“I’m just a guppy in the ocean, but man do I love to swim.” – jb
It’s been more than thirteen years since I began scribbling notes about training for my second marathon twenty years after I’d run my first. I hadn’t planned those notes to one day become Twenty-four Years to Boston, and I never dreamed I would ever write a book that would appear on a shelf at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference. To be truthful, I didn’t know what the ALA was until this weekend.
I was encouraged to go to the conference by my publisher at St. Johann Press. As a first-time author, the ALA convention was like lining up for my first marathon. I wasn’t nervous, but I didn’t know what to expect. Unlike my first marathon, when the conference was over I knew I wouldn’t wait twenty years to go to my second.
Spending two days talking with publishers, authors and book reviewers who assembled in one place was an entire new experience for me. I couldn’t help thinking back to the days I worked in a dry dock in the middle of January welding the hull of a 60,000-ton ship. What a surreal journey it’s been.
Recently, a reader commented that she was intimidated to register for her first race. I told her to remember it’s only running, something we’ve all been doing since we let go of the coffee table as toddlers. We all wobbled a little, even fell, but then we got up and never look back.
I felt the same way walking into the Philadelphia Convention Center for the ALA Conference, and now I can’t wait until the next one. You don’t grow unless you take those first crucial steps outside of your comfort zone.