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Vision Quest: Endurance Events Promote Self-Image

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How am I? I’m unstoppable.

I urge anyone feeling bad about themselves, or generally down-in-the-dumps to go on a ‘vision quest.’ In Native American culture, a vision quest is something a pubescent child would do to find their life goals. They might go off alone into the wilderness for a period of days and wait for a vision to show them who they are and what they should do—they don’t return to their tribe until they have found themselves.

Metaphorically speaking, I suggest the idea of a vision quest for women in particular by way of signing-up for an endurance event or some other kind of challenge. Pick your distance, pick your discipline, and start training. Get yourself a goal to work toward. I may not have met my initial goal of losing weight, but I will get there eventually. More importantly, I accomplished something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I attended a boot camp of a triathlon—almost literally speaking—it took place on an army base!

The day after Partiot’s Day, I smiled and said 'good morning,' or nodded at all the uniformed army servicemen and women who silently watched over my newest vision quest. Other vision quests I've been on were childbirth, a marathon, and when I lived alone for the first time. In this vision quest, I thought about all the people who serve our country and fight for our freedom. In my darkest moments on the bike course, I thanked God for giving me the strength to do what I was doing, and the drive to keep moving forward for all the people who couldn’t do what I was doing, for whatever reason. I wore my American Stroke Association running cap, and thought about all the people I ran for when I did my marathon and half-marathon. I later was glad to be able to run (even slowly) after enduring the swim and bike portions of the race.

I never would have thought I could do a triathlon, even a short distance one. But I did. I swam 500 meters, I biked 14.7 miles, and then I ran 4.3 miles. I beat my personal goal time by about 5 minutes too. I am not a swimmer, but I can do a couple different strokes to stay afloat.

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Thanks for an inspiring post, and congratulations on your triathlon!!

September 15, 2009 - 5:16pm
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