The last day of my 20’s (Monday) was a day off from training, which was great cause it gave me a little time (or maybe too much time?) to reflect. Feels like just yesterday I was turning 20 – I spent that whole day on the bus with my Dartmouth Crew teammates driving home to Hanover from our spring break training trip in Oak Ridge, TN. It’s hard to believe all the adventures I’ve had between then and now… although I guess 10 years IS a long time!
I choose to believe that age is merely a state of mind (in which case I’m nowhere near 30 yet!), but perhaps it’s also true that wisdom comes with age. There’s so much more to see, learn, and do for me, and I’m thinking the best is yet to come! But I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve learned (many of which I’m still working on!) over the last decade:
No pain, no gain. From falling over and over again - day in and day out at the ice rink - to perfect that triple salchow; to falling off the erg and thinking my lungs might actually burst at the end of a crew race; to pushing to the point of hurling in triathlon training and racing. I remind myself that if it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. So when it hurts, find more. It will pay off.
Perfect your game face (I’m still working on this one)…. And your sad puppy face (also still working on this one). They will both come in handy.
If it scares you, GO FOR IT!
Save your work often. Diligence always wins. Just do it.
Say yes to adventure (see the world! Note: still working on this one, and excited about the opportunity to do it through triathlon!)
Get outside. Having spent 8 of the last 10 years in school or at an office job, too much of life is spent inside. Don’t let the world pass you by!
Cherish time with the people you love. With the demands of triathlon, and school before that, and work before that, and school before that, and skating before that, it can be hard to make time to just be with the people you care about. But it’s those moments that have been some of the most meaningful for me.
You are what you eat. So don’t skimp on the good stuff (note, I don’t necessarily mean only eat organic everything. But seeking a “rainbow” at meals and knowing where your food comes from as much as possible has made a big difference in my energy and performance!).
Take it like you stole it! (Learned this one from Tessie!)
Spend time with people who inspire you to be better than you are.
Be silly sometimes! (Cause it feels good to let the weird out!)
Last but not least, It’s OK... even good!... to say no. This is perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned… and am still working on. As someone who wants to please, and a high achiever that wants to achieve, saying “no” doesn’t come naturally to me. But committing to a journey requires closing doors to others. It’s so hard to do, but it’s incredible what you can achieve when you throw your heart, body, and mind wholly into one thing. That kind of gratification is something I wish for everyone!