Sunday, November 11, 2012

What are you aiming for?

 I receive emails from Chris Carmichael this week, and it struck a very major chord with me.  It's something I  had already experienced, and after getting through it and looking back, it's such a major reason why so many people "quit" or in my case took too long to try.
You have to continually focus on where you’re going to be and how you’re going to get there. In the early days of a new business, the start of a long education process, or the beginning of your path to an athletic goal, where you are stinks. You can barely support yourself, nobody gives you any respect, and you’re working terribly hard for what seems like very little reward. A lot of people get stuck there, because they spend too much time focused on where they are and too little on where they’re headed.
The simple fact is this - as long as you are focused on doing what you are doing now, you will not get to where you want to go.  I spent years wanting to lose weight.  I thought "if I was just 20, or 30, pounds lighter things would be so much better.  My focus was always on the weight.  The simple fact is weight does not define you, it can only limit you.  Once my focus changed from weight to activities, I saw change.  Now I look at goals, and my goals get larger.  Yeah, I like a good burger from time to time, and I like pizza.  I like standing on top of White Oak mountain, claiming victory over a grueling ride.  I like coming back tired and sore from a hard shop ride, knowing that I at least kept the group that I couldn't stay with in sight as I was getting dropped.  I like that I feel like I can go out and DO things.  The difference is that I'm not defining myself by food, but rather by the other things that need to be in my life.

This is a major change for me.  Last year at this time I was struggling with just going 7 miles without having to stop for a break.  I had to make hard decisions, and decide what was important to me.  If that means getting in miles during lunch, and having to heat up my lunch while on a conference call while not being able to  change until after the call is over.  Having to chase that last bit of daylight, and having a late dinner because I have to get to the gym.  If I'm not going to make the time to do these things, I'm not going to get stronger.  It's a hard reality.  As I face down my 38th birthday, my goals only get larger and more seemingly Ludicrous.  I mean, is it feasible for me to expect to be able to ride the Assault on Mt Mitchell in 2013?  It's 100 miles of riding and 10,000 feet of climbing.

It's just another stepping stone in my active lifestyle.  It means a lot of hard work over the next 6 months, but I look forward to standing at the highest point in the Eastern United States, victorious.

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