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Don’t Take What They Give You

Don’t take what they give you. Don’t accept what you don’t want.

There really is no reason that you take what is offered, without debate, without question, without hesitation. Well, no reason other than your own fear.

Don’t let the world do that to you. Decide what your world looks like, how big it is, and how you want to live in it.

People will look at you and make decisions on what you should be. They’ll decide how you should look, what you should say, and even how many times you should (or should not) write the word “fuck.”

Fuck that. 

Most advice is just well-intentioned people talking to another younger version of themselves. They’re telling you how they wish they had been. Sometimes, that’s really cool: you learn and don’t have to make their mistakes. Thank those people and be grateful for those lessons. Sometimes, the advice is bogus or those folks are simply wrong.

When I was 40, I tried to take a hard turn in deep sand on a mountain bike trail in southern California. In my right leg, I felt bone slide over bone and then I heard the champagne cork and a wall of pain hit and turned the world black. When I came to, my nose buried in the sand, my first thought was “How long until my next race? Do I have time to make it through rehab?” I was hoping it was just a torn meniscus, but I would find out later that I had ripped my ACL.

But when I went to see a renowned LA sports surgeon, his resident looked at me—this 40-year-old mom—and said “We don’t have to repair this. You can just modify your activities for the rest of your life.”

I fixed my gaze on the young man and chose my words carefully. “Right now, I’m ranked first in my age group for beginner cross country women in the state of California. Do you really think I want to modify my activities?”

The young doctor smiled that smile people get when they’re not sure if someone is mentally imbalanced. We did my surgery a few weeks later. If I had listened to him, I wouldn’t have somebody else’s ACL in my knee right now. I would not have come back stronger than ever. And I never would have CrossFitted. I would not be here talking to you in this manner right now.



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