day 269: goal-setting

In order to keep my options open, I am filling out applications. Here were the questions: they requested a response beyond my resume.

Tell us about your proudest moment to date.

The sun had just found its way above the horizon. I stared into its cruel rays, trying to make out the referee there on the banks of the Thames. My crew of eight before me, adrenaline coursed as one through our veins as I waited for the horn and they waited for my call. We had trained for the Summer Eights an entire year, daily practices in the pre-dawn light, and here finally was the first race of a four-day tournament. I was but a coxswain: short and small, my strength is large and my endurance hardy, but my legs are not a rower’s. Yet I conditioned with my crew in the afternoons and on the weekends, running through the brutal drills our coach enforced and always the last one off the ergs, but sweating through every moment so that they might trust me to guide them through the course. The weekend ended in a heartbreak loss, we were finally bumped after three days of heading the river, but even then I burst with pride.

This pride was deeper and truer than that I felt for my numerous recognitions and awards, garnered throughout my lauded academic career. It is the pride I feel after a good day’s work, an intense WOD, or making someone smile all multiplied over because it was shared. I was part of a team and together we built ourselves to a formidable union.

This is the type of pride I want to experience in my job: the pride of a team working toward a goal. I offer my analytic expertise, my growing potential to learn, my ability to manage everything thrown my way, my fundamental enthusiasm and my dedication to produce excellence. You, Whitespace, offer the team.

What is your favourite way to sweat?

Oh oh my favourite. How can I choose? Surfing steals my heart. But after dawn patrolling every day for six years, I moved to landlocked Indiana to pursue a physics degree at the University of Notre Dame and have not surfed since. Still I dream of it, I watch surf videos and I read surf magazines. But sweating in my dreams cannot replace sweating in real life. So, I run. Running led me to try my hand at Parkour which led me to CrossFit: to be a true free-runner I must build my upper body strength and cultivate my gymnastic ability! CrossFit let me to Olympic Weightlifting and that is my Zen. I bike everywhere less than ten miles away and bike far longer distances on the weekends. And on Sunday, I do yoga.

What is the biggest goal you have achieved to date?

To date, the biggest goal I’ve achieved is one which allows me to pursue and realize every other goal I currently have and those to which I will aspire: I have learned to love myself. In a lifetime peppered with resume-enhancing achievements I lost a little girl who read books until four in the morning and dreamed of being a Broadway star.

She went missing and in her place stood a deadly pursuit of perfection with the twisted face of Anorexia Nervosa. I battled my clinical diagnosis through high school and college until finally I decided enough was enough. I made the decision to change. I worked at it each day, banishing abusive thoughts and actions and nourishing my body as well as my spirit. I cultivate my health, I bathe myself in a strict love, and I wake each day to live each moment. Slowly, painstakingly, I built myself from a skeleton into a human being with muscles and character and an easy laugh.

My drive, my determination, still courses through my veins as my life’s blood. But now it is no longer aimed at becoming nothing; no, it pumps and flows to sweet music, striving for abundant growth, aimed at becoming my very best me. Each day my potential grows and each day I chase it breathlessly. Never will I catch it, but I love myself even more for that. The day I reach my best possible is the day I stop living. I am convinced of this because I love myself, this love grows a little each day, and there is no cap on love, so there is no cap on me.

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