September 13, 2012

Harder than you think.

The following words come from a very wise man I know:

It takes a long time to work out that life is this simple. It takes focus and discipline to keep it simple. By sharing stories from inspiring people, beautiful images and my experiences, I hope to inspire others.

It matters not who he is, because he longs not for the approval or the recognition by calling his name here. Aloha!

I find myself caring less and less about races and more about the path, the journey, the experience. Yes, I am competitive. Very. This year I achieved more than any year before. It was harder than I imagined, the goal of winning 70.3, Xterra & Ironman age group titles in the same year and qualifying for 3 sets of world championships. In this arena, it doesn’t get higher than that for a guy like me.

But here are the experiences that stood out for me, this year:

– Duelling with an animal for 9hrs32minutes. The animal was my ego and the vacillating that occurred between giving into the legend/friend/competitor chasing me and being 100% in my own bubble.

– Conquering 2500m of vertical gain in one run. Oh, it snowed during the run and my senses are still raw from the experience.

– Completing massive, technical, troublesome projects despite the circumstances. It was a true team effort, not something a solo endurance junkie gets his hands dirty in a lot. I have people around me I can trust implicitly. I know VERY few people who can claim this.

– Failing, over and over. I joined a powerlifting/crossfit gym this winter. I sucked. I failed multiple times every session. It has instilled a humility in me I wish I could put a finger on, but failing is a good thing and has taught me a lot this winter.

The harder than you think motto applies to all of us. Our possible is just that – possible. It’s this moving, morphing thing that relates to how hard we push. Most of us only push until just before failure. If, like me, your central governor is a little rubber band, pushing to failure means going pretty far. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. I learned that a progressive fail is possible this year. You could shoot out the blocks and fail within 3minutes or push more gently, fail at 20, as the watch stops. But fail you should.

Stick your neck out, admit it’s harder than you want to go, but that’s why you should go. I see so many athletes who play it safe, being content with results instead of throwing the boundaries out the window and being ecstatic with the journey, littered with failures and successes.

Who wants to be content? I think Calvin sums it up perfectly for me:

When you watched Meet the Superheroes earlier in the week, did those athletes strive you as content or as people who wanted euphoria? How much harder is their hard? Harder than you think?

Thought so…

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