Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Pale Blue Dot

It is my father who consistently reminds me of the Pale Blue Dot, and this passage written by Carl Sagan. We are simply living on "a mode of dust, suspended in a sunbeam." This is the only place we know that humans can live on. We all choose to compete with one another for power or to comfort our own egos. What we must realize is we are here together. Everywhere else is the vastness of space; we are alone on this planet, it is our only home. This idea "underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.” 

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.” 
― Carl SaganPale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Amazing Find

         I recently wrote my friend, Joe Turcotte, who currently resides in Colorado Springs,  because I am looking for a place to stay this summer. I have known Joe for probably three years or so, and we have not spoken in a while; however, I think about him a lot.
I am the kind of person who likes to organize my life in chronological order in my mind. It's sort of like I am organizing a story in my head with all of the people and experiences I have had in my life. This way, whenever I want to go back to a certain time period, I can simply replay this in my mind; therefore, I never forget the amazing people in my life or what they have done for me. There was a piece missing in my story, missing for years, almost like the story just skipped over a part. The problem was this part was the turning point, the apex, and I could not figure it out. I could not figure out who it was that gave me that extra push to do something with my life. Who was the person that motivated me to really put some effort into triathlon, and who was the person that introduced me to Mike Ricci, the University of Colorado Triathlon Team coach when I was 17 years old.
        I would not be in this sport if Jevgenij Cariov, my good tennis friend and one of the best tennis players in the world hadn't gotten me to try the sport out. He was another influential person in my life, who was my tennis practice partner/mixed doubles partner, but  his passion became triathlon. Jevgenij was the person who got me to do my very first triathlon, Newton Trail Triathlon in Boulder Colorado. It was interesting to think that at the time I was really just doing the race for fun as kind of an outlet from tennis, since tennis is really the main sport I had pursued for the majority of my young life; I never thought that where I did my very first race, would eventually become my home. I never thought that triathlon, would eventually become the sport I pursue and love today.
       I have now filled the pieces in my short triathlon life. It was Taryn Archer, my amazing friend, who has been like a mother to me, who introduced me to her good friend, Joe Turcotte. Taryn used to take me to tennis tournaments and I worked with her on some USTA fundraising events. I worked with Taryn Archer and USTA to teach tennis to underpriviliged children, and to give them the opportunity to play at no cost. We did this at the Denver Cinco De Mayo Festival and the Dragonboat Festival. Taryn is one of the most amazing, giving, and loving people I have met in my life.
       It was Joe Turcotte and his wife Diane, who really changed my life. I had already been in contact with Joe through Taryn, and Joe was giving me a lot of coaching advice at the time. Having the support of two people who I didn't even know at Crescent Moon Triathlon [Joe and Diane}, was truly incredible( I basically just went into these races with no training); Joe and Diane told me before the race that I could do it and that I needed to take advantage of my run, which I did. It was after a while that I got to know Joe, that he introduced me to Mike Ricci, and I arranged my first meeting with Mike at the North Boulder rec center, where Mike gave me my first swim lesson. I was so unsure of myself at the time, but in my heart I think I actually knew what I wanted to do all along.
      The moral of all of this is that the Universe is amazing. Had I not been a tennis player, I would not have met Taryn Archer, so I would have never known Joe, and Joe would have never introduced me to Mike Ricci, and I would probably never have pursued this new lifestyle. It is amazing how the Universe works its magic if you let it. I think the Universe can see and feel what you want, only if you reveal that desire to it. The Universe will  help you, only if you choose to listen. The Universe will guide you, if you choose to follow. So follow that little voice. It is the Universe communicating with you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Live Unbound

“There’s something inside of us.
Blind to the forces that restrict our potential.
It gives us the gift of unlimited ability. We use it to rise above ourselves.
To reach the unreachable.
For most people it is unattainable.
Bound by fear.
Trapped inside the walls they built.
Asleep but never dead.
We fight to awaken it.
We fight to live unbound.
Unbound by our debilitating thoughts.
I can’t.
It’s too risky.
I’m afraid.
That’s impossible.
If you think impossible exists
Remember that we the human race
Are an impossibility in an impossible universe.
We do have weaknesses.
Fears and doubts.
But they are overpowered by psychological strength.
By the most powerful directing force of our future.
Our beliefs.” ~ The Live Unbound Manifesto

