It only took seven seconds for me to realize Emma hadn’t heard me. She stood at bottom of the hill, stretched out her arms and nodded her head, but all she really heard was that her little sister was coming next. I gently pushed the black sled Maggie was in over the edge of the icy hill, and told her to hold on. It was Maggie’s idea. She wanted to try and ride alone after several trips of riding with me. And, as she shares my Pisces sign, I like to see her exercise her free spirit. So I said yes. And then hollered at Emma below to catch her. By second six Maggie was laughing! An independent sledder! I stood watching my little girl sled downhill at a remarkable speed, much faster than any of the other kids. Then in a slow motion blur second eight stood still as Maggie flew past Emma — who frantically turned over her shoulder to see her sister in danger. By second nine, it was too late. Maggie’s sled was heading fast toward the small break in the trees, right for the river. I started screaming before it happened, praying, screaming, praying, screaming. Running down the slick path to the bottom, catching myself so I wouldn’t tumble. Trying to get there. Trying to save her from the water. Trying to stop her sled. But I was eleven seconds behind her. She had gone over the bank and into the river. For several terrifying moments she was all alone as her sled started to fill up with water. Emma was five seconds ahead of me. Jumping in. Pulling her out (with the help of her best friend!). Rescuing her short lived independent sister from going any farther down the river. Her soaking-wet-to-the-bone, ice cold, shaking, little sister. My seconds stopped. I looked down the river, realizing that an accident had just been avoided. Then looked at the girls, my heart still beating — grateful I had been given a second chance.
I looked in the mirror late last fall and saw a growing BUT. My fault, really. I had gotten so busy with other things that I hadn’t noticed I was making enormous excuses for not trying something new or breaking outside my comfort zone. When my friend Jessica invited me to try CrossFit I hesitated. No, wait, I stopped cold in my tracks and in my head listed all my BUT’s loud and clear. Too many for this post. Now, three months in, I’m hooked. I am doing something I never thought I could, and with people who all fit into bucket #1 below.
Three ways to get rid of your BUT’s:
1- Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Your circle of trust. Friends that keep you motivated to achieve when you feel like giving up. Family that knows your potential. Virtual friends who text, email, and message words of encouragement. They are the ones who tell you to “point your skis down the mountain”. They are there to coach you when you decide to leave your BUT behind and try something new. Yes. These are your people who you can count on when you are three feet from giving up. So, bulk up on these people for 2014, you’re gonna need them.
2- Replace FEAR with FAITH.
My friend Krista’s dad shared a Shakespeare quote with me a week ago. I can’t stop thinking about it. “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Failing isn’t negative; it’s the first step in trying. And to try is to get over the fear that keeps us down. When realistic goals are set, and commitment is added, great things happen. Even climbing a rope.
3- Check out other people’s big BUT’s.
You know what’s a real life boost? Checking out other people’s mistakes and learning from them. How easy is that? Ask someone what their biggest regret has been and take good notes. Or, just stand back and people watch. Listen and observe as others rattle off excuses, justifications and explanations. Then start moving, changing your life, and watching your big BUT disappear.
This video is dedicated to my girls who motivate me each morning.
**Warning: video is put to music that may be loud and obnoxious to some.**