I often think about creating the life of my dreams and, almost as often, simply end with a mishmash of ideas, a list of desired material objects with a dash of Miss Universe “I want world peace”.
What will I do to build this dream of mine? How often have I been stuck wondering if I’m actually making any progress and how often have I temporarily quit?!
Perhaps that is how I arrived at “enjoying” endurance events. I’ve come to learn that long distance running and riding are the perfect micro-metaphors for life. Before a long run or ride, there are steps I take to ensure success. And come to think of it, they are exactly the same steps to accomplish any goal, really!
1. Clarity of Goal and Vision: Where do I want to go and why?
2. Sound Vehicle and Map (Action Plan): How will I get there? What equipment will I use? What will I use to nourish myself along the way? What is my overall strategy to keep me on course? What aid stations and support systems will I have in place?
3. Start the engine and go! Oftentimes, we get stuck on #2. We get mired by the details of our plan and never get on the bike or put the running shoes on.
4. Keep at it! Once we start, there will ALWAYS be moments when we fatigue, when our belief in ourselves and the larger vision dissipate. Will we fight through it or quit?
5. Enjoy the ride. There are many things that are out of our control, but there is one ultimate Ace card we hold in our possession that no one or nothing can take away from us, and that is our ability to enjoy and appreciate the ride, and embrace all the uphills, downhills, headwinds, and those glorious tailwinds.
It’s not easy. We all have experienced missing the mark. We make mistakes, we falter, we quit. But with each breath and waking moment, there is opportunity and hope to keep at it until we reach the finish line, which is when we’re dead. So until that moment comes, it’s ON like Donkey Kong.