Raising Champions

By Charlene Torello

Most people would say that life has a natural progression of things. When you are a child you experiment with things to figure out what you are good at and what you are not. In this journey you usually find your own rhythm. It might not be like everyone else's but it's yours. By the time you are lucky enough to find a mate and raise children, if that's where your rhythm leads you, you know yourself. You have an understanding of what makes you, you. I unfortunately did not allow myself to partake in this natural progression. I let fear guide me through everything. I can remember the first time my mother asked me to make a phone call as a child. It probably took me 20 minutes to get up the nerve to dial the numbers. Simple things for me became such a project. I missed out on so much because I let fear make the decisions in my life. I struggle with it until this day.

I believe that inside everyone there is a Champion sitting dormant until you decide to release it. I was waiting for it; I thought it would just magically appear. It took me until now, and I am 36 years old, to realize that you have to work for it. I thought if I waited long enough that someone would get it and bring it to me and somehow my life up to this point would make much more sense.

I am a stay at home mom with two children. I tend to everyone else's needs before my own. I thought that this "self sacrificing" way of life would help me feel better about myself. All the accolades that the family gives you for a job well done on dinner or a well scrubbed toilet would cut it. It did for a while until I realized that I was still missing out. Don't get me wrong, I still take pride in the fact that I take care of my family, but I needed something for me. My friend and I decided to start seeing a personal trainer, Jo-Ellen Morman of the Fitness Connection. I tell you her name because she plays a very important role in my life today. We started seeing Jo-Ellen, "Joey", to tone up and lose weight. Towards the end of our training Joey told us about a Triathlon that was coming up and if we would be interested. I immediately said "no way", as I usually do with things that will test me. I went home and mentioned to a few family members that our trainer asked if we wanted to do a triathlon. Let's just say that not everything was positive. I decided right then and there that I was going to do it. I told Joey the next day and then immediately regretted saying that I would do it. That fear started creeping in and telling me that I was going to fail. I decided it would give it my best and see where it led me.

I have done things in the last two months that I didn't know I could do. I still have fear, but this whole process has let me realize that I am not the only one who has the fear, It's the way I let it take over and stop me from doing things that was different. It doesn't have to be a Triathlon, it could be going back to work, learning a new craft, anything that you have always wanted to do or would like to do again. I have learned that it is ok not to be the best. Someone before me has looked just as silly as me when they try new things. When you try something it doesn't have to be perfect. There is always someone who will be better than you, but if you really try, then that's all you can ask for.

I have since completed the triathlon. It was a great feeling to be so afraid of something and doubt myself so much and see it through to the end anyway. I need to thank Joey Morman for helping me through this journey. She helped me realize that everyone can do more than they think. I needed the push she gave me, but the best thing she gave me was the self motivation that I needed to continue my journey.

It's hard raising the Champion inside of you. It's like a child that needs to grow and be taught. It doesn't matter when you discover that Champion, you can still nurture it. I have finally discovered it and have embraced it fully. I will still have fear and self doubt, but I know now that I can pull through it.

reprinted with permission
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