About Genuine Joy (as told by Hilary Phelps Eldridge)
Genuine Joy is a concept and a process more than a destination. In simplest form, it is the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from trying new things, stretching our boundaries, surpassing our perceived limitations and overcoming our fears. That unshakable feeling of pride, energy and rejuvenation that we feel when we do these things...that is the purest form of what I call 'Genuine Joy.'
It cannot be manufactured, purchased or consumed. It cannot be replicated. It emanates from the inside out and it is unique to each of us. It is genuine.
It transcends happiness, excitement, and any form of temporary elation. It's not a fleeting moment, or a passing sense of contentment. It is joy.
Trying new things. Being confident in who we are, yet determined in who we want to become. Never losing sight of our values, while striving to leave a deeper footprint along the path we have walked. Learning from others while finding the courage to shine a light in the dark, and the confidence to stand tall in the reflection we see starting back in the mirror.
I am not a self help guru. I do not have the answers to some, any, or all of life's mysteries. This website came into fruition in the waning miles of my first Ironman--a 140.6 mile trek into the deepest, and sometimes darkest part of my soul...the place where each of us has to go in order to see who we really are and what we are made of.
As I crossed the finish line to hear, 'Hilary Phelps, you are an Ironman!' I was confronted with a feeling that surpassed happiness, and an accomplishment that did not need to have the price tag torn off before I could wear it. It was genuine, and it was pure joy. I would have never gotten to the start line, much less the daunting finish line, had I not found the courage to defy my perceived limitations. By facing fear, I got to know true joy.
In that sense, Genuine Joy is a process and a path. The ultimate destination is up to each of us.