Off the Cuff with Jacqueline Ross

By Jacqueline Ross

Greetings humans! 

Well, we made it to 2020! A new decade.  What a time to be alive. We’ve hit the halfway point for January.  Hopefully, you’ve got some good momentum going into starting the new year.  I know I have.  What an adventure it’s been so far!  

Without hesitation, put on your toque and have a sip of your hot beverage from Tim Horton’s and let’s take a trip!

I made quite a gripping choice a few weeks ago and decided to race!  My dad and I loaded up the truck Sunday morning at 3:30a.m. and took the journey to North Florida MX.  A really awesome track in Hilliard, Florida.

Unfortunately, this is how the last race ended. | Ross photo

‘Twas the first motocross race I’ve lined up for since the last one I did in Feburary of 2017; which had me take a DNF and a broken nose.  Do not 
despair, as there is always good to be found in every situation. I never noticed till my nose was set back into place, 
that it was actually crooked before! So kudos to my doc in the ER for the Dilaudid and the nose job that I didn’t even know I needed! 

Okay, let me bring back in the reins here. Went off on a bit of a tangent, ADHD problems! So back to the race. 

Was I scared?  No!  Nervous? You bet!  I couldn’t even stomach much food.  That is a rarity for me, given my Italian roots!  I even contemplated my decision for a few moments after practice was over: “Should I really be doing this?” 

Okay, fear, that’s enough with your chatter. Quiet, brain!  So I put my brain on timeout, went out on the track, did my thing, and had a blast!  No matter how many years of experience you have racing and no matter on what level, everyone has experienced and knows ”that feeling” and ”those nerves” that I’m speaking on.  Even if you have never raced, you know 
”that feeling”.   

Pressure is a privilege.”

Billie Jean King

Recognizing that feeling and pushing through, that’s where the growth happens.  In the uncharted waters, the unfamiliar territory, the unknown.  I find peace in those moments in time.  The ones where everything is on the line, myself included.  It comes down to that one moment.

In that moment one is presented with two options:  Do you rise to the occasion and turn the nervous energy into positive energy, and give it your absolute best, or do you crumble faster than when you try and cut a slice of hot apple pie straight out of the oven?

I stumbled across a quote the other day from a phenomenal human and athlete, Billie Jean King.  I read the quote out loud a few times and I even wrote it on a sticky note, “Pressure is a privilege.” I had to think about this for a few minutes. 

I didn’t understand it at first. I thought to myself, “How can pressure be a privilege?”  Then it clicked and I got it.  So allow me to break it down for you.

How wonderful it is to experience the immense build-up of the unfolding of something that is meaningful to an individual??  The lump you get in your throat, your heart when it beats faster than the butterflies in your stomach, the handshake with an employer as you sit down for your dream job interview, the moments before a gate drop, walking into a gym for the first time, going on a first date, or maybe it’s the day of an event that you’ve been planning for. 

Those big moments are composed of tiny, little moments that are strung together throughout our daily decisions.  As insignificant as these little moments may seem, they play an essential role in our lives. 

When making a choice, do you react out of courage or fear?  Did you take a step forward into the unknown and experience personal growth or fall back into your safety net, where it’s familiar and comfortable? 

You can set a goal or have a dream for yourself, but, if you don’t have the courage to act and step into the unknown, your life will remain the same. 

Jacqueline Ross

Courage isn’t a trait that only athletes or great leaders of the world have.  Courage is within all of us.  I’m learning that it is developed through the 
choices one makes. It’s a push, a driving force from within.  Sometimes it’s just having the courage to get out of bed and take on your day.  Other times it’s the energy needed to stay committed to your goal long after the mood you set it in has left. 

You can go to the gym to workout and improve your physique, but if you don’t eat properly you can’t out-train a bad diet.  Same with courage.  You can set a goal or have a dream for yourself, but, if you don’t have the courage to act and step into the unknown, your life will remain the same. 

All great things take time, effort, and faith. When it seems as if nothing is going on, that’s when it’s all happening.” ~ Jacqueline Ross | Bigwave photo

People are always waiting for a new year or, in this case, a ”new decade” to set goals and resolutions for themselves. Their starting game is strong.  They come out swinging, full of life, enthusiasm, and determination, excited for change, and then something happens.  Life gets in the way, fear of the unknown, progress seems to have stalled, the excuses get created, and they give up.

When you plant a seed in the ground to grow a flower, do you dig it up in a few days because you don’t see any sign of the flower? No!  You have faith that you did the work, laid the foundation and created the best  environment for the flower to grow. 

With proper tending-to along the way, the roots will take hold and a small plant will begin to emerge and break through the soil.  Then you’ll have your flower.

It’s like a duck swimming in a pond.  From our vantage point on land it looks as if he’s just cruising around the pond effortlessly with all of his duck buddies without a care in the world, eating bread crumbs, worms, and small fishes.  What we don’t see is the effort beneath the surface — the duck’s feet that are paddling feverishly.

All great things take time, effort, and faith. When it seems as if nothing is 
going on, that’s when it’s all happening.  Whatever it is you desire, I hope you find the courage to begin, and stay the course.

Sowing my seed,