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I wish I had more chances in the past to re-evaluate my life. I passed them up, over and over. I strayed from the path least taken and walked on the path that maybe shouldn’t have been taken. I could have lessened the depths of my darkness (if darkness could be quantified) and maybe had a slightly higher baseline, but the grass is always greenest in the spring. I fell in a cycle of being too caught up in my stresses that seemed so much larger and heavier than what they really were. Every time I came up for air, the weights on my ankles got heavier. My daily activities were played in a loop, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after year. No matter how many times I hit the contrast button on the screen, I still could not see. My skin was marked with bruises, some were fresh, some had been there a while, some were so deep they have permanently discolored my skin. My sister would point them out, but I almost never knew how they got there. The theory of “No Pain, No Gain” is not exactly a proven scientific fact. (There is in fact a thing called detrimental pain.) Alas, I was numb. When I regained some feeling, I realized how exhausted I was, how stale my mind had become, how illness would just overtake my weakened body, how physical injuries would take months, if not years to heal. I should have never ignored the glowing core inside the glass doors of my very open heart. Everyone else could see it.

Inspired by Automattic’s Creed, I have written my own.

I will never stop learning. I will never pass up an opportunity to love. I will strive to be vulnerable and compassionate. I will build up my friends as they have built me up. I will put my needs first, for this is not a selfish endeavor. I cannot possibly help others if I’m not healthy and happy. I will pour time and energy into outlets that give me strength, creativity and freedom. I will not be motivated by money, for there is no happiness in worldly riches. I am intentionally participating in this ironman, not a sprint, and no matter how far the finish line may seem, the only way to get there is to honor the past, present and future, to dig deep (sometimes deeper), to breathe with control, to sun salutate my way through dark clouds, to keep moving when the fibers tire and to smile. I will flow like a river, carving my experiences in the canyon walls that will echo my deepest desires. I will create memories. I will leave a legacy.

I will be my own ironwoman.  What my sister has accomplished three times, I will accomplish once.

If you are reading this, you have inadvertently signed a pledge to hold me to mine, and I promise to hold you to yours. 🙂