Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Challenge

This morning before our training ride I was checking Facebook and sadly learned Steve Jobs had passed away.  I learned about his passing from a post on my friend's Facebook page.  She had a quote on her page from Steve Jobs which hit home, at least for me, and I believe for many others in the deep dark corners of their mind and heart.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." ~Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs changed the world.  He pretty much touched all of our lives in one technological way or another.  I pray he went peacefully surrounded by friends and family.  Not many people change the world, that is a unfathomable feat.  Steve Jobs did and his legacy will continue to shape all of our lives.

I thought about the impact he had on the world while I trained with Angelique this morning.  When I was younger I wanted to change the world.  The older I got the more I forgot about changing the world.  I went through the motions of jobs and businesses until one day in April 2009 I had the "courage to follow {my} heart and intuition.  They somehow already {knew} what {I} truly want{ed} to become."

In June of 2008, wrestling with the frustration of where I was at in my life and realizing I still had dreams of changing the world, I wrote down three things in my journal which were most important to my life.

1.  Helping people
2.  Travel
3.  Do something around my love of cycling.

April 2009 I was on a plane to Rwanda.  

Every day I do something around my love of cycling.  I have traveled more in the last three years than the prior 42.  Best of all I help people...I don't change the world.  I don't change Rwanda.  I don't even change this entire team.  But if I can change one life, just one, they just might be the one to change the world.  

Angelique's life would consist of working the fields eeking out a meager existence on her tiny plot of over farmed land.  She's 22, time to get married and to start cranking out the babies and continue the cycle of birth, birthing and death that all too many Rwandan women believe is their fate in life.  Instead she has the opportunity to win the next race sponsored by the Federation and make more money in that one race than she could make in 6 months.  In a month she will be representing Rwanda at the Continental Championships in Eritrea.  She's never been on a plane, hasn't seen an airport.  Hopefully she will not fall victim to a lack of education and the patriarchal hand that proliferates Rwanda.  Hopefully she will earn enough money to attend school, to make good decisions, to not have seven children, the average currently in Rwanda per family.  Hopefully she will be a role model to the young girls of Rwanda, perhaps she will be the one to lift up the girls in this nation.  Maybe she will change the country I could never change.

If I can change just one life it will have all been worth it.

The phrase I hear most often that causes me such heartache is, "I wish I could....(insert any applicable personal dream)."  Which is always followed by, "But..."  You can do anything you want to do.  I believe Steve Jobs was spot on.  We all know it deep down inside.  Our challenge is if we have the no excuses attitude to go after what we really want.  Or will we settle for less?  

And what a life you could live....
Riding in Rainy Season in Rwanda...

Battling chiggers and all other sorts of strange diseases...

Sitting inside on a rainy afternoon listening to Nathan talk to the younger riders about how you can have a future with the Team even after your legs are finished!  It was really nice to listen to him as the prior hour I sat here listening to a rogue rider, one who had all the same opportunities as Nathan and who chose to throw it all away.  Not taking responsibility for your own actions is universal in case you were wondering.  

And two of the best moments of today....

A quiet moment in the sun (7.5 minutes of sun this afternoon after the torrential downpour training ride) with my boy, Zulu

....and why I will never regret the decision I made to listen to my heart and intuition...
A picture Nathan drew me this afternoon of his house...his very own house!

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