March 5, 2012

Risking Failure is Heroic

I am a little disillusioned with the world at the moment. Well, the inside world at that. I am a little lost because mystery is a concept that is losing traction in the world. We want to know everything, all the time. No mystery – no anticipation, no waiting, no patience and certainly no panache.

With the worlds of Twitter, Facebook et al our heroes have become instantly accessible to us on a level that was always kept away from us. Most of the time, this means we see the rattling-mumbling-useless side of our heroes as they tweet about the movies, what peanut butter they like and which loo paper they prefer. My heroes were silent and let their bodies do the talking growing up.

Our heroes didn’t have GHD’s or Manicures. They walked over the All Blacks, soared over mountains on 3 speed bicycles and swam effortlessly over 30 laps in the Olympic pool. Now I know their training schedules, their bad habits and their inability to put together a sentence correctly.

Sure, I am a part of the generation that has it all at my fingertips, what with the Google-machine giving me all I want. What I am disillusioned by is that I hear people saying that by the time they catch up with friends, they have nothing to say to each other because they have the whole story already by following said friends’ feeds on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

It takes away the beauty of story telling, one of my favorite things.

Our heroes told stories with their escapades, their achievements being fleshed out by talented writers in the newspapers and on the radios as brilliant radio journalists told the story of the race unfolding, live.

Where are these stories now? During any given rugby match, you`ll be watching, listening to the radio, following Twitter streams and Facebook streams for comments, because you just can’t get enough of others peoples opinions. What about forming your own opinion? What about making your own mistakes?

Your well formed opinion and your ability to be willing to make mistakes will carry you further in life than just following the average and being average. If you never overcook a corner, take that double dummy step or attempt the overhead backhand slice how are you ever going to progress? By not attempting, by not risking, you are choosing to not improve.

For the last few weeks I have been suffering with tight achilles, calves, etc all in an attempt to possibly not succeed on the run at Ironman South Africa. Sounds stupid, but I have to put myself out there for the big result, which carries a high possibility of failure. If I don’t risk it, when will I risk it? This is my 6th Ironman distance race. Now is not the time to err.

To conclude, risking failure, to me, is a heroic trait. That is my opinion and sure, I could be wrong, but that is the conclusion I have come to. Perhaps it suits my needs, and fails yours badly but this is what I have learned.

C’est la vie. Have a great week.

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