dwrigsby

Live Out Your Story

Category: Inspirational Thoughts

Running is Hard

5 mile age 44 July 2016

I’m older now, and I’m not able to do the things I once could do with ease. I recall a day when my friend, Craig, called me up to enter with him and his team to do a relay race. I think it was a state or county held event, I didn’t know. I’d never ran in a relay, and I mentioned that to him. He said I’d do fine.  They were down a runner, and needed someone who could run fast. I said sure, I’ll do it and showed up.

It was early morning, the sun was just coming up. People were everywhere dressed in shorts, sneakers, and with numbers on their backs. My friend and his two team mates waited for me on the track. We were introduced, and they said that I’d go last. All I needed to do was to grab the baton before a certain point, but to start my run first and make sure the hand off went smooth. Okay, I thought. Shouldn’t be hard. I was actually terrified but I didn’t let it show.

There was an announcement made, and we were set to run our race. We all got close to the track, and the first runner on our team was up. A horn blew, and he was off running smooth, and fast. He had made it around the track and handed off the baton to his team mate. The new runner was gone in a flash, elbows hammering away, feet pounding the ground, and  doing well.

Craig was next, and I was shaking all over.  I tried to ease the shakes by taking deep breaths, trying to keep my cool but nothing was working. I jumped up and down in place, flicking my arms and hands out in an attempt to calm my nerves. Nothing.

My friend was up, and ready. The other runner came around, and he handed the baton off smooth and easy. I watched, taking in how they did it, to absorb and understand the movement. I mimed the hand off on my own, to be sure I got it.  Craig was off and making it around. My turn was coming. My heart raced, my palms were clammy. I got onto the track, watching, waiting. He was almost here.

I started off, slow, steady just like I’d seen and he rounded the corner, and then he handed the baton off to me. I looked back, making sure to keep my eyes on the baton, making sure I didn’t drop it. It was in my hand, and I gripped it hard, faced down the track and off I went. I was giving it my all. My heart beat hard against my chest. My arms were swinging fast and smooth. My knees high, my feet out, and my conviction set.

I was doing well but then about three quarters of the way I started to slow down, and I was trying to keep my pace. I heard a man call from the side telling me not to quit, keep pushing. I did but I had nothing left. My legs wobbled, my thoughts confused. Could I make it, would I make it, I had to make it. I kept on, pushing with all I had, all my strength, all my will. I drove it all into that moment, into that point in time, and then I was across the finish.

I stumbled to a stop, my legs were like jelly and I heaved in large gulps of air. I’d never done that before, never tested myself to that extent, and now I’d find out if I’d done well or if I was a disappointment.

I looked at the other guys, and their eyes were wide with disbelief. I had done horrible, I felt ashamed. I wanted to go home.

My friend came up to me and patted me on the back and the other guys did the same. Something was different, I’d done something good. Did I? Craig began to tell me my time. He said I’d ran it in 54 seconds. I asked if that was good. He nodded, then said very good and that I had the fastest time out of all of them. I was astonished. I never trained, I never tried, I was never tested until now. I didn’t know I could do this, I didn’t know I was good at it, but here was my friend, and his team mates confirming I’d done well.

I’ll never forget that day. It was a good day. I was glad to have done so well for my friend. I didn’t want to let him down. That feeling inside was what pushed me. It wasn’t to win, it wasn’t to be better than the other guys on the team, it was to make my friend proud. I wanted him to know that I would go all out, I would do whatever I could to not let him down.

Years later I’ve taken running back up. I can’t run like I use to run. It’s harder now. I tested myself this morning, after training the last few months to run an 5K. I can run one lap at 72 seconds. Will I get faster? Time will tell but I doubt I’ll be able to run like I did when I was fifteen years old. Running is hard, but am I doing it to prove something? Am I doing it to win? No. I’m doing this because it’s hard. I’m doing this because it will test me.

Years ago it was a great feeling. Even better because I never let my friend down. Though I must admit. I am running – not for me, but for a friend. I’m running for my wife. She wants to run a half marathon. I’m out there to encourage her, I’m out there in the morning, I’m out there inviting her in the evening to exercise. Why? Because I want to give my all, I want her to see I’m here, and I don’t want to let her down.

