lionI love this picture because the lion always makes me feel so powerful. I snapped it when I was wandering around the National Zoo in Washington DC a few years ago. I’d like to take credit for the words of wisdom attached:

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.”

They belong to Mary Ann Radmacher and they are incredibly powerful. I remember them again and again when I get discouraged.

It’s hard to be a writer, an actor, or an athlete. It’s heart wrenching and yet I reach for success in each area over and over.

Rejection is the name of the game in both writing and acting. Again and again and again you face rejection and somehow you have to find that courage in your heart and soul that gets you up and trying again. And again. And again. You find the tiny bits of encouragement in kind rejection letters and the words of casting directors who give you a shot. It takes courage to get up each day and try. It takes courage to keep the faith. It is in that quiet voice that tells you to try again tomorrow.

Then there’s the athlete side of it. If you’re like me, natural athleticism isn’t even a whisper in your ear. I’m not fast, I’m not a natural, and I’m not a podium finisher. It is here that it’s truly the power of that quiet voice telling me to try again tomorrow that keeps me going. It is courage that lets me stand with those who run like the wind, swim like a tsunami, and cycle as those powered by the wind. It’s courage that lets me smile when I cross a finish line even if nearly everyone else has already done so. I became a triathlete because I refused to give up and every single time I look at that very first medal I still feel a rush of emotion that only those who’ve had to work through the daunting odds can truly understand.

So when I look at the lion roaring I embrace the message so eloquently expressed by Radmacher and I find courage, and you know what? It’s all worth it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May you too find the courage to follow your dreams.