Leaning In

For a lifetime people have asked me how I do “it”. I wasn't really sure what “it” is. But, I think they mean keep going and not be overcome by fear or frustration. Sometimes even doing the “impossible”.

It’s pretty simple. I lean in.

I used to refer to this as doing the counterintuitive but recently found the term ‘leaning in’ in the book Fearless at Work by Michael Carroll. I like it better. Short, sweet, no bullshit. Like me.

Let me use a very tangible example that some of you will understand. Childbirth. Now, when it comes to painful reality of pushing after being in labor for what feels like 572 years the inclination for many is to quit. They might say “I can’t do it,” or “I’m gonna die!!!” No sweetheart, the truth is if you DON’T push you are going to die. I, on the other hand,leaned in…

  • #1 arrived sunny side up fracturing my tailbone; but the doc was holding him within 10 minutes.

  • #2 was nearly a 10 pounder in less than 15.

  • #3 and #4 arrived together. One in the usual way; the other footling breach. Less than 10 total.

I guess I approach the rest of my life with that pragmatic sense of reality. When there isn’t enough money to pay my bills, I start my day by looking at them anyway before I allow myself do anything else. If I write on a sensitive topic that may be misconstrued or even put me in physical danger I am sure to always, always sign my given name. Possibly try to publish it. Even this blog. It scares me. I do it anyway. This list is endless.

The reason I am thinking about this today is that I started running again yesterday. It’s rough for most people to start again, I get it. But try starting again when you have little to no feeling on your left side except for the nerve pain that is screaming at you from the inside out. I have to think hard about how I place my foot with every step because one misstep will take me down. I have to learn to counterbalance with an arm that doesn’t feel right; that sometimes doesn’t feel at all. It would be easy to say “I quit” before I even start but, instead, I’ll say this…I am going to run a marathon. My marathon will look different than the average and a bit wobbly, I'm sure. I might even be the subject of ridicule – in fact I’m sure I will be. But, I will not be deterred. And I will not be delayed. In fact, I’m going to do better than that. I will show you all my vulnerability in ways you cannot imagine and, in the end, it will be beautiful.

Time to lean in.