My Mom recently quoted Eleanor Roosevelt:
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. "
Mom reminded me that us Lougee women, five generations back, have weathered many, many, many emotional and physical storms. Whether we married young, had children young, had miscarriages, suffered physical ailments, lost loved ones through divorce and/or through death, whatever the case, we have not only weathered it, we have often been able to rise above it.
We are survivors.
I take this reminder with me now on a daily basis as I prepare for one of the most challenging periods in my life. This challenge comes, not from outside, which would be far easier for me to deal with, but from inside. I will have to reach far down inside of myself to find the strength and fortitude to rise up and accomplish the goals set before me. While I have weathered and even risen above challenges in the past, I am not good at this sort of thing.
I found during drill last year that when I was passed up by the pacer, who was running a 10:30 mile, I reacted, not by pushing harder and running faster but, by allowing myself to become discouraged and by slowing down. Did I applaud the fact that I was at least there, trying? Yes. But I didn't shine the way I wanted to. Now, back then I hadn't even started a regular exercise program yet, had hardly run at all since high school unless it was after a child. But, I went back for more.
While being a survivor has its advantages I want to do more than survive this time. I want to succeed. I want to shine. I want to show myself and everyone else that I can do more.
I need to.
I am scared to death to put my 40 year old body through the paces involved in Army Basic Training. Twenty two weeks I will be training to become a soldier - a defender of freedom and an upholder of the Constitution. I have that long to become more than I have ever thought I could be. I want to become a force to be reckoned with.
I want to Be All I Can Be and I want to be Army Strong. It sounds trite, I know, but I want it anyway. It doesn't seem so trite to me now.