The Trick Is to . . .

17 Nov

by Pamela Pospisil

Just do it!  That is a phrase my husband and I developed in the early 80s when we decided to embark on triathlons.  By the way, later Nike decided that was their key slogan! There was a good reason for that.  The slogan really does say it all.

We did the Ironman triathlon 2 times in Hawaii in 1982 and 1983.   Before training for it we had never even done a biking or swimming race. I had hardly done a running race before. My husband had been a runner, and I had mostly been a hiker.

There weren’t any great secrets.  It was just a matter of “doing it”.   Since then we have “just done” a wide variety of challenges.  Each one took that initial impetus of pushing through the resistance and fear of the unknown.

After having a chronic eye inflammation since 1970, I developed advanced glaucoma by the late 90s.  At this time I am nearly blind in one eye and can only see shadows in the other. The challenges of this far outweigh doing an Ironman, marathon or anything else I have attempted.

Because of my impending loss of vision we started doing some serious traveling in the 2000s.  We have traveled to Thailand, India, Nepal and many European countries. We even did the Camino de Santiago in 2007  which is a 500 mile pilgrimage across northern Spain. In that case we just picked up our backpacks and started walking.

At first, in my travels, I used trekking poles for everything.  Then I learned to walk with a white cane.  Now I have a guide dog, named Bianca. She has enhanced our experiences tremendously.

Our latest adventure has been in dragon boat and outrigger paddling.  We recently traveled to an international meet in Italy for this.

Yes, I have been fortunate to have these opportunities, but I have also learned that opportunities mean little unless you take advantage of them. Also, I have found that the obstacles which are perceived when reaching for a goal are usually only excuses for not taking on the challenge.

Push through the fear.  I am still pushing through fear, sometimes on a daily basis.  But I have learned, time and again, that it always pays off.  In other words, “just do it”.


Pamela Pospisil lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband. They have 2 grown, married children and 1 grandchild who live out of state. Pamela was diagnosed at the age of 19, in 1970, with a chronic eye inflammation which continues to this day.  It led to cataracts and glaucoma, which has caused the blindness.  She worked as a registered nurse until she could no longer drive. Pamela and her husband enjoy traveling and are continuing to be involved in outrigger and dragon boat racing.


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