Running is hard. Life is hard. Who’s in your life? What would you do for them? Would you give your all? Can you be counted on?

Be an inspiration for another, do something hard and you might just find out that you can do more than you ever imagined.

Find out more on Lydia’s journey – Lydia’s half marathon and consider making  a donation. – Donation

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Happy Mother’s Day Mom

scan0778Mom

 

Hi Sandra Rigsby – AKA Mom,

Mother’s day is coming soon and I still don”t know what to get you. All these years I cannot recount all the wonderful things about you.  So, I’m going to put some of my thoughts down on the page and see what I can arrange.

– I know you like horses, always so close to your heart. I recall being around them from an early start. You brushing them down and feeding them too, riding them around and having a hoot. You never owned any horses and that is true, if you think really hard you’ll have one too. Maybe not in your backyard, or in a pontoon, but they are there if you think of one or two.

– I know you like dogs – you have a few of those. They are loud and certainly like to run the show. Don’t feed them too much, because it’s hard on those legs, as short as they are they might just give way.  But I jest of course, they are cute to see – and not very nice when I step in their pee. Take them outside and give them a dust, and bring them back in and give them a hug.

– I know you like the outdoors, hiking along in the woods. Nature’s beauty is true, and it happens that you are beautiful too. I share the love of the woods just as you do, maybe that came from heaven when I was born to you.

– You like your television shows, of course you do. I like to watch them sometimes too. Though I hope you like my stories, and give those a try, if they make you go to sleep you could try and pry your eyes. Keep them open, and let the words through, and you might just see in my writing a bit of you.

I know  I only list a few things, but I have more so please stay tuned. Below are my feelings I want to express about you.

– You remember that time when we were out on Apple Road and those bad men showed?  I remember how you stood your ground and looked at those men and stared them down. A strong willed woman is what was caught in their eyes, and they turned away to my surprise. Yes indeed i saw something in you, strength and honor and integrity too.

– You recall that time I stepped on that nail? It went straight through my foot, and stuck out on top. You came to me in a quick hop. You wrapped me up in your arms, and carried me home, it was quite the distance you trekked all the way down the road. I held onto your neck so not to fall, and  you held me tight telling me it would be alright. On and on until you tired, you sat me down, and started to perspire, but you didn’t quit you kept on doing what moms do, you got me to the hospital in a jiff or two.  I recall that day and how much you cared, I felt it in me and everywhere. I glowed from inside you might not have known, so I’m telling you now because I want you to come home.

– I know you’ve been sick for a while that is true. I am away right now and thinking of you. I tried to call but the line didn’t pick up, I’ll try again later and wish for some  luck.  I will pray for you so that God may do as He will, and keep you safe from all that is here. As I look outside into the star lit night I can’t stop but to that think about your light. That light that is around you and anyone who knows you can see – it ebbs and flows as easy as can be. Caring, loving, and supportive too that is what makes you special and that is why I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sincerely Your Son,

D.W. Rigsby

Consideration

Do you ever wonder what would happen if people would just stop for a moment, think about what they are about to say, and give consideration before saying it?  We all make mistakes no doubt, and some of us just haven’t developed the communications skills to state something in a more considerate manner. I know I am guilty of it, and I hope anyone who’s felt that I was being inconsiderate at a given point in time will forgive me now.

I think there are times when consideration just doesn’t fit, like when  you are in a heated debate with someone over who’s going to be the next president of the United States. No, not really – we can be considerate here too.  But there will be times when it won’t fit, but for the most part I think we can all work to fit it in most times.

Being direct is a good form of communications but can easily slip into being inconsiderate of the other person you are speaking to.  For those who are direct – try and think of a different way to say the same thing, that might lesson the harsh words you generally prefer to use. Example – “you’re an idiot.”  One could say this instead, ” I think you should read the directions before you begin.” Or  “I think you might have overlooked what you were trying to express, so maybe you should think about changing your tactic.”

There are other ways of saying something that can come off as condescending but I’m not suggesting we go there  but it is easy to do.

