"I am not afraid. I was born to do this."
A few months ago, I read this quote, widely attributed to Joan of Arc. The phrase really resonated with me; actually, the first time I read it I got goose-bumps.
You see, that phrase applies to so many areas of my life, especially parenting and racing.
Raising a child with special medical needs is something I never thought I would have to do. Who does (unless you're one of those angels who adopt a child with needs, of course)? When we were in the midst of her medical crisis, and I learned all that I would have to do to care for her, I was overwhelmed, to say the least. I had to learn how to take care of her feeding tube, breathing tube, and hearing aids; coordinate a huge list of doctors' appointment and therapy sessions; work with her daily so that she would not only survive but thrive; and advocate constantly with doctors and insurance companies. And that was for starters!
Of course, once the initial shock wore off, I was ready and stepped up to the plate with no hesitation. Was I afraid? Yes. Do I still have moments of fear? Heck, yes. Even though she is doing so well (no longer has her feeding or breathing tubes, is walking, talking and is even now writing the letters of the alphabet!) I still get scared about her future, and what role I will play for her.
Racing can be scary, even to this day. How the in the world will I be able to run 13.1 miles in a half marathon? And swim, bike and run in a triathlon? Growing up a non-athlete, the racing world is still new(ish) to me. Yet I train daily, diligently putting in my time in the pool, on the bike and pounding the pavement. And on race days, whether it's a half marathon or triathlon, I put my fears aside and just do it.
So when I saw the phrase "I am not afraid. I was born to do this", I just knew I had to have a piece of jewelry with that on it. Because when I dive in, I am not afraid anymore, and it seems natural. I asked my friend Erica, who not only designed my new blog layout but is a talented jewelry designer, to make it for me. It arrived in time for my birthday last month.
This is a picture of what it looks like. I am using the picture from her website, as my own attempts at taking a picture of it were lousy. On one side it says "I am not afraid" and on the other it says "I was born to do this". I have it around my neck, hanging with the dogtags of my kids' names. I never take it off. During my last triathlon, when I got scared during the swim, I remembered it around my neck and I was a little less afraid. I fingered the necklace around my neck during my last fight with Medi-Cal. And Erica is now selling the necklace on her website, which makes me feel so good.
Remember, whenever you are scared.....you are born to do this.