As I stood at the starting line in the chilly waters of Lake Okanagan in beautiful British Columbia Canada way back in 1989, I was minutes away from embarking on a magnificent, unknown journey and to hopefully realize my dream of finishing an Ironman triathlon.  My eyes welled up as I listened to a group of bagpipers play on the edge of the shore as we waited for the cannon to go off and start the event.  I was so happy to be there at the starting line.  Although the race hadn’t started yet, a feeling of great calmness came over me, and I knew that all was well.  I knew this to be a very special moment and felt like I was in divine company as I began the task that lay ahead.  It was as if I knew this was my path and that the Universe was breathing together with me that day. 
I don’t want to say the whole race was a blur, but all I remember is bliss and happiness while I was out there swimming and cycling and running.  All 12 hours and 53 minutes of it!  I felt like I was on cloud nine the entire time.  I knew it would be a long day, so I just settled in and cherished every moment.  I remember engaging in brief, encouraging conversations with other athletes while on the bike and the run.  We were all brothers and sisters that day, living our dreams.  I remember the kind, smiling volunteers handing out water and food at the aid stations.  I tried to make sure I gave them all a hearty thank you.  Without them, there would be no race. 
I remember the way the sunshine reflected off Lake Okanagan prior to the swimming start.  I remember the majesty of Richter Pass (all 3,500 ft. of it) as I rode up and over it on my bike.  I remember the smell of the fresh rain as it briefly showered on us during the marathon.  I remember the vibrant colors of the athletes’ clothing (neon was in during the 80’s!).  My senses were on overdrive that day, and they were hyper-focused.  As I look back, I learned that day what it really feels like to live, to be alive!  I had never felt like that before in my life.  I was testing myself, believing in myself, honoring my intuition, and living out my dream.  What more could I ask for? 
My most amazing day concluded with tears of happiness as I jogged the last mile to the finish line to the cheers of all the wonderfully supportive spectators.  I was so happy and filled with joy that I did three cartwheels in the last 50 yards to the finish line.  It was not something I had planned, it just felt appropriate at the time!  If I had to choose one word out of many deserving words to describe my experience that day, it would be Empowered.  I felt truly Empowered!  My life has not been the same since.  It was as if once I had tasted that wonderful feeling of being alive, that is all I wanted to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner from that day forward.  And you know what?  Since then I have continued tapping into the greatness that resides within me (within all of us!), and have been making many more of my dreams and goals come true!  I want you to be able to climb that personal mountain that is in your sights.  I want you to be able to breathe in that wonderful aroma and delicious taste of what it feels like to be trulyempowered and alive.  It is never too late and one is never too old.   How are you feeling today?  Are you feeling alive and living in the moment right now, or are you just wishing you were?

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