This quote is a bit pollyanna and odd coming from me. Generally, I am a realist and most people would not consider me a “happy go lucky” kind of guy. That said, I’ve rarely allowed others’ views of my potential or talents influence my aspirations or goals.
I’ve had a lot of time this summer to explore my triathlon potential and expand my endurance training knowledge. Despite what others may percieve as a lack of measurable progression and documented physiologic limitations, ironically I continue to dream of better race days.
That’s not to say that I don’t have fluctuations in self-evaluation…some days I feel great about my singular accomplishments and other days I consider myself a failure. And often I find myself wondering whether is it possible for me to continue to improve in the sport or if there is any point in trying to become faster. But through it all there are three factors that motivate me:
- the overall sense of well being that I derive from being healthy and fit.
- the satisfaction I feel from self-discovery through the process of improvement.
- the infinite number of areas I can still improve.
After a yoga class I took with my tri club (TriCoWS –Tri Club of Winston-Salem) this past week, the instructor read us the following quote:
"You yourself are the being you are seeking" - Swami Veveknanka
The process of self discovery is really enjoyable. So much of sport and the pursuit of well-being have little to do about specific time goals or race finishes. Experiencing new levels of success as I define them continually motivate me. I enjoy the gratification I receive after each breakthrough and it motivates me to keep searching for new ways to improve and expand my horizons.
The number of pathways to improvement seem endless to me. So much so that I laugh inside when people tell me of personal limitations, whether they are mental, physiologic, or environmental. Everyone one of us has multiple areas to improve in every aspect of our lives.
It is refreshing to be reminded of this by guys that most of us would consider elite. When top athletes like Lucho talk about reaching the next level by mental preparation and toughness, it makes me wonder how much I have to gain in this arena as well. Many people may say that they are so physically talented, that this is an advantage they get to experience…super genetic physiologic gifts. I like to think that successful athletes are the ones that find ways to overcome the barriers they are given and exploit the talents they are fortunate to possess. In contrast, others may only complain of the gifts that don’t have.
Gordo’s speaks of this often as well. There are so many detractors who want to prove that he has some “secret” physiologic gift that many of us don’t have. And I’m certain he is more physiologically gifted than some, and less than others. But I think many people miss the big picture on his success. He does what it takes…whatever that is for him. That is one of the many things I’ve learned from him.
I will close with one final quote for the week.
"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying" - Friedrich Nietzsche
Best of luck to all those out there expanding their limits.