Mar 29, 2018

Goals Alive!

I don’t often declare many of my big goals loudly. The sure to be successful goals, definitely. You won't be able to get me to shut up about those. The risker goals, I keep those hidden as I work through the uncertainty quietly. When there is competition, self doubt, the unknown; I keep it to myself. Better to fail without an audience. Better to strive alone and share victories once they are sure to be just that, victories.

It’s not that I don’t set goals. I do. Often. Huge goals, small goals, long term goals, short term goals. But I don’t write them down, I rarely speak them to anyone but John. 

I’ve been working on prerequisite classes to apply for a masters in occupational therapy for three years. Three years, but most of my closest friends are only just finding out about it. It’s a competitive program, no one needed to know. In case I didn’t get in.

What a lonely place to be. Most of my friends thought I was just taking classes for fun. Not wanting to risk the vulnerability of failing enough to announce the things that I'm working really hard on. But here's the thing, if I'm not willing to risk sharing the failure, then I'll never get to truly share the victory.

So here I am. Ready to set a huge, possibly unachievable goal. Ready to take a risk. Ready to work hard, to do my best, and maybe fail. My goal is to win OABI.

OABI stands for Once Around Belle Isle. It is a paddleboard race, the biggest in my area. The 7 mile race, that I have participated in for the last two years, is the distance around the island, Belle Isle. This island is in the Detroit River with Detroit on one side and Windsor, Canada on the other. We start about a two thirds of the way up on the Detroit side, go up around the tip of the island, continue on the Canadian side, around the bottom of the island and then up the American side to the finish line. The Canadian side of the island is wide so there are freighters and large yachts in the water. This means that when the weather is good, there are about four feet waves coming from all directions. When the weather is bad, it's really bad. But we race anyways. Two years ago the rain was so brutal we could hardly see in front of us for some parts of the race, but we paddled on.

I love this race for a few reasons. It is a huge community event, it probably has the best turnout in the midwest. All the Instagram paddleboarders from Michigan you follow are there, which is one of the ways that I've made some really great friendships! My SUP yoga company, Root SUP, teaches paddleboard yoga there every year. There is live music, food trucks, beach games, etc. I also love this race because it is the most challenging one that I do every year. Being from inland Michigan, I'm a flat-water paddleboarder. I don't get much practice on big bodies of water like the Detroit River, aside from the couple times each summer that I make it to Lake Michigan. The current plus the choppy waves make for a super challenging and rewarding race.

The awesome thing about setting a goal that is this big is that there are many other goals that I'll be checking off on my way to the big one. I'll train all summer and work hard to do my best at OABI, I'll hopefully get my best time in the race, I'll train and fuel my body in a way that I'll feel like I can walk after the race is over (something that has been lacking the last two years that I raced through the finish line and immediately collapsed into a chair), I will write about the journey of training in a consistent way, I will hold myself accountable to listen to my body, to feed it well, to work as hard as I can towards this goal.

So here I am committing to some big, scary, probably impossible goals. I want to win OABI (in women's 12'6" division). I would rather shoot for a crazy goal than sell myself short, and I would rather share it with the people I love then keep it quiet for fear of failing.

Tune in here, every week to keep up with my journey to OABI. And keep an eye out! I'll be offering a training program in the weeks leading up to OABI if you'd like to train with me!