What is your edge?


According to Dictionary.com an “edge” is a point near a beginning or point near an end or a place where two different surfaces meet.  A edge is also place of contrast, a place where change is visible.

In this blog I will be exploring edges of all kinds.

Last Saturday, I was out running with my 11 year old daughter.  We were running around a small lake that has a 2.5 mile paved running path.  My daughter had just finished her first track season as a 5th grader who ran the 800 and 1600.

When we finished, there was a group of tri-athletes training in the parking lot for a triathlon the next day.  A triathlon is a three part event in which the athletes complete a swimming, biking and running event.  However, these were no ordinary tri-athletes.

They were tri-athletes from the Dare2Tri organization (www.dare2tri.org).  The Dare2Tri web-site indicates they “serve youth, adults and injured service members who have a physical disability such as amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy as well as those with visual impairments or blindness.”  Their motto is “ONE INSPIRES MANY.”

My daughter and I were mesmerized and inspired watching tri-athletes with artificial legs and arms run sprints in the parking lot.  They ranged in age from very cute little girl with blond hair who appeared to be about 12 years old, to military veterans in their 20’s to older runners in their 40’s and 50’s.  There were also wheelchair bound tri-athletes and a few who appeared to have suffered a stroke or were blind.

All of these tri-athletes were adjusting their bodies to re-gain their strength and balance after accidents, severe injuries, or medical problems.  Running with a prosthesis leg does not look easy!  The Dare2Tri staff and a bunch of friends and family of the tri-athletes were lending enthusiastic support.

The next day, I returned to that lake to run again.  After my 5 mile run, I stopped to watch the Dare2Tri athletes, who were all competing in their triathlon.  The lake water was really cold that morning.  Yet, these special tri-athletes, enthusiastically entered the water for the swim portion of their triathlon.  I watched the swim event and part of the bike event before I went home.

The edges of all the Dare2Tri triathletes appear to a very important new beginning point as they move forward after their accident or injuries.  Their edges include one or more places where two different surfaces meet, the edges of their own natural bodies and the artificial body pieces they strap on and carry around.  Their edges also include the water where they swim and the land they bike and run on.

So what is your edge? Would you view a severe injury or illness that limited your physical abilities as a beginning point or an end point?  If your edge is two different surfaces, what are the two?

If you are a runner, what is your edge?  Since I still run marathons, my running edge is about 30 miles.

Whatever your current edge is, embrace it.  Use it as a beginning point to initiate the change you want to see in your life.  Embracing your own edge, you will never know who you may inspire.

Stephen Lesavich, PhD