Finding Your Drive

I was going to upload a post about shrinkage—but I think I’ll save that for this weekend.

Instead, I’d like to relay a story that my older sister Tiki told me that I found rather relevant in my current life.

During a holiday season a couple of years ago, Tiki was visiting our mother in her hometown in Florida. While she was there, she made an optimistic effort to train my mother’s dog, Nya.

With Nya being part Chow Chow, my sister was up against a very strong willed and independent opponent. Nya wasn’t averse to being trained, but she did like to know just what she was getting out of the deal before she chose to obey.

During their daily walks together, Tiki would position Nya at her side, holding the leash slack but preparing if need be to get Nya back on track on the dirt path behind our mother’s house. Occasionally, Nya would pause to sniff too long at a weed or another animal’s footprint, and Tiki wouldn’t hesitate to keep walking, jerking the German shepherd mix right along with her.

Along the path lay the fenced yards of other houses. In one of these yards was a beautiful white pit bull. The pit bull was friendly enough, but Tiki didn’t have time to see how Nya would respond to the canine at close range, and so she maintained a determined pace.

Nya, of course, didn’t care what Tiki had time to do. She wanted to say hi to the dog. Or she wanted to eat it. Either way.

Take a woman who lifts weights and a dog with the mind of a Chow and the girth of a German shepherd, and you’ve got quite an intriguing match.

One particular day, Nya took an extra pull towards the pit bull fence as soon as she was close enough to smell it. My sister immediately tightened the leash, but Nya wanted companionship. My sister wanted to continue the walk. There was a terrific battle of wills, with man and monster pulling in opposite directions for several moments.

Suddenly, Nya snapped in the most unimaginable way.

She forgot about the pit bull.

She forgot about the fence.

She even kind of forgot about my sister.

With a square of her shoulders, she changed directions and charged down the path. Tiki was almost dragged through the heavy sand after her, but she caught her footing just in time. Once the yard was out of their peripheral, Nya relaxed, and together, she and my sister gathered their composures and completed their walk. On the way back home, Nya hardly even glanced at the pit bull and continued to behave for the remainder of Tiki’s visit.

Why share this story, you ask? 

Because sometime this past weekend, during my hours of insomnia, I became Nya at the moment she snapped.

I don’t know what divine force has been doing its best to drag me onto the path of finishing my novel for the last decade, but it finally struck me just how much focus and drive I need to dedicate to this computer if I ever want to support myself through my writing. I may have to make sacrifices, but these sacrifices will be minor in the long run.

On Monday, I gave myself a weekly quota of 5,000 words minimum In my novel. Today, I reached the 5,000 word mark and went several hundred words beyond. It was more than I ever expected myself capable of, and I really hope that this drive stays with me indefinitely.

I would love to hear stories about how others have pushed themselves beyond their own limits. How have you amazed yourself?


And did I compare myself to a dog earlier?

Yes, I did. Thank you for noticing.


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