Becoming Extraordinary

We are officially into 2016. It’s also that six-week block on the calendar when resolutions are both foremost and in danger of extinction.

How would you like to be extraordinary this year? Let’s start by looking at some definitions of the word.

Extraordinary (adjective):

  1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established: extraordinary costs.
  2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable:

Last Friday—officially, “New Year’s Day,” Mary and I participated in our first Lobster Dip. Basically, it was a dash across a portion of beach, running into the surf and then, plunging into ice-cold ocean water guaranteed to numb you from head-to-toe. It was also friggin’ exhilarating!

Miss Mary; keeping warm pre-dip.

Life is short. Why spend so much of it muddling along with the mundane?

My wife is exceptional (and extraordinary). It’s only taken me about 35 years to truly understand her qualities (I’m a slow-learner).

When we met in high school, we were both young and idealistic. We found love, however, and it’s managed to grow, evolve, and push us both towards our better selves. That’s kind of what positive relationships ought to foster.

But back to jumping into the ocean in January. Nuts, eh?

Mary makes the paper, above the fold.

Mary makes the paper, above the fold.

Actually, it’s part of a progression that Mary’s been on for years. As chief blogger at the JBE, I get to trumpet my own triumphs (as well as documenting some of the struggles). Mary on the other hand doesn’t care to have a blog. Oh, she’ll throw stuff up on Facebook from time to time—it’s the digital world we’re living in—but she really has inspired me to push the envelope, especially in terms of the physical side of things. She’s the one who got me off the couch and got me tri-ing. The fact that I’m approaching my third anniversary of being a swimmer is a testament to her.

I read some of the FB comments related to her New Year’s updates. They were a combination of admiration, respect, and also congratulatory. A few expressed accolades like “amazing,” “impressive,” and “awesome.”

Mary would be the first to say that what we both did on New Year’s Day was fun, but wasn’t that big of a deal. Like other things in our lives, we talked about it, set some plans in place, and the beauty of doing it with someone else—we became accountable to someone to make sure we followed through.

Looking to Mary as your example, set the bar just a little higher in 2016. You’ll have lots of adventures to look back on in 12 months, and you’ll be feeling rather extraordinary, too.

Mary and the JBE with our wetsuits, prior to a summer tri.

Mary and the JBE with our wetsuits, prior to a summer tri.