It was my first real job. She made a lasting impression on me in the lunchroom. I realized Gail never spoke negatively about anyone. Never! Never! Never!

I was a young twenty-something, quick to spew out whatever came into my mind. UGH! If negativity had been only in my twenties. Right?

As I replay images of Gail in my mind, I realize she always used her words to build others up. Always! Always! Always!

I didn’t start out riding a Felt bicycle in a triathlon. Think red tricycle. I remember my chubby little legs wheeling around on my first red tricycle. I would pedal as fast as I could and then turn the handle bars hard to the left.

Next came a two wheeler with training wheels. Then a mixture of terror and glee on raised training wheels. Finally the exhilaration of the wind in my face with no training wheels. Do you remember that feeling?

The ten-speed bicycle I won for raising the most money in our community for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the best. Thanks Mom for teaching me early on to care about the needs of others. At the time, the ten-speed bicycle was a bit too much for me to handle, but I was determined. Cuts, bruises and a crash or two later I was on my way again.

Cycling as an adult has been the best by far. Learning to balance, clip in, and ride a Felt road bike was intimidating. Like the lessons from childhood it took practice. Words cannot capture the exhilaration of riding down the hill of South Congress toward the Capital in my first triathlon. I was going over thirty miles per hour on a bicycle with thin tires! Remember the little girl with chubby legs turning the wheel hard to the left in glee? I love the thrill of a fast ride.

Accompanying me on the joy ride of a lifetime was my friend Felicia. You see, she consistently uses her words to build up others. Felicia helped me see I could do much more than I ever imagined. She listened to my dreamy words of wanting to learn how to triathlon.

Felicia came alongside of me and used the power of her words to help me realize my dream. Together we always find joy in the journey. Even though I still struggle to keep my face in the water on the swim!

Three things I learned from learning to ride a bike and the power of words.

  • PRACTICE – Replacing negative words with words that build up takes practice.
  • ZIP IT – Zip it on all negative comments!
  • REPLACE – Replace negative words with words that build up. This repeal and replace will change your entire day. Repeal all negative words. Replace them with words that build up others.

Together let’s be the change in the NOW generation using words that build others up.

Using the power of words to build others up will help each one of us find joy in the journey.

I’m cheering for you as you take this powerful step of building others up with your words.