We interrupt the regular book-theme schedule of this blog to bring you something a little different. Do you ever challenge yourself to go beyond what you think you can do or challenge yourself to reach a goal you’ve dreamed of or just to finish something you’ve started?
I’m pretty sure at some point or another each of us sets goals we want to accomplish. They can be small goals, work-related goals, lifestyle goals, life-altering goals and/or dream goals. But do you really challenge yourself to complete any of those goals?
Author C. Lee McKenzie had a post recently, Failure Cancelled for the Day, that got me to thinking. Sometimes I don’t challenge myself when it comes to goals. I’ll set goals for myself, but don’t make the extra effort I really should to reach those goals. There’s the age-old ‘got to lose weight/eat healthier’ goal and the ‘I’ve got to get better organized’ goal. These are goals I find myself working at all the time.
I have challenged myself in the last couple of months, both on a professional and personal level. Both challenges were scary (one continues to be), but I’m so glad I pushed myself that extra shove.
Please indulge me a few moments while I tell you about the professional challenge. I, like most people, have wanted to have a job I could do from home, something I enjoyed and felt was fulfilling. I had been toying with the idea for a year or so and finally decided it was now or never. The challenge was to put my plan into action, quite just thinking and start doing. I saw an opportunity and I challenged myself not to back out, but to go forward and I did.
I started my own virtual book tour service for authors – MC Book Tours. I know, I know there are so many tour services out there (and I still host for a number of them), why start another one? I felt, having been a book blogger for almost seven years (Oct. 31, 2009) and dealing with tour services, I knew what bloggers need when participating in a promotion. As a blogger you want to be able to communicate anytime with the service, you want your material ahead of time to prepare your post, and you want to know the service/author sees your post.
I’ve dealt with a service or two in the past where you won’t receive your material until late evening the day before your post was scheduled. That doesn’t work for me and it’s unfair to the author. Sure things happen and I understand that, but not on every single tour. Other times you don’t receive material and don’t get a response from the service for several days, then it’s only here’s your material can you post it.
So I challenged myself to overcome that any fears I had and give it a try. I was extremely fortunate that author Joylene Nowell Butler decided to take a chance with my new venture and became my first author to promote.
Joylene’s book, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries, is being released Nov. 1st by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C. Joylene’s tour is running Oct. 17 through Nov. 19. We’re offering review, guest post, spotlights and a giveaway. If I haven’t been in touch asking for your participation and you’d like to participate, please feel to drop by MC Book Tours and sign up for Joylene’s tour. We’d be happy for you to join the tour.
The MC Book Tours site is up and running and operational, but still needs a few tweaks here and there before it’s exactly the way I want it. I hope authors will drop by and see what is offered. Questions, concerns and comments are welcome.
The second time I challenged myself, it was personal. Quick background – I love to fly. In fact, I’ll fly in and/or on all most anything. I especially love helicopters, but planes (single/twin engines, jets) are fine and I’ve even flown in an ultralight (very bumpy landings). I’ve always thought I’d love to parachute but I have weak ankles. With that you’d think I’d love roller coasters and anytype of high flying ride – DEAD WRONG. The sudden drops and quick movements make me sick to my stomach. Just can’t handle them.
Now back to my challenge. I’ve wanted to ride a zip line for some time. Last year I had the opportunity to ride one in a parking lot at a company outing. By the time I got in line, they closed it down due to an approaching thunderstorm. This year I had another chance to ride one. This time it was a much different zip line – not in a parking lot, but at a Christian retreat area.
We were told (as we waited for our harnesses) that this zip line is the second largest in the state coming in at 11,500 feet long. The zip line goes from the side of a mountain, down through the woods and across a lake before you land on a platform a good number of feet off the ground. You reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
After we were fitted with our harnesses and given our gear, we had to walk down a hill, around the lake and up the side of the mountain. I will tell you I had to stop about three different times just to catch my breath. By the time you get to the starting platform you’re so give out from the walk, you don’t want to think about walking anymore.
Once I got on the starting platform (there were two sets of steps to get there), I was beginning to rethink what I was doing. Looking off the platform, down the cable line through the trees, I thought to myself ‘you’ve got to be crazy, you’re no kid, just turn around and walk back, no harm, no foul’. But then I remember how much I love to fly and that this would probably be as close to parachuting as I would ever get. After my harness was connected, I sat back letting the harness hold my weight and made myself pick my feet up. That’s all it took and I was OFF DOWN THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.
Talk about a rush, WOW! It only last a few minutes, but it is so incredible. It’s hard to really describe other than to say, it was an experience of a lifetime and I’ll definitely do it again every chance I have. The accompanying photo shows the zip line coming out of the trees and across the lake. If you look real close, you’ll see someone on the line. I’m not sure who it is, but it does show the height you’re moving across the lake. Also if you notice a cross on the far side of the lake, I don’t think it means someone was killed there – this was at a Christian retreat.
|Click on the photo to enlarge it. The opening in the trees is where the zip line goes up the mountain.|
Those are the two major challenges I’ve given to myself recently. Thanks for indulging me in this unusual post. We’ll be back to regular book-related posting topics tomorrow.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember if you’d like to participate in Joylene’s tour, just drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sign up HERE. Also if you’re interested in MC Book Tours handling your next virtual book tour, please drop me an email. Do you have to challenge yourself to reach a goal or finish a project? Have you challenged yourself in a major way lately? Have you ever ridden a zip line? If so, what did you think and would you do it again?
*Side Note: Does anyone know anything about AngelList? I’ve gotten several invitations and I don’t know anything about it.