Example:

Direct form – “Your an idiot.” Condescending: “I think you might want to go back to K-12, and retake your finals, after say 14 years of classroom development.”  Or this one ” Did you ever learn to read? Was it hard?” And there are still many, many ways to slice and dice a good sentence to make someone feel like a total piece of garbage.

So, I’m just thinking out loud again. I learned to be considerate from my mom, who no doubt learned it from her mom. She passed it to me, and I’m trying desperately to pass it to my sons. Though at home  – I do tend to throw a few zingers here and there, mostly in jest but I need to watch it.

Also, one more thing – we are talking about consideration for others and so consider this.  If someone tells you that your work, your life, or whatever it is you are doing is worthless. First don’t listen to them. Folks who communicate this way are only out to do one thing and that is to tear you down. Second – I want you to be considerate to yourself and not respond to them in an inconsiderate manner.

Sincerely,

D.W. Rigsby

Merry Christmas

The Gift

 

HI Everyone,

I wanted to say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It seems that saying Merry Christmas is a sensitive thing these days. I am not sure why, when I hear so many other words,  and phrases being thrown around on television, out in public, and just about everywhere one goes that are much more offensive to many. Not that I am overly sensitive to these things.

So, I say this – to those who are celebrating Christmas remember why and for those who do not know anything about Christmas go and find out why.  It is a great time for many, a time to celebrate a great historic event in human history. This one event changed the face of the earth and has had far reaching effects that has lasted for thousands of years.  So, if you are one who is sensitive about someone saying Merry Christmas, don’t take it as they are throwing it in your face, take it that you’ve just been invited to the world’s biggest birthday party!  Yeah!!!

Merry Christmas,

D.W. Rigsby

 

Image Credit: Waiting For The World  by NOTTI-GHERARDO_02

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Fear is the Mind Killer

Fear

Dune by Frank Herbert  is one of my favorite books.  I’ve read this book several times and enjoy much of the story, the characters and the philosophical teaching within Frank Herbert’s style of writing.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank HerbertDune

I was drawn to how Frank Herbert displays such human frailty and conviction in his Dune characters. How he shows the true person and how we are in combat with an entity we call fear.

I hold steadfast to this very thought – “fear is what stops us from being who we are because we are afraid to face it.”

As we turn to face the fear we often find ourselves staring back.  If you think about it – what is fear? Where does it come from? Why does it hold such power over us?

I think Frank Herbert answers that for us in Dune.  The fear is there but once we face it and let it pass, it is only you that remains. The fear is gone but you are  constant.  Fear fluctuates, you are fixed, fear is devastating but only if we allow it.  Fear can only last as long as we allow it.  We are the fixed point, not fear. Fear moves with us but only if we run from it. If we face it, the fear has no other direction but to move on without us.

Think of it, fear moves, you move, the two move together, you turn and stand in the wake of fear as it passes you. You remain, the fear is gone. It is truly an understatement to have this revelation in your life.  If you truly know this, then what is stopping you?

It is you.  If you choose to run from fear it will chase you until the end of your time on earth.  It is you who allows it. You have the power to face fear so decide. What is your preference? Stand and face fear or run? What do you have to loose?

Image Credit: Corona of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse by Smithsonian Institution

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Never Give Up – Be Forged By Fire

Fire

 

Giving up is both hard and easy.  It depends on what you are giving up on I suppose.  We could banter back and forth for hours about when it’s right to give up or when it’s not right.

I’ll say this – I’m writing about not giving up.  Whatever is on your heart you must follow and never give up.  It could take years of hard work, with little to nothing to show but if you keep at it, something is surely to transpire.  It could also be that your perspective on success may need to change in terms that you maybe truly successful in what you do, but not the way you hoped it would turn out.  But either way – never give up.

I moved down to Florida when I was 17 years old from Ohio.   I lived in a two bedroom trailer, in the middle of central Florida, in the blistering heat with no air conditioning.  Getting to sleep at night was no treat and I normally didn’t go to bed until midnight when the trailer had cooled to reasonable 80 degrees or so. Not fun.  I recall lying in bed, the ceiling fan on (what I life saver that fan was for me), and sweating a lot as I uncomfortably drifted off to some other realm.

When I was 19 years old I joined the US Army. I wanted my circumstances to change.  I didn’t want to leave home but I saw that there was little opportunity for me.  I had little to no skills other than working part-time fast food, putt putt golf and go cart fun spots, running around dressed as a squire selling pictures and other odd jobs. I made enough to pay for my gas, my car payment, a few things here and there.

I wanted to go to college but had no money and I couldn’t see myself working minimum wage to do it. I know somebody has done it, but for me I couldn’t see myself making it that way.  So, I chose to join the US Army in 1991.

When I arrived at FT Knox, KY.  The first thing you do is file off the bus into a line where you are surrounded by very fit drill instructors who begin your day with shouts of how you don’t belong here, or that you know you lied about doing pot so you better confess now because they are going to find out.  I seen several guys get out of line, trembling in fear after the comment if anyone had lied about doing pot.

I too was frightened and thinking “what on God’s green earth did I just get myself into?”

I remember the one thought I had in my mind “if I quit now, I’ll always be a quitter.”  I realized no matter how tough things were going to get for me, I could not give up, not now, not after coming this far.  I had signed the papers, flew in a plane, road a bus to finally arrive at destination Army.  It was real and I was in for a ride.

After going through the ritual of watching long haired guys get half their head shaved off – (oh where was Facebook then), we were carted off to get our uniforms and other necessities.

Next were the long days, the constant yelling and exercise, often together.  My muscles ached, I was stressed, I barely had time to eat or sleep.  Everyday except Sunday it was like this for us.  Even on Sunday if you didn’t find something to do the drill sergeant would find you something and no one wanted what the drill sergeant found.

There were several times I wanted to quit, to go home but I forced myself to stay and work through all the Army had to throw at me.  I even decided not to write or call anyone during my two months so I could say I did this on my own, I did it for me.

I’m glad I made it in the Army.  I had a great time and learned a lot.  I wasn’t ready for college and the Army was a great segue for me until I was ready.

I’m glad I didn’t give up.  So I say to you, never give up.

If you have a vision, something you know is on your heart or something you know you must do, never give up.  It may get tough but how does a sword become a beautiful instrument if it’s never forged in the fire? Or how does a soldier become a soldier without going through boot-camp?

I look at my life as exactly that – I’m being put through the fire, I’m being forged, so that maybe one day I’ll be what I’m meant to be. You are no different. Look at your life, see the struggles, the trails – that is the fire whether we like it or not. It is what shapes us.

I say it again, never give up – be forged by the fire.

Image Credit: Fire 2of2 by Gordon Wrigley

 

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

Live out Your Story

 

Story

Ever wonder why so many of us go through life with disappointment?  I do, often.

I myself have been disappointed several times over.  I figured out how to move forward and stop living out a story that wasn’t mine.

There are two people who have swayed my outlook on life itself – John Eldredge and Earl Nightingale.

There is a common theme these two men possess, they both realize they must find the story they are in and what they must do to live it out.  They take different approaches, use different words to convey the idea but it’s there.

Earl talks about planting a seed in your mind, nurturing it, tending to it and letting it grow until the results are visible.

John talks about the heart, finding out what has been written on your heart and living by it.

Mind and heart, two different approaches, similar ideas but I know they both work together.

You must know what is on the heart to begin to live out your story, then plant it in the mind and tend it by taking actions to move you along until you see the results.  Both men are profound in how they approach life and both have done what they set out to do.  It shows in their lives, the results are there for millions to see.

So, why aren’t you living out your story?

I like to inspire others to see things in a different light through my writing and maybe this story of how I’m trying to live out my story will inspire someone too.

I have no magic to offer, no pill to swallow, no steps to get you to where you are going.

All I know is that I’m taking steps in my own story. I know that writing is on my heart which was the first step and it took me a  year to find this first step.  My next step was to write – I’m going on seven years now and I’m just beginning to break the surface.  Imagine being on the road for 7 years before finally reaching your destination only to find out there is more road ahead.

That is where I am.

So I tell you “Live out Your Story” as the road you travel is a unique experience only you can have.

Image credit: Story Road by umjanedoan

 

Copyright ©2014 DW Rigsby All Rights Reserved.

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