There's Never a Right Time
I wish someone had told me many years ago that there is no such thing as the right time. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying to disregard calculated risk. Weighing pros and cons is one of the most important things that we do in our business (and personal life) every day. I’m simply saying don’t expect balloons to fall from the sky, the magic 8 ball to say, “today is the day,” or the clouds to form the words “just do it.”
For those of you that know me best, you know I guard my heart and my personal life with an iron shield. I recently had a cup of coffee with an acquaintance and she told me, you’re so lucky that your life is so perfect. I politely laughed, sipped my latte and changed the subject. That meeting has stuck in my head like a bad date and I’ve been thinking about writing this post for weeks now. Well, my magic 8 ball is broken and there isn’t a cloud in the sky today, so now is as good a time as ever that I share some truth…. my life may seem perfect only because I share just the good on social media. That’s just me.
The truth is the past two years have been pretty darn tough and I’ve felt like everything in my world has been spiraling out of my control. Cancer, kidney disease and 2 strokes all happened to three of the most important people in my life. I’ve cried so many tears, had sleepless nights and barely kept it together. I celebrated the excitement of my friend’s pregnancy and growing family while simultaneously worrying about running our company without her by my side during maternity leave and putting a few business decisions on pause. Life, death, sickness and health... those are all things that we don’t have control over. And more so, if we did have control when exactly would we willingly choose to have cancer… never, right?
Let me repeat, there is no such thing as the right time!
In late spring, my best friend Laura came to North Carolina. She and I have been through so much together and my meltdown status was no secret to her. On Laura’s last night in Winston-Salem, we went to dinner at The Honey Pot downtown and ran into a friend, Holly Tate. The three of us ended up sharing dinner, laughs and a bit too much wine. Through the course of dinner, I somehow agreed to do a mini triathlon with Holly (I blame the wine). As Laura reminded me the next morning, I was quite excited about the challenge and even said, “I am an excellent swimmer; how hard can this be.” In the morning haze all I could think is, “how the heck am I going to get out of this?”
Well, the short story is I didn’t get out of it at all. Before 10:00am with a wine hangover still intact, I had a registration link for the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon in my inbox and calendar requests to start training with Holly. The timing literally could not have been worse: middle of wedding season, Becca on maternity leave, tons of travel on the calendar, completely overwhelmed emotionally, personally not in good shape, hot summer forecast, middle of home renovation, and the list of excuses goes on. And then something in my brain just clicked. I needed something in my control that I could conquer. I really needed a win in my life. Boy did the timing suck and I had a million reasons to say no, but I agreed to do it and I haven’t regretted my decision yet. I also found it just a bit too serendipitous that the race celebrates the empowerment of women (maybe that was my “just do it” in the clouds?!). In a time in my life that I felt totally out of control and not like myself, I agreed to start swimming, running and biking… a whole lot!
Up until this moment there were only a handful of people that knew I was doing this thing (Jack, Becca, my parents, and the ladies I am training with through the Fleet Feet Tri4Women program). It’s scary to put it out there for the world to know. What if people judge my race time or how I look with sweaty bike hair? I’ll be the first to admit that neither will likely be pretty but that's okay. My goal is to complete this darn race knowing that I am stronger than when I started and that I did it by making things happen (even if it accidentally started with too much wine). My world is so far from perfect; that’s the truth! If my flawed story helps motivate one person to get out and do something they’ve been waiting for the right moment to do, then it is absolutely worth it to me to share. There have been so many moments in my life that I look back and think, “boy, I’m glad I did that!” There hardly is a perfect moment and the “right” time doesn’t really exist. Why wait for a Monday, next month, next year? It’s Thursday, so why don’t you drink some wine and carpe diem!