Course Corrections

Life is such a funny thing. As children we dream of growing up and becoming doctors, lawyers, fire fighters, and even professional athletes. Then we struggle through the awkwardness of puberty, adolescence, and trying to fit in with the cool kids. High school swings around and next thing you know you’re off to college or your first full time job.

Throughout life’s journey, distractions in the form of relationships, extra-curricular activities (both of the legal and illegal varieties) cross our paths, and life’s normal course continues to add detours and setbacks into our plans.

During this last move, I unpacked my Senior Memory Book from high school. Remember the one from Jostens?  That’s it.

new-journal-keepsake-memory-book-for-senior-year-high-school-back-to-school-3ff455c72de1fc2d914296b670a3212dAs I thumbed through the pages of self-written history, I was surprised with what I read under the entry, “Where Do You See Yourself in Ten Years.” Answer: “Living in Wichita, married, working in a research laboratory, with two kids.” What the F@&K??

So obviously, my life didn’t turn out that way. I sit back and think of all the decisions I’ve made that changed the direction of my life. Each decision, a catalyst to a different direction.

For the majority of my life, I did what I was “supposed” to do. Go to college, graduate, get a job. But for whatever reason, I found myself having to make unexpected course corrections along the way.

Medical students walking through corridorIndustry downturns forced me into reinventing myself several times. I even went back to grad school and got my MBA. After that, somehow I managed to talk myself into giving it another go for medical school. After a few years of sitting through organic chemistry and other prerequisite science classes, I was ready to pull the trigger. MCATs were done. Recommendation letters from my professors were ready to go. But what happened? IRONMAN came into my life.

I vividly remember sitting in biochemistry lecture with my friend Jen. My laptop was open, credit card was ready, and my finger was twitching waiting to push the “submit” button. My heart raced, knowing the consequences of the click of one button would change my life forever.

Me - Kona Finish JumpingThe sport consumed my life over the next four years, which then led to the finish line on Ali’i Drive. Never in a million years did I think I’d ever have that opportunity!! All because I chose IRONMAN over medical school.

One course correction after the other has led me down some pretty amazing opportunities and experiences. Some were difficult to manage in the beginning, but each proved to be a valuable lesson.

I’ve now reached another course correction. One that I never thought would have to face, but mother nature seems to have other plans for me. After a slew of blood tests and ultrasounds, momma-hood just isn’t meant to be. Am I disappointed? Of course. But all things considered, I can’t complain. I have a pretty good life.

I remember crying on my mom’s shoulder a few years ago. Disappointed that all my friends were popping out babies left and right and how much I wanted to be a mom holding my baby, just like them. I could see the heartbreak in her eyes as she comforted me, but her response was most certainly surprising and unexpected.

IRONMAN - IM 70.3 Kansas 2015 - Mom

My own mother actually encouraged me not to have children, and if she could do it all over again, she would’ve done it differently. “You can come and go as you please, not have to worry about anyone except yourself, travel the world, whatever you want.” My doctor, who has two teenagers, also said the same and encouraging them to experience life rather than parenthood.

So while this “course correction” would send most women to the nearest fertility clinic to explore and exhaust every possibility, I’m going to save my hard-earned money, see the world, tackle my bucket list, and be the best Auntie Khem to all my two-legged and four-legged nieces and nephews.





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