Monday, July 9, 2012

If You're Not The Lead Dog The Scenery Never Changes.....

So what is the lead dog-is it the dog up the front or is it the dog leading?

Even the lead dog in Ice Swimming hangs
about for the puppies.. Ram waiting for Nuala
and Anne Marie to finish..  

A friend sent me this postcard-I have found myself repeating it so many times…the message is so clear-
I joined the competitive world in 2002 not really knowing my path, I wanted to run with the wolves, I entered my first triathlon, sprint distance-The King of the Hill in Kinsale, even the name didn’t suit me-I found myself saying Speed is relative!! I knew I was in trouble before I went there.

I walked the beach with 120 other athletes, not having a clue what to do or where to go, one of only 3 without a wetsuit. I asked the Stewart how the start would work. Fixed and dilated I stared as he replied “everyone races out to the first buoy then the second and then back to the beach”
“But sure 120 swimmers can’t all get around a buoy at the same time” I replied
“It’s a race” he replied.
I walked away in a trance.  I swim alone- couldn't visualise.. 

Seven Frogs Oly 2011
The whistle went and a black neoprene army galloped to the first buoy.  I was caught up in the chase, I threw myself into the water and just as well I was extremely calm, I felt like I was going to war.. the ranting and raving-it was at least 8 strokes before I managed to get a breath. There were entire heads in my air pocket and each time I turned my face I took another wallop of water so turbulent that it was void of air. I was not at all happy and the anger rose inside me.
I slowed up for a second as a man (for all the wrong reasons) climbed up my back,moving I took a look and saw clear water outside the pack, it would involve another few hundred metres but I could swim.
I climbed over a few bodies without remorse and once clear I stroked long and hard outside the group. I could feel fingers on my feet, tapping as I fluttered and I didn’t mind, I was saving a soul and navigating my troop to clear water. Though the pack was choosing the fastest route, I wanted the cleanest route..

I cleared the water in the top 20% of the group. Once out I really wanted to explain to the Marshall that this was crazy, that the insane competitive world was not for me-I was more of an internal battle than a external combatant.

The following week at home I decided to start my own events, races that being out the front is all about being ahead of yourself at all times, being happy about your times and being proud of your achievements.
I wandered from event to event and discovered that I am never going to be a pack animal, there is no joy for me in the centre-though I wish I could find my zen there, I kept gravitating to the life schedule is different.. 
I was never going to be the lead dog in that race; in a pack I was never going to be out the front, my journey was different. I was never going to tuck behind others, my views would be my own but without knowing it I found a way to be a lead dog.. follow your dreams. 
I was more enthralled in getting out there and going further and deeper into myself and trying new adventures as a result by forging our own paths in our worlds. It doesn’t make me any less of a competitor it just meant that I became the lead dog.   That is the beauty of life.. 

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