Monday, April 15, 2013

CU Triathlon Team 2013 Collegiate Nationals

I had a great time at 2013 USAT Collegiate Triathlon Nationals. I am so proud to be a CU Buff and humbled by the fact that we only won by 2 points. You can never underestimate your competition. I cannot believe how far I have come this year. I took a risk when I decided to quit tennis and transition to triathlon (almost changing my identity in a way). I like this identity better and I like where I am at as a person and an athlete. I have overcome obstacles with being injured during the winter season, and trying to stay balanced when things became overwhelming. The key for me at nationals was to follow my race plan; that meant staying on top of nutrition, tactics, as well as listening to my body. I have to admit I was fearful on the run and did not fully execute when I think I could have; I will build confidence once I get to understand the limits of my body better. I cannot compare myself to others because we are all unique, and this does not benefit me in any way; what I can say is that I had a solid race off of one month of consistent training without injury, and I executed the plan the best I could under the circumstances. In March, I had to withdraw from a race I was really excited to do, Clermont U25 Draft-Legal Challenge. I had trained all winter for it, and was really strong before getting injured. I think the disappointment and frustration are what made me motivated to get the help I needed to be healthy enough to compete at Havasu Regionals and Collegiate Nationals. I did everything I could to ensure I could compete pain free, which I did at nationals. I feel I executed my plan and achieved my goal of finishing top 100, so I feel fulfilled; however, I am not satisfied. I look forward to getting back into training consistently, staying healthy, and competing this summer! I know next year will be a new experience. After all, every race is. I will build off these experiences and stay patient in the process of balancing training, racing, and academics. It's almost summer time, and I can't wait! Whatever ups and downs I may experience, I will enjoy the process.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Your Worth

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." 

He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it...?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

You are special-Don't EVER forget it." If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it may bring. Count your blessings, not your problems.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Be Yourself

I received this quote in an email from my mothers cousin, Ildiko Dallos, who currently resides
in Nice, France. This message really rang true to me, so I wanted to share it with others.
It is our individuality which makes us unique, so let that individuality show. Be yourself!

I was jogging one day and I noticed a person in front of me, about 1/4 of mile. 
I could tell he was running a little slower than me and I thought, good, I shall 
try to catch him. I had about a mile to go my path before I needed to turn off.

So i started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a 
little bit. After just a few minutes i was only about 100 yards behind him, so I 
really picked up the pace and push myself. You would have thought i was running 
in the last leg of London Olympic competition. I was determined to catch him.

Finally, I did it! I caught and passed him by. On the inside i felt so good. "I 
beat him" of course, he didn't even know we were racing.

After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him 
that I had missed my turn. I had gone nearly six blocks past it. I had to turn 
around and go all back.
Isn't that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, 
neighbors, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are 
more successful or more important?

We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths 
to our God given destinies. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s 
a never ending cycle.

There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with better job, nicer car, 
more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome 
husband, better behaved children, etc. But realize that "You can be the best 
that you can be, you are not competing with no one."
Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are 
doing, where others are going, wearing driving.

Take what God has given you, the height, weight personality. Dress well wear it 
proudly! You'll be blessed by it. Stay focused and live a healthy life.

There's no competition in DESTINY, run your own RACE and wish others WELL!!!

Have a great Day!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Once there was a King who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from
Arabia. They were peregrine Falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever
seen. He gave the precious birds to his head Falconer to be trained.
Months passed. One day the head Falconer informed the king that though
one of the Falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the
other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.

The King summoned healers and sorcerers from all over the land to tend
to the Falcon, but no one could make the bird fly.
He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the King
saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its

Having tried everything else, the King thought to himself, "May be I
need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of
this problem." So he cried out to his court, "Go and get a farmer."

In the morning, the King was thrilled to see the Falcon soaring high
above the palace gardens. He said to his court, "Bring me the doer of
this miracle."

The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the King.
The king asked him, "How did you make the falcon fly?"
With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, " It was very easy, your
highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting."

We are all made to fly -- to realize our incredible potential as
human beings. But instead of doing that,we sit on our branches, clinging to
the things that are familiar to us. The possibilities are endless, but for
most  of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar,
the comfortable, the mundane. So for the most part, our lives are
mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling. We should learn to
destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of
"Why walk when you can fly"

How to Stay Motivated in the Winter

I get asked the question "how do you stay motivated in the winter?" quite often really. I am human, like everyone else, and t...