"Imagination is more important than knowledge."  ~Albert Einstein I loved Barbie Dolls when I was growing up.  I especially loved my sister's Barbie dolls because they were always in better condition than mine.  She always took better care of her toys than I did, and when she wasn't around, I would play with them!  :)  I was really diligent about being careful so she wouldn't find out, she is older than me, and at the time I was smaller than her!

I always wished that my dolls were actually real.  I would imagine that they had these intricate lives.  I would try to catch them coming alive when I wasn't looking.  I never caught them directly which doesn't mean that they didn't come alive, it just means that I never caught them.  I would tie a rope around my Barbie's and throw them out the window to pretend like they were mountain climbers or trying to escape.  There were a lot of various scenarios, all of them very realistic.  I spent a lot of time having them do things that were decidedly athletic.  Basically a prelude to my present life.

One day I was ironing.  I am sure it was something cotton which meant that I had the setting on high and with steam.  I, of course, had one of my dolls helping me out.  She was near enough to the iron that the steam hit her face.  I didn't realize how close she was until I checked in with her (believe me, they were alive) and saw that the steam created beads of water on her face that made it look like she was sweating!  Yes!!!  Sweat… how much more human can you get?  So I stopped ironing and commenced to create a scene where she was running and very out of breath, then (after putting her close to the steam from the iron) she would have to wipe her face off.  It was a blast.  I don't remember how long she ran, but I do know that she was rather sweaty.

After enough time (in my mind) I shut the scene down, finished my ironing and took my doll to her next adventure, which was, if I recall correctly, to do her hair.  Well, if you never played with dolls I will explain what the hair is made of.  Plastic.  If you don't know what plastic does near heat, I will tell you.  It melts.  And melt it did.  Her hair was stuck together like bad Phad Thai noodles.  It sucked.  I remember feeling frustrated after the surprise wore off.  That went away pretty quick as a solution rose up in me.  CUT. IT. OFF.  So I did.  She became my bald-ish doll who liked to work out.  I kept her an played with her and invariably came up with all of these scenarios where she had lost her hair or just liked it short.  She wasn't neglected that is for sure.  I rolled with it.  Being open was/is the key.

Imaginations are precious and they are what makes your reality real.  Have you had an opportunity to foster your imagination and decided that it wasn't a worth pursuit?  Maybe you could use time alone, no phone, no computer, no TV where you just play.  You create ideas, you imagine situations, you play.  You have all you need to enjoy your life right where you are.  It is all in your head, literally.  The next time you have the chance to create something magical or fantastical, DO IT.  Enjoy how that opens you up to so many other things you didn't realize you were closed to.  Just be careful of plastic and heat… they don't mix.

"Imagination is the eye of the soul."  ~Joseph Joubert



On Your Mark

"I am too positive to be doubtful.  Too optimistic to be fearful.  And too determined to be defeated."  ~vandon Yeehaw!

I LOVE winning.  It's true.  The other truth is that everybody does!  Ok, not everyone but most.  As an instructor and coach I am not competing in the same way I do as a rower, runner, Words With Friends player.  Instead I compete to get my athletes as fit as I can get them.  To bring them to health and wellbeing in the best way for them.  I become their biggest fan, their resolve when they have none, and their answers when they are questioning.  I find fulfillment in the work that I do and for that I am grateful.

I haven't competed in a race or event that wasn't connected to supporting a client in quite some time.  So I haven't actually tapped into my own personal desire to compete for Aina in a while.  Basically I haven't had to be in that place that I put my riders, clients, athletes in and then coach them through.  I hadn't had the opportunity to compete with me for me.  Until recently when I joined The LAB - A Crossfit Gym on Eastlake.  I am not doing anything that is amazing, just small workouts of the day (WODs) when I show up… but compete I am.  Because my schedule is packed with teaching and training I don't get to the gym as much as I would like.  The two times that I have had the opportunity to compete I have had the fastest time overall completing the workout that was assigned.  Can I tell you how fantastic that feels??  It is GREAT!  Seriously.  I love competing and I love seeing the hard work that I do pay off in a way that I enjoy.  One of the many benefits of being fit is being able to swing a kettlebell until the cows come home. :)  Yep.

Now, just because I compete doesn't mean I have to win or that I get upset when I don't.  I am a coach, and a very good one, and I understand perspective.  Prior to that I was an athlete that was new to competing.   In my freshman year of college I lost a huge race as a part of a team that had, up to that point,  won everything.  I was devastated.  I sobbed for hours on the floor in my dorm room while my then boyfriend grew ever exhausted with me not getting ready for a date we had.  I felt overcome with sorrow for the work I put in only to lose by less than a second in the Championship.  It was so hard because I had never experienced that kind of loss before.  The loss of a race.  The loss as an athlete.  It was a very important experience, one that I grew tired of quickly and realized shortly after the final tears fell that I was taking things way too seriously.  It was a game.  It was FUN, right?  I needed to see how seriously I took it, how important it was/is for me.  I figured out that I didn't need to be devastated by a supposed loss.  I learned that it was during those time when most of my information was gathered to lead me to amazing future successes.  I learned that the how in dealing with anything matters more than what the anything is.  I also learned that the toughest competition is within… moving to a stronger place within yourself.  Doing more than the day before.  Pushing through no matter what.

I know people who get afraid of competing, who think it is negative because they feel that it puts others down, or leaves others out.  There is nothing wrong with loving being first in something.  It feels good.

I believe that we often don't compete because we don't want to lose not because we don't want to win.  Are you not competing because you are afraid of the work it takes to be great or because you don't think you ever could be?




"I'm not in competition with anybody but myself.  My goal is to beat my last performance." ~Celine Dion