The Edge

Take It To The Edge
Sponsored by Next Step Goals, LLC
Written by Julie O’Keeffe Henzey
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We’ve all seen the movies where someone gets in a car and decides to see how fast it can go. Or you may recall Chuck Yeager boldly breaking the sound barrier by flying faster than the speed of sound. Some people with the need for speed even get their fix at the Bonneville Speedway on the salt flats of Utah during Speed Week, where world land speed records are made and broken.

I’m not sure whether it’s the speed itself or the desire to go to the edge that captivates people. Many of us love to live vicariously through others as they risk life and limb to reach a goal. There’s simply a pure thrill in going to the limit. Just think Olympics. To win, you have to be on the razor-sharp edge of your ability. We love watching it all unfold.

Normal people like you and me typically play it safe in most areas of our life. We don’t take unnecessary chances that could result in injury, physical or otherwise. We choose not to invest resources and effort into something that has little chance of paying off.

But I say, Go ahead! Do it. Get started. Test your limits and find your edge.

What we don’t see in Chuck Yeager is the years that he spent behind the scenes, learning his craft. He didn’t go from his 4-cylinder Toyota to a mock speed jet in one day.  That would be foolish and possibly fatal.  He built up his confidence and comfort level over time, going just a bit faster, then a bit faster, in a variety of aircraft. While doing this, he recalibrated his comfort level. The OMG breathless wonder experienced in a more powerful machine eventually turns into just another hour in the cockpit when something new becomes normal to us.

Think back in your own life to something that seemed scary at first but eventually became routine. Was it the high diving board at the community pool? Most of us start on the low board and graduate to the high board. We use the low board to recalibrate what is normal and comfortable to us. Low board? No big deal. High board? Wobbly knees! And then we climb the long steps, jump off feet first, and splash, we’ve broken our own personal sound barrier.

My friends, we can all recalibrate. We can take something scary and work up to it, bit by bit, until it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. We can start with training wheels and graduate up. Who doesn’t love watching a five-year-old ride away from his parent on the sidewalk for the first time?! What freedom! It’s life on the edge.

Where’s your edge and what are you doing to get there?

Start in your Toyota, on the low board, or in the YMCA’s Beginners Class for Adult Swimmers. It’s never too late. Just ask a Senior Olympics athlete!

I’ll see you on the edge!

Post Script: I’m taking a group of clients over the edge of the Grand Canyon starting Saturday. We’ll camp and hike for four days below the rim. We have lots of edges to explore!

Julie helps women and seniors successfully take action and navigate challenges through her two businesses Next Step Goals LLC and Peace of Mind Transitions LLC. She herself has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and completed 60 sprint triathlons while divorced with two kids.

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