Confession: I sometimes get jealous.
I’m not very proud of this, but it’s part of the human condition and part of my condition. Also, I’m told by very smart people that the best way to change a behavior is at first to acknowledge it. The fastest way to the other side of a feeling is through it. Not around it. Not by slamming the door and pretending it doesn’t exist. Right smack through it. And so yes, sometimes, I am jealous of my friends.
My friends do some amazing things. They climb mountains. They win races. Hell, they have people to train with while winning races.
For a moment, I’m jealous. There’s a tug in my soul. My heart pouts. But I want to do that. That’s what I want. Why can’t I be that cool?
After a few minutes of an internal temper tantrum, I start to come around. I realize that awesomeness lives in abundance and takes many forms. I realize that because of this abundance, awesomeness is not a zero-sum game. And, more importantly, I realize that all these people who are doing awesome things? I drew them to me. For a reason. And it wasn’t to elicit jealously. It was to inspire me.
I met Angel during the Sehgahunda Trail Marathon. It was the final few miles and after leap-frogging each other, we ran (and walked) the last three together. We became friends and although she lives in Texas and I in Buffalo and we haven’t been able to connect in person, the magic of social media keeps us connected, as does an occasional care package full of Tim Horton’s coffee.
Just recently, Angel went to Colorado and completed the Pike’s Peak Ascent. Basically, we’re talking a half marathon straight up a mountain with 7,815 feet of vertical gain. That, my friend, is one bad ass accomplishment. There are times when I doubt myself on the big things. What’s the line from Eleanor Roosevelt? “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” And many times I come face to face with a task that is brimming with uncertainty as to whether or not I can do it. I’m grateful for Angels’ example that I don’t have to be perfect to be awesome. I just have to embrace the journey and engage with spirit. And a smile. Bring it. Because it’s fun, it’s a challenge and I want to.
Meanwhile back in New York State, my friend Tracy spent the summer in the Adirondacks tackling a feat some work their entire adult lives to achieve — to summit all 46 High Peaks. She and her dad took on the task. They knocked off 40 High Peaks in about a month, having done the six others previously. There days of hitting multiple summits in one day. Other times, it was six days out on the woods, hunting down trails and creating ones that weren’t maintained in order to get to the top. Through the bits and pieces she shared on Facebook, I saw an amazing story of a woman stretching herself, being fully engaged in the present moment and creating a community not just with her family but with those also on the trails.
I want to ascend Pikes Peak. Climbing Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York State, has been on my bucket list for almost a decade now. And here is what is awesome: I have friends around me who have done just those things. I am bringing the things I love into my world. And more importantly, I am bringing people I admire, love and am inspired by into my world.
Jealous for a minute? Yep. I’m woman enough to admit it.
But that’s quickly erased by the cartwheels I’m turning to cheer them on and celebrate. And it’s quickly replaced by new thoughts, thoughts of the dreams I have, of the places I want to go, of the mountains I want to climb. It’s replaced with gratitude for the people I am blessed to call my friends. There truly is an abundance of awesomeness. And I can choose to be part of it.