Victory ought not be confined to mythical textbook characters or Hollywood box office fame and medal winners alike. Feats of achievement are won every iota an exhale escapes from any mouth-breather that ever existed. Searching for credit has been a misplaced prom queen at a Texas rodeo competition. We all deserve and want the glory, but haven’t always received what we feel is our due. Steering clear of fighting others, I’m seeking to inject you with a Lance Armstrong pre-steroids, decked out in Iron Spidey Armor ready for an Oprah Winfrey love-in. I want you to attain the Promised Land forsaking the decades of wandering. I mean, strut your universe at whatever pace and as much as you wish. Only, add the aplomb of Mary Poppins, giving a much-needed intermission to the workout informercial regimen.
When you no longer feel anything that’s when you’re tapping into everything. This is my equivalent of the so-called runner’s high. Now, try to say it with me three times really fast — endocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, endocannabinoids. I’d like to confirm it’s a heck of a lot easier to just say pot, pot, pot, and people might catch on to the thoughtful impact all the same. I’ve willfully grappled about chasing this feeling as fast as Bolt-man dashed out the relay records in 2012. There are more bottoms I’ve achieved, as in rock bottoms, attempting to psyche myself into a marathon, only to walk that puppy purposefully determined to finish. I might have lost a day, while others geeked out over whatever French toast prize or spaghetti splurge they had coming to them, but I completed darnit.
I’m not sure I was designed properly for excursions that would make Nike stalk my whereabouts in order to sponsor me. I get this sharp stabbing sensation underneath the top left rows of my ribcage. If that wasn’t enough, my face turns into a glistening shade of bright beet red. Everyone thinks I’m in need of immediate medical attention. It can be pitiful. Mostly it’s a train-derailment-size distraction from all the effort I’m aiming to keep A-rated before X-rated expletives begin to fly. A devoted therapist of mine would immediately remind me this is ‘victim mentality’ and gently remind me I don’t speak victim anymore. He would technically be correct. This is a pile of excuses fit for an endurance bullshit parade to rival Macy’s Thanksgiving Day. I’m better than that. Hence keeping therapy as lusciously rotating as a stripper round a pole.
Inside me lies a forest of confidence brimming with streams swimming in a surplus of faithful fairies siphoning from the backbone of Mother Earth’s spine. All the mesh and lace lackluster when you realize your core is wallpaper-covered with the repeating symbol for alchemy. Lacking cutthroat bones when challenged by another, I’ve got one vicious varmint within. At the heart of a personal escapade where the stakes pit me against myself I’m apt to slog through that mud, hike the mountain, bear the drenching rain, and sweat like the stuck pig I feel. All to say I did it. Accomplishment is the lesbian lover of achievement. Never the twain shall part for their affair is a beloved beauty that breaks all barriers.
Sometimes you have to get dirty to get an answer out of yourself. Disclaimer — This workout may hurt a little. It’s not FDA approved or government sanctioned, but I bet Tony Robbins would offer you one big bear hug and we could throw in a side of Deepak Chopra CDs as a bonus. Built into my bloodstream I’ve found some serious cells of stamina and strength. When everything in the world leads back to me, I show up. There’s a charm of courage trapped deeply in me. Bravery surfaces as delicately as the consistency of cotton candy. Then an architecture of trustworthiness begins to grow in my bones. With every grunt, stumble, step, bead of sweat, and gulping water gurgle, I trudge onward. I can do it. I must do it to prove it to me.
Take the morning I was told to rise before the sun to embark upon a drive to the base of some Ethiopian mountains that started parts of civilization and we know it. This wasn’t a simple sunrise photo op for the silhouettes streaking between crevices. We were going to hike to the tippy top to inhale the religious history of Gheralta’s famous rock-hewn churches personally. Along with a band of equally philanthropic patrons, this was a cultural meets bonding bombshell of faith. Would we faint or find fortitude? Indubitably, this is one of those moments I wish I’d been born a different color in a different land.
In the place where skeptical smiles are as common as Christianity, the locals have learned to scamper up the mountainside barefoot in swift timing compared to us westerners. Dominance of self is a distinct confrontation. It’s not the sheer cliffside heights that snagged me. Roughly 1000-year-old churches at least 1000 feet high had me craving photo vista panoramics before we had the searing sunshine overhead. What stops my heartbeat in these moments is the exertion. I’m not in perfect health — whatever superhero svelteness you’d like to conjure. That’s not me. I get winded really easily. My Irish epidermis becomes agitated from the glaring heat. Basically, I start out thinking I should give up. I mean it. My starting point is stopping nearly every time my mind hashes these dilemmas.
No-turning-back-syndrome makes you a commander where you forgot you had an army. Troops have gathered. Requisitions have been made. There are missions that require your all. Fate rests in your hands. Power starts and stops with you. Your aspiration is the enterprise of fulfillment. Keep stroking as the teenager bringing their first climax. There is a mighty freedom in the application of seizing control of your happiness all on your own. Now, that’s a Captain of Achievement — knowing the ease of flipping to the extravagance channel on your mental tv.
All of this can be applied to external humans around you too. I simply find my manners don’t personally percolate at the same level if it’s not about solely impregnating my brain with self-esteem. Being captured by embarrassment if you decline or falter does have its day in conscious court. I admit I’ve been swayed by the presence of people. Oh, the pesky hierarchy, where classes aren’t for teaching and instead involve performance ranking. Better can happen when there’s togetherness.
I’ve known feats of achievement when leaping from ledges, jumping from a plane, stirring together a home-cooked meal, hiking a steep trail, swimming with sharks, or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve started original coups when asking for a special phone number, a first date, and even a salary. With vanguard spirit, it’s silly not to keep trying. Exponential triumph is where it’s at. I keep bearing down to break down any uneasiness. Bizarre motives and treacherous patience allowed. Fantastic silence or creative muttering are welcome.
Every revolution begins with the value of verity. To quote my darling friend Jen Kraemer: “Every effort is a step towards and away from something”. Something in me kicks into high gear when faced with myself. I double-down. I buckle down. Whatever I was so ready to bail on, head to the massage parlor, start downing a Long Island Iced Tea over, suddenly turns into a conquest. At all costs, save the pesky death factor, I morph into a quest-determined Christ resurrected. A benevolent immensity overtakes me. When I stride towards success I turn away from failure. I will achieve.
May your crusades pierce the fabric of existence to pin some strapping rewards in your favor.