When I look at my to-do list (the long one – its broken down into bite-size chunks to avoid vertigo) and the fact that it involves so much that does not include swimming, cycling, running or a combination thereof, I wonder why I push so hard at times. I wonder if it`s all adding up to something greater than myself. That is the hope, surely?
Every day I log onto this site and I am expected to write something inspiring or something absolutely truthful that makes the audience ponder. I realise that this expectancy is something I place on myself and it comes from a place that says “What is your message” and “Be the brand”. There is ongoing pressure to perform on the field, to write amazing pieces and come up with great strategies to get the marketing exposure that sponsors have an expectation for when it comes to setting goals for the value they input into my life. All this on top of the fact that I logged 150 hours of normal work last month. That’s excluding reading, studying, etc. Just work that I can account for. Add training volume, sleep, eating, preparation for training and really, beyond the tarmac, there is quite a tight schedule going on.
I am by no means alone here. We all juggle, we all compromise. We all put together the best day we can, day after day, with the circumstances presented to us and the choices we have to make from the moment the alarm goes to the moment we doze back to slumber. Beyond our training lives, so much is going down.
There are relationships and family, friends and hobbies, interests and down-time, partying and eating. The list goes on. Beyond the tarmac is the majority of our lives. It’s the core of our lives. The 30min run we may get in the morning does not form the basis of our time, yet so often its the number 1 differentiating factor in our day being average or being awesome. I see this every morning as my amazing girlfriend puts together the motivation to get up and get out the door for her ritual runs.
She is not the same without them, yet some mornings there is an internal war with herself going on to get her out the door and yet, when she reflects later, the 12 hour day she clocked was made 10 times easier by the first 30minutes of her day. How she sets her day in motion has a compound effect on her happiness for her entire day. Beyond the tarmac is often a success because of the simple choice to get outside, and a powerful choice at that.
What do we say about ourselves? What is our message?
How much better can we make this message by getting to bed earlier, waking earlier and getting out the door for 30minutes in the morning?
The warrior in me may want to go sub 9 at Ironman South Africa next year, but what about the work goals, the goals for Pure Planet Racing and for my awesome family, my incredible girlfriend and my rockstar mates? Those are all warrior goals too, they are fights in their own right involving compromise, choices and being true to what I believe in.
I have to run a very lean crew of people around me who trust me, believe in me and value the life I am striving for. There is no space for energy suckers in this camp. I know many of you are facing the same situation and I applaud you for making the tough choices in life.
As warrior poets we take to the tarmac to improve our lives, instill a calmness that gives us strength in our daily tasks beyond the tarmac which are far greater than the simple task of going for a jog in the morning or riding your bicycle in the dark, while the world sleeps.
Beyond the tarmac we are shooting for the stars while we build the foundation for that rocket ship by cutting out the clutter and compromising on “normal” in order to achieve “impossible”.
Beyond the tarmac you are an inspiration to others because of the simple task of putting together a plan and sticking to it in order to achieve a goal on the road somewhere.
Beyond the tarmac, you are a hero.
Your time on the road is your anchor to that. Your wings. Your weapon.