The Big Beast Challenge Part 2
Last Monday morning, I trudged out the back door of my house, cross eyed and bleary, from working 20+ hours on Saturday and Sunday on the Big Beast Challenge. I looked at my hands, both of which were needed to lock the door that involves a whole tactic and system- lift the handle while violently shaking it- just to get it locked. My arms were filled with bags, a purse and a cup of coffee. I gave up and remotely unlocked my car doors and trudged towards it. My plan was to deposit everything on the front seat of my car and go back to the door to devote my full attention and two hands to the process of locking it. I tip toed carefully across the island of ice that was stubbornly hanging on even though the temperatures in the Denver area had gotten into the 50’s over the weekend.
I stepped around the worst of it and was two feet from my car door when I felt my feet slip out from under me and watched as they appeared at eye level. Just as quick, gravity was rudely dragging me straight towards the ground. BAM! I had subconsciously twisted on my way down to save my full cup of coffee and sacrificed my left hip in the process. Did I spill a single drop of coffee? Nope, I sure did not. My poor lunch, the bananas in my lunch bag and the fact that I actually remembered my lunch, in the first place, were a different story.
I sat on the three inch thick sheet of ice, letting the cold compress work its magic, while I drank my coffee. I had no inclination to care what the neighbors might think- I felt that I had solidly won the “weirdest neighbor on the block” award a long time ago and I wasn’t about to give it back.
I sat on the ice and thought about the past weekend and felt exhausted, but successful. Saturday morning started out late and by 9:30am, I was standing in front of the mountain of lumber I bought during the past week to make two Big Beasts. I drank my coffee while thinking about my plan, but still not having enough energy to actually start. My plan was to devote two full days to getting as much done as I could of two rolling industrial style shelving units. The plan was drawn up, the measurements were confirmed and all numbers had been crunched and re-crunched. Time to get started… so why was I dragging my feet?
I was dragging my feet because this was not going to be easy. This challenge wasn’t unrealistic and the finish line wasn’t out of reach but as I stood drinking my coffee and staring at all of that lumber, it represented..fear. I ran through the mental To Do List of all the steps that I would have to do in order to be successful in this challenge. It was a big list and at the end of making it, I felt…
Exhilarated, scared, tired, hopeful, able and…excited.
I can’t list too many things that I’m afraid of but if I had to come up with a short list of my top two fears, it would be this:
Failure and regret.
I have to admit that, in the past, I have decided to do or to not do something strictly based on one of these two fears. I have also made decisions based on the limitations of what others thought I could or could not do. It was as if, by others voicing their disbelief in my capabilities, this became my own baggage to add to the pile to carry. Here’s how I choose to respond to that:
We, you and I, are the only ones that know what we are fully capable of and sometimes it takes a mighty big challenge to prove to ourselves, (because that is the only person we should be concerned with) that we are so much more than we give ourselves credit for. What if we fail? Failure is not an unsuccessful, bad ending, it’s a different ending than the one you originally planned for. In my experience, failure is a fork in the road to a new road trip. You choose whether to seize the new journey and adapt to what is ahead or just drive off into the ditch.
You are the driver, right? Then yank that wheel back onto the road and claim both lanes as your own. I, for one, would be driving a 1950’s convertible with a bright red scarf around my neck, driving dead center on a beautiful two lane back road, hollering at the top of my lungs, “See ya!” as I tore down the new road.
So, here I go with the last half of the Big Beast Challenge.