Of EXERCISE. In a ROW.
But get this. This year, a new event emerged. Epicman. Epicman is THREE TIMES THAT DISTANCE. (7.2 mile swim – 336 mile bike – 78.6 mile run.) It sounds impossible, right? Yet, apparently it’s not. The winner (on January 1st, coincidentally the same day I was watching Tonya Butler on her yoga mat) finished in 48 hours and 30 minutes. It was a woman. Her name is Kellie Smirnoff. And…wait for it…I used to run with her in the late ’90s when I lived in Atlanta! You cannot make this stuff up. Kellie and I have a mutual friend who brought us together and I can tell you she was a great runner back then, too. But in the years since, she’s become a competitive ultra-marathoner, and now THIS. Go back and re-read those distances. Does it sound possible? Not to me! But it IS.
These two glimpses of the impossible being made possible have me wondering. Where am I holding back? What could I do – physically or otherwise – if I suspended my disbelief and just gave it my all? What could YOU do? Maybe, just maybe, this is the year to find out.