Freezing cold as I take off my wool moon boots and parka.
It’s time. My heat is up.
Step up to the blocks.
Take your mark.
Lifting my head and pushing my feet off the gritty lane block as I react to the loud monotone beeping noise telling me to go.
Diving in and feeling the cold water briefly that served as a jolt. The middle of my back would arch as it was immersed by the water.
Taking a breath on the fifth stroke off of the blocks, inhaling the often stinging aroma of chlorine.
She’s getting ahead of you. Don’t let it happen. You are at her waist. Go for her shoulders.
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, now turn. Stretch that streamline. Dolphin kick, flutter kick to the surface. You are neck and neck.
Breathing every 5 strokes. You’ve blown the swimmers out on the other side. Now it’s just her. You want this Jenny. You can taste it. The ribbon is already hanging on your wall. Now earn it.
“Jenny!” You hear your Dad’s deep tone yelling from the deck in the midst of a muffled chaos from all the spectators.
Now it’s just you and her. Kick her ass, Jenny.
I take one last look at her.
I put my head down and don’t breathe the last 9 strokes.
My legs feel light and are in a rhythmic, 6 beat form.
My arms feel as though they are 10 feet long. I stretch out and drop my right shoulder as I reach for the wall.
I won. Of course, I won.
Glanced over to see the time board and then coach giving me that chin lift. The nonverbal “Job well done.”
That’s how I saw it happen.
And that’s how it happened.
I am a believer in the power of dreams and visualization. I believe I have always been a dreamer. I take after my dad with that trait. I visualized myself swimming at a national level, and it happened. I saw myself killing the cancer cells one by one as the red poison with metal flakes infused into my IV, and it happened. I have traveled the world inside my head, and it will happen.
The power to dream and visualize has been critical in allowing me to thrive in life and survive some difficult times.
Oh, I know there are some realists reading this right now. I know realism all too well. I have stared realism right in the eye. But be cautious friends. It’s easy to take realism to a dangerous level of pessimism. There are a million reasons why I shouldn’t be able to complete the items off my life list. Fear, lack of money, work schedule, and that darn people pleasing mentality that can strangle and choke me quicker than I can bat an eyelash.
So when I saw this post from Liz, I knew that I needed to take the time and look “back” on this next year.
2012 was the year…
I said “No!” without any justification. Simply “No, thank you.”
I wore a bikini for the first time in over a decade.
I looked down at the scale and it read “Healthy”.
I saw the joy of Sam’s face as she met Mickey Mouse for the first time. Sheer childhood joy.
I walked away from nursing and ventured out into the foreign and exciting land of writing my story.
I danced with strangers in New York City. It was just as liberating as when I danced in Washington D.C.
I said “Yes!” to opportunities to learn something new, including things that scared the hell out of me. Spearfishing, hot air ballooning, scuba diving, running a half marathon. I conquered them all.
I sat on the floor for hours uninterrupted and played puzzles with Sam, baked cupcakes with Emily, watched Sports Center with Ben, and laughed with Rebecca about her adventures of starting high school in the fall.
I made the time to date Jeff every week and make out in the car like we were school kids in heat all over again.
I looked in the mirror despite the war zone of scars and saw the most beautiful reflection looking back at me.
Yes. 2012 was a fantastic year. I’m already looking forward to 2013…Tweet