I come from a family of athletes. My uncle made his way through college on a football scholarship, my dad ran track all through high school, and my middle sister spent most of our childhood pursuing her dream of competing as a gymnast in the Olympics. Since I am my father's daughter in more ways than one, I followed in his footsteps and ran most of the sprint races during middle and high school.
While in the end I wasn't professional material, I was strong and fast, and most importantly, I knew how to work my butt off. When the time came for me to hang up my track shoes for good, I could say with confidence that I'd made the most of my ability and leave it at that.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned during my years on the track was the importance of a strong beginning. Every race literally began with a bang. As a runner, and particularly as a sprinter, you learned to live for the sound of the gun. Take off too soon and you'd be disqualified for having a false start. Wait too long and you'd be left in the dust. So you waited, your whole body tensed for that loud, angry gunshot, ready to explode out of the blocks the second it reached your ears.
Among the more inexperienced freshmen and junior varsity runners, you could start badly and still recover to win the race, provided you had the speed to catch up. But against the big dogs, juniors and seniors who competed at the regional and state level without batting an eye? Fuggedaboutit. A bad start practically sealed your doom.
So why am I telling you all of this, you ask? Well, this week marks a new beginning for me, a new sort of race for me to run. Last Friday, I left my traditional, stable, 9-to-5 "day job" to pursue my dream of working from home as a full-time freelance writer. Am I scared? You better believe it. But at the same time, I'm ready for a new adventure, and I'm happy to bring you folks along for the ride. My goal with this blog is to share all of the ups and downs of the process with you in the coming weeks and months, and hopefully get some great feedback along the way from the successful veterans out there. Should be fun. I hope you'll join me.
Q&A for the Day: What new adventures are you embarking on lately?