by • January 2, 2013 • Life As I Know ItComments (1)1836

Three Little Words

I’ve tried for the past two years to create and keep a one word new year’s resolution. In 2011, it was ‘YES’. Last year, I chose ‘NOW’. As you can see, I was particularly action oriented over the past couple of years, wanting to do everything and anything – all, not nothing.

2012 was a particularly life-altering year for me. At the risk of hyperbole, 2012 pulled, pushed, challenged and changed me in ways I could never have predicted. Life is indeed what happens when you’re busy making other plans Mr. Lennon.

This year, I find myself unable to commit to a single word. Living through and in so much more grey (you’re welcome Eric Stoller) has caused me to focus less on a single word and more on a guiding mantra for 2013. These words actually found me in late 2012 thanks to a tweet from Tom Krieglstein. Tom quoted Troy Tanner, a former Olympian and coach to Olympic athletes. Troy had a particular set of words that he would share with his athletes before each game that resonate with me now more than ever (wannabe Olympic athlete and otherwise):

Breathe Believe Battle

Breathe I need to slow the heck down. Period. While I doubt I’ll ever fully give up my excitable, exuberant nature (and really, would you want me to?), I have learnt much and gained more in those brief, often rare moments of pause and quiet reflection. Stopping, pausing, spending five seconds to step back and (re)assess are major strategies for my 2013 game plan.

Believe I talk a good game, but I’m my own worst critic and my favourite enemy. If a friend talked to me like I talk to myself, we wouldn’t be friends for long. I’ve surprised myself a number of times in 2012 and it’s about damn time I listen to the quieter yet stubbornly insistent voice that says yes, I can. This will most likely be one of, if not my biggest challenge this year.

Battle Building on ‘Believe’, this word strikes close to home on a number of levels. As I continue to train in the gym for new and longer races, I will be battling through physical pain and fatigue to move farther and faster than ever. On a deeper level, 2012 saw me through some major dips, outright crashes and blinding breakthroughs related to my long standing struggles with anxiety. I have indeed battled through some tough times and appreciate the intensity, conviction and outright badassness of the word as I push, stretch and leap my way forward.

As Anthony Rapp sang in ‘Without You’ – “the only way out is through”. Whether out of my comfort zone, out of a rut or just out of the house to the gym, ‘Breathe.Believe.Battle’ are the three little words for 2013 that will get me there. To once again quote David Bowie “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

Postscript – These three words will also form my next tattoo that I am rewarding myself with after my next couple of races. I’ve been wanting a second piece of art for years and could not be more excited to finally have a way to keep these words, and these ideas, with me permanently. 


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One Response to Three Little Words

  1. Paul Jacobson-Miller (@pmilleredu) says:

    I was at a Boston Poetry Slam on New Year’s Eve and one of the poets spoke about the Titanic and that the reason the ship went down is that it tried to avoid hitting the iceberg and instead scraped up the entire side of the ship doing far more damage than a head-on collision. The way it was built, had it hit the thing head-on it wouldn’t have sank.

    I am no nautical historian (so I don’t know if that is true or not), but the message of the poem resonates with what you are saying about Battle. Rather than trying avoid struggles and instead letting them scrape slowly along our sides we need to be believe in ourselves and face them head on.

    I like your three words and like you struggles to focus on one word. I ended up picking one word, but it represents an idea that encompasses many words.

    Great post to kick off the new year!

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