POD #1: Altitude training

BEFORE you took this Challenge, when was the last time you trained at altitude—diving into something that stretched you beyond what you’d ever done or felt before, or stepping out toward a dream without the perfect resources or plan in place?
How did it go? Describe the adventure.
What new superpowers did you develop in the process?
What powers—extraordinary traits at the core of who you are—did you realize you’d always had, all along?
And what powers do you intend to grow and unlock here, in this 30 Day Writing Challenge? Declare it!

I can easily be driven by passion.  I love learning and can easily get lost in research for knowledge.  My Enneagram personality type is a five, Investigator/Observer.  Every aspect of the description fits me.  When my friend read the book, she was like “It explains so much.”  Like a window to my soul, it helped her see my perspective a little clearer. It is easier for me to get trapped in training mode instead of really living.  I can easily dive in and never allow myself to get stretched.  So I paused to think about the last time I dove into something that really stretched me and three things came to mind.

First was exercise.  I have never been athletic.  Never.  I am sure I caused my physical education teacher much pain as I never attempted to even pretend to be interested in anything athletic.  A few years ago, I decided that I needed to make a change in my lifestyle.  I would love to say that I have been successful in that endeavor,  but outside my initial goals, I have not been consistent.  However, I set a goal to complete a 5K  and I did.   I was consistent swimming at the gym and working out five days a week following the death of my mother two years ago.  I was successful loosing fifty-pounds.

Both were trainings that I stepped out in alone, and pushed myself towards my goal.    I might not ever enjoy exercise, but I did enjoy the benefits of energy and health.  I learned I could use exercise to help reduce my stress and focus.  I learned I could push myself despite what I felt like doing.  I need to get back into exercising.  I realize that self-motivation is key for me to reach the next altitude.  When I decide I really want it, nothing can stop me until I reach it.

purposeMy second altitude training came when I stepped out from what I was comfortable in to take on running a nonprofit organization that helped me at a turning point in my life.  It was a step to relocate, take a drastic pay cut, change careers, and take on a role that I had no experience.  My passion drove me to take the leap of faith.  I knew the population I was serving, because I had been where they were twenty years prior.  I knew the community resources, because I had been helped by so many.  I knew nothing about running a non-profit or about the day-to-day demands that helping fifteen single parents and thirty-six children would place on me.

I soaked in so much information over the next three years, Attended trainings, watched webinars, read articles, questioned leaders in other nonprofits.  There were many times that I knew I was in over my head.  There were other times that I could see the difference that I was making.  Not only a difference in the lives of the women and children in the program, but also in lending my voice and story to help raise awareness of the needs in the community.

I gained information that I have been able to share with other organizations and leaders.  I gained connections that would help future people I encountered.  I remembered the passion I have for speaking, raising awareness, and getting people to work together towards a common cause.   I realized I do have power to influence; I have to choose where I lend that power. I learned I can’t control everything, but that everything has a purpose.  It was an amazing journey.

The third time, and one that I am currently walking in is the training of complete surrender.  I like to be in control.  I like clearly laid plans.  I like goals that I can complete.  I can be flexible but I like to know the end result I am working towards.  Right now I feel like I am in a stretching process, and I don’t have any idea what I am being stretched towards.  I am diving in, and I have no idea how deep the water is.  I am stepping out and have no idea how many steps I will have to take before I am able to see the next goal.  Each time I think I am getting a clearer picture, I feel like the challenge just grows bigger and deeper.

Thus far in the walk, I realize I have the heart knowledge to walk it out.  All the areas that I thought I had control, I have seen that it was just an illusion.  I have a deeper trust in God  than I did just four years ago.  He was there with His guiding hand, even when I thought I was the one forging the path.  I have people in my life that support my journey, regardless of where it leads.  I can ask for help along the way, and I will need that help.  I have the ability to just lay the honest truth out and I don’t have to be concerned with how others will respond.  This is the journey I am on, they will either support and encourage or continue on in their own path – they may not be the same or even parallel.

The power that has to grow is God’s power in my life.  He wants my focus and my obedience.  It is not by chance that I find myself where I am, at this time, learning the things that have been available always but are just starting to sink in now.  I see things much differently that I have in the past.  I know I am at a crossroads in life that will take me down His path for my life, if I just surrender and obey.  I have to keep my focus on what He has placed before me instead of allowing myself to investigate and observe things outside of the path He has placed before me.  I realize it is going to encompass my whole being – that physical health and activity level is needed for where He is taking me.  Those skills He was growing in my elevation training at the nonprofit was purposeful and planned.  The past four years, although they have felt random and scattered to me, have been intentional on His part.  My altitude training will not only take me to my higher purpose, but towards the One that holds my purpose.

This post is prompted by
Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.

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About Jackie S

I have been through a lot in life, but through Christ I am more than an overcomer. I am not perfect, I will never claim to be. Praise God I am forgiven though. I am rather opinionated. I see most things in black and white and believe honesty is always the best policy. This combination sometimes comes off harsh. The truth is I love people. I truly love helping others and try the believe the best about others. It is easy to find faults, but focusing on strengths is more my style, but I also shoot it straight. If it sounds harsh, know my heart is for something better for you
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