Friday, June 8, 2012

just can build the wings on the way down

Not long long ago I turned a secret plan into a manifesto - and put some specific benchmarks into place.  I created these to serve as signposts to guide my way from the comfort-zone of my man-cave to my own personal superhero-land - my destination.  None were going to be easy signposts to get to.  My first came up last Sunday (3 June - Keuka Lake) at a triathlon.  The signpost I set out to pass... finish in the top third of in my age-group (40-44).  Not only did I fail to wizz past this one, I careened face-first into it.  I got 44th out of 45.  I finished - 44th out of 45.  It was my first time running in several months after a stress fracture in my hip.  When I finished that mile swim, 20 mile ride and, 6 mile run (hip felt fine - thank you for wondering) I was 44th place.  Out of 45.  Not even close to where I set out to be.  That is the problem with setting benchmarks - you might not reach them.  

When you step up, you sometimes get stepped on.  It is just the way it is.  It may mean that the original goal that you set was not realistic.  You don't really know that though until you have crashed into the signpost repeatedly.  That sucks but it is what is so.  The brutally grim piece is that you only have two choices: fail and collapse into self-loathing; or, fail and keep your feet under you and try again.  To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins "it's a dangerous business, [Subad], going out of your door... you step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

I am blessed that I have loving support in my friends and family.  They are genuinely proud of my 44th of 45.  They believe in me.  They are also not trying to go where I am.  So... I have to climb back up to the edge of the cliff again.  You will fail over and over again when you are trying to change your life.  It sucks but it is what is so - and so what.  In real life superheros are not born.  They are made.  They are made of pain, embarrassment, failure, and that dash of success that makes it all worthwhile.  If you are in this for instant gratification and the eternal sunshine of repeat triumph - then you are in for rude awakening.  Time to jump again.

You can build your wings on the way down.


  1. Haven't heard you say 'grim' in a loooong time. What position were you