Tri-Umphant Living

Life Magnified

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I’m curious about the dude who invented magnifying mirrors. Really. Why were they invented? What purpose were they meant to serve? Okay, don’t answer that. I don’t really want to know; I’m sure there are a zillion excellent uses for magnifying mirrors. But in my small world, my round orange sized suction-cupped-back magnifying mirror is used for me to look at my face. Up close and large.

Maybe too large and too close? I mean really, do I need to magnify my eyebrows to the size of an elephant to pluck the errant hairs? Does anyone even see the little black sprouts zinging out in different directions? And if they do, well, what in the heck is their problem? If I see someone with untamed eyebrows I usually like them more. I nod a bit in my mind and think, “Yep. This lady has a busy life and she’ll tend to those suckers when she’s got some time. Or not.” But I like her more for her crazy brows and I often let my guard down a little. Thinking, “I want to get to know her better. I want to know who she is in the world that makes her too busy to tweeze.”

I’ve gone through periods of wonderfully tended eyebrows to times when they are terribly unruly. Lately I think I’m more of the latter. And, as I’m aging, for some unknown reason, the hairs seem to be getting longer? I think I dislike their length more than their relentlessly rapid growth. But the kicker is the one white eyebrow hair at the crest of my right eyebrow that dares to pop up every few weeks. It’s soft and thin and hard to find without my mirror because it is so unlike my other eyebrow hairs. Whether I’m at the apex of my eyebrow grooming or at the bottom of the barrel, I always keep an eye out for that baby. It represents the parts of myself that I don’t want to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of peeling back the onion layers of our lives. Taking a peek. Poking around and examining who we are beneath the surface. That’s where the richness of our wanting and longing and hope rests. The parts we are often too afraid to see. Sometimes it’s easier to sit still — motionless in the dark — than to see it all. I have touched this lately and it’s a scary place to be.

The closer we get to something the more frightening it can be. I don’t like seeing my face up close because it reminds me that I’m getting older. I can’t avoid it. There are things about this living thing I’m doing that I simply can’t control. Which truthfully is just about everything. I don’t need to look into that mirror to know my time here is limited. I wear that truth whether I want to or not. We all do.

I went to Texas last Thursday through Sunday to train with some of my teammates and coaches for Ironman Texas. I’ve been training in my own small space for months and months and this was the time to step out and give everything a huge test run. One month before race day. I was excited and afraid. Happy to be able to do this for myself and sad to leave my family. Grateful for the opportunity and scared I wasn’t ready for the magnitude of it all. Do we ever feel ready? 

When I headed home on Sunday I was a little weepy from choking back fear. I had gotten a glimpse of what was to come. A close up view of what waits ahead in 25 days. Whether I went to training camp or not, Ironman Texas will be there waiting for me on May 14, 2016. All 140.6 miles of it. I know this. In fact, I chose this. And even with that knowing, I am afraid and I’m finding that I want to slow down time. But I can’t.

Time will not stop for me. Life will not wait for us. Everything just keeps moving forward. We move forward whether we want to or not. Whether we embrace it or not. We keep moving. I have to choose to move forward with life instead of hunkering frozen in the shadows of my fear watching life passing by. I have to bravely hold my fear in my hands. Feeling the weight of it on my chest while embracing my heart’s steady beating as I force my fear-clenched lungs to breathe. Just breathe. And then do it again. I’m terrified. I am. But I have to work with that because this is living. Being afraid but showing up anyway. This is the big picture. It is.

 

5 replies »

  1. I have not been a big fan of my face lately and I think one of those mirrors would horrify me. I don’t want to face the fact that I’m getting older and I think I focus on my displeasure over my appearance so that I don’t have to acknowledge that getting older means fewer years left to live. I’ve only just begun and I’ve wasted so much time being afraid. You hit the nail on the head. Living is being afraid but showing up anyway. Beautiful. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we’re willing to push past our boundaries, and face the fear, and keep moving forward anyway, then … as you said … that’s when we are really living. I congratulate you for continuing to move towards your chosen path. You knew it was going to be difficult … nearly impossible … but you made up your mind and kept moving forward.

    As for magnifying various aspects of our life. Mine seems to be about time right now. Time is always moving so quickly these days. I suddenly want back all those wasted hours I spent being so afraid. But time doesn’t reward an awakening of the spirit with the gift of lost hours. It does, however, allow us a recognition of how precious time is, and allows us to willfully and with intention choose how we want to spend our time. Thanks for this blog post. It was a timely reminder about letting our fear be recognized, without allowing the fear to keep us immobilized. Best of luck to you as you continue your training. Breathe in. Breathe out. Keep moving.

    Sounds simple enough. Even when we know better.

    Still, it does come down to that. Breathe in. Breathe out. Keep moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this. It’s beautiful and resonates with me deeply. You’re so right, I did know it was going to be difficult but kept at it … this final push feels especially difficult and scary. Quite scary. I’ll keep breathing. I’m glad the post was timely for you. Your response was the same for me!

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  3. Your description of the fear that grips and clings is powerful! I can relate to it so well in my daily life when I wake up first thing and I want to hide in the shadows but as you say, time doesn’t wait no matter how you feel. Whether you embrace it or not and we have to trust in that deep essence within us, that quite stillness in the very centre of us that got us through the worst in our childhood trauma. That spirit lives on, that flame. Go warrior, embrace and May the 14th will prove once again the courage you have!

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