2.2 Million Words
Happy Birthday to This.
Happy Birthday to This.
Happy Birthday to Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.
Happy Birthday to This.
This what? Oh, this blog!
On August 26, 2010, I wrote a blog post that said this: I have decided to become a triathlete.
Fast forward… it’s been almost seven years. Wowzers. That’s a long time to do anything, I suppose. I am writing this now because on the 26th, I have a fundraiser in Roswell, GA for Team Logan, and I know the time will FLY by, and I will have forgotten to wish the blog a happy birthday.
So yes. Seven years ago, I wrote the first post. become a triathlete.
Seven years later, something weird has happened.
Turns out that when you write over 2.2 million words and send them out into the universe, things start to change.
I feel proud AF for some things I have written. Embarrassed about others. So-so about some. I don’t remember most of the things I have written. But then I can’t escape the ones that still haunt me, make me cry just from remembering, and the ones that set me effing free (nolite te bastardes carborundorum).
I thought I always wrote for me. But apparently I tried to write to make people like me, and that was when I got lost (for a little while). So I stopped that and just wrote about what I wanted to, and then some people stopped liking me (whatever).
I write about triathlon sometimes, but I also write weekly for Triathlete.com, and in my mind that seems redundant sometimes to write there and write here about the same things.
So when I say that “my own posts” cause me to have emotions—it’s because this whole blog experience has been a bit of a journal, a giant public confession, sprinkled with whatever else happened along the way. Sometimes triathlon, sometimes mental breakdowns, sometimes addiction and whatever else.
And yes, sometimes I feel like a yard sale of a person.
When “Swim Bike Mom” started, it was just this blog. But I wrote, and people came with me. If you build it…. build what?
Who knows… but they’re coming… now, what?
So I grew, we grew, the community grew, the things grew. Then I changed, we changed, other things changed.
It’s been a big change, all of it, over seven years.
I realize that I don’t (and didn’t and never will) matter a hill of beans to some people.
I also find that some of those 2.2 million words written have been really important to some people—that by me saying “me too” to something, that meant a lot to some people. And by saying “you TOO can be a triathlete” was a great first step for many. And I didn’t do anything, really, but imitate–because that’s what someone once said to me– and I am good at repeating things I learn.
I am so grateful for those who take time to realize that the other side of this coin lives an actual human. And those who reach out ever once in a while to remind me that I am alive and okay. And to keep doing whatever it is I am doing. That means so much, and I am grateful.
Then I realize that some people hate me with a hilarious, fiery rage–which at first, feels like something devastating, but after 2.2 millions words, I enjoy the ragey-hate people. Because I make them so angry, it’s got nothing left to be but funny. (Sidebar discussing this: podcast with Jeff Goins, Episode 30.)
So back to the yard sale…
I have had a hell of a journey–from the first real swim to 7 mile run to Ironman(s). And now, I have all these “things” that I am a part of—and each is actually important to me—pick one!! Nope, I can’t.
I hear it, though. You probably do too…. this outside world where everyone tries to talk about how you need to focus on “one thing” to be good at anything. That multi-tasking is the death of a dream.
I HATE that. But, I get the sentiment. Being focused and present is better than scattered and wild.
But who says we have to focus on ONE thing all the time?
That’s why we have the Sucky Rotation Schedule–to make life happen in a million ways that work for us. I also suspect that’s why people get frustrated trying to figure out what their one thing actually is.
What IF, we actually can’t figure out the one thing until we have done all the things.
Pouring out what I think or feel or know, have learned or experienced—well, that is not one thing. am not one thing. I have never been one thing. If I had to pick one thing? One thing that I am? From my list of adjectives and job titles and whatevers? What in the hell would I pick? How would I choose?
“Oh, well you should choose ____ because that is the most important.”
But that’s crazy. There can’t be labels for everything. We don’t have to choose.
We don’t… we don’t have to choose the one thing. (Bears repeating).
We can be a jack of however many damn trades we want.
And I have spent seven years doing something with “happy birthday to this”… and it’s not just one thing. So for me, I keep doing all the things if just one might help one person—with all their things, all their confusions, all their triathlon and health and whatevers.
Well, just happy 7th birthday to the YSB (the Yard Sale Blog).
On this 7th year of continuing to do whatever things THIS is, I thank you all who have stuck around with me, those who are new and ready to hang around for a while, and anyone else who is part of this little world.
Maybe we can all do more of the things to figure out the things that we should not be doing, etc.
Do what you’d like to do and what makes you happy, most-est of the time.
I have found through this experience of 2.2 million words, through this space and place and time that people are going to love you, hate you and everywhere in between.
In the end, what matters is what YOU think of YOU. Asses and elbows, to all the rest.
Mike Reilly, the voice of IRONMAN, said at the start of Ironman Lake Placid in 2015:
“You can’t control anything about this day but one thing—YOU. You can control your attitude, your outlook and your response.”
That’s stuck with me. Not just on race day. I keep that one close. I am not perfect at controlling everything about me. But when someone takes really does a number on me, I look at them, hanging out on the low road.
And while I may not quite make it all the way to the high road…I am somewhere up there, floundering around—trying to at least throw my work, my effort and my attitude up on that road. Because that’s all I can control.
Thanks for reading anywhere 2 to 2.2 million of the words.