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Focused Intent

Most of my life was spent trying to perfect something. As a young kid, I tried to perfect whatever sport I was playing. As the only girl in my family with four older and one younger brother who all were successful in one sport or another, I grew up watching them, learning from them, and surpassing them in many ways. I had a natural talent with hand-eye coordination and mastered softball, tennis, and basketball. I was recognized by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for doubles-tennis and even played competitively after I graduated high school. My first passion was softball and for many years I was the number one draft pick. Why am I bragging about my talented youth? I want to make a point about focused intent.

As much as I loved team sports, I discovered my true passion when I competed against myself. In my mid-20's I learned about triathlons. I enjoyed running and cycling, but swimming was never a strength of mine. When the challenge came, I faced it with focused intent. My first triathlon was with two other coworkers who ran and cycled. Getting the short straw, I entered the waters off Redondo Beach with 200 other contenders. The chilly water shocked my system and caused me to gasp as all around me people splashed into the waves with reckless abandonment. I paused a moment to let the frenzy pass and began a systematic and rhythmic pattern of swimming that became hypnotic. The mile-and-a-half swim seemed like only moments in my mind as I exited the waters, I touched the hand of my partner who took off on the bike. We won fifth place in our division and for the next ten years I lived the life of a part-time triathlete. In my early 30's I felt bored and unchallenged with competing because finances, time, and a lack of talent that limited my ability to excel. I loved the challenge of pushing myself to my limits and cycled 100-mile races in Mexico and San Diego, "For the love of the sport." At the age of 38, I felt I needed to push myself even harder and