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.
Categories: Tri-Umphant Living