Iron Cowboy: Inspiration to Action

Iron Cowboy: Inspiration to Action
July 8, 2015 Jess

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

As I write this post…

Sarah Outen is on the final leg of her journey from London to London via bike, rowing boat and kayak. She left in 2011, predicting that her journey would take two years, she is now two years over that prediction. She has ridden her bike and kayaked 11,000 miles across Europe, was caught in a typhoon in the North Pacific ocean, navigated the treacherous waters of the Aleutian Islands and logged another 5,000 miles on her bike across Canada to the Atlantic Coast.  She left Cape Cod a few months ago and is headed to her finish line in London via the Atlantic Ocean.

Scott Jurek, renowned plant based ultramarathoner is on the final stretch of his quest to break the speed record for the fastest trek from Georgia to Maine via the Appalachian Trail. Currently held by Jennifer Pharr Davis the record stands at 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. As of today he is on day #43 and is more than 90% complete.  His odds are looking good to break the previous record by at least a few days.

On Monday, I spent the day with James Lawrence, more commonly known these days as Iron Cowboy. He is attempting what is to many, if not all, to be the impossible. I was guilty of having similar thoughts, until I met James and now I know for sure there is nothing that is going to make this crusader quit on his goal. He set out on June 6th of this year to complete 50 iron distance triathlons in 50 days in 50 states with his 5 kids, superhero wife and energetic crew in tow. Of James’s 50/50/50, Monday was #31 in RI and at its completion set the new world record for most consecutive iron distance triathlons finished. Today James is still moving, most likely on his 112 mile daily bike leg in the granite state of New Hampshire where the motto is to live free or die.

These folks are doing just that. Their freedom in life is found by taking huge leaps of faith to go for it despite great odds for failure. They believe what so many doubt which is that nothing is impossible. So what is it about these people that afford them such courage and greatness?  They surely must be special, different from the rest of us. They must have more blood pumping through their bodies, stronger hearts or maybe a few screws loose up top. People like Sarah, Scott and James are inspiring without question but no one we could ever aspire to be. Right? WRONG!

These people are us. They are derived from the same magnificent source that brought us all here. At some point they were inspired by something or someone and they put that inspiration into action. I am absolutely sure they have experienced doubts, fears and anxiety along the way but the difference is that they did not listen, at least not for long. If they did they would not be where they are today. They set a goal, and trained towards their goal putting all of that work into action to make their inspiration a reality.

I remember when MB was teaching me to recite the following mantra before each meditation – I am not my body, I am not my mind, I am not my thoughts. With great hesitation and initial uncomfortableness I committed to feeling these words. I felt pain as my story fell away in their wake and I realized that the image in the mirror was no longer me. It seems that what I’ve been seeing for all those years is just a container for who I truly am which are the qualities of my source. The same source energy that lies deep within us. This is the same energy that sparked our life here on earth and created our miraculous bodies. This is the same source energy that runners have used to complete the 4 Deserts race, climbed Mt. Everest and many other feats of great human endurance.

For some this source energy is obvious from the start of their life. For others, it lies in suffocation under many layers of fear and doubt just waiting to be uncovered.  The hopeful glimpse of great things comes from an acceptance that if you can dream it then it is possible.  We’ve all had those moments of great inspiration. The difference lies between those who turn that into action and those who listen to the doubt, only to let that great moment slip away into nothingness. Each person’s journey and time frames to self-realization are unique.  For some, it matches that of the aforementioned badasses and for others their 50/50/50 is mustering the strength to quit the job they loathe, taking the first steps to a healthy lifestyle or getting up in front of a crowd of people to speak.  Whatever it is for you, it is never too small or big.  It is nothing less than possible.

When James was interviewed by Rich Roll just three months prior to the start of his 50/50/50 journey, Rich asked him how he was feeling about this venture. James answered, “I’m terrified”. As I swam and ran next to him on Monday I had thoughts about what his physical state may be at that time. I was sure he had to be in physical pain, although he never complained once. I was sure he had to be tired, although he never complained once. His only response to the repetitive question of how he was doing was a simple and forthright “good”. From this, I’m going to assume he knows very well that in order to reach his goal he cannot, for more than an instant, focus on anything negative. To feed any pain, fear or doubt will pull him in the opposite direction of his goal.

As with all of us, James is not immune to the human condition but his ability to put his inspiration into action is awe inspiring to me. As humans we are good at receiving inspiration and seeing the ultimate goal but our affliction lies with self doubt and impatience.  Wanting to get there immediately and being so overwhelmed with the process that we abandon the dream altogether. As James said to Rich in their interview, “there is only one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time”. Realizing our dreams and what we are supposed to do here on earth requires immense patience to simply take the next step while holding the overall goal crisp in your mind’s eye.

We live in a society where we are encouraged to avoid discomfort and failure. These things are seen things as negatives and much to our misfortune since these times are where our sacred moments are found.  People like Sarah, Scott and James are here to show us that with patience comes the next logical step and that attaining great dreams is never without discomfort but always with power. Times of challenge are a part of life and by familiarizing ourselves with the uncomfortable moments our power is revealed. This is when we truly see how the mind works and how we operate under challenging terms. There is great insight to be found here about where you need to strengthen and what is already strong. These are the moments where you can choose away from feeding pain, doubt or fear and break your mold to manifest your dreams.

You have what it takes, you always did and you always will.  Its starts with an inspiration followed by belief and solidified by a constant will to attain the goal. Never give up on yourself or the idea that you are here for your unique greatness.

Godspeed and namaste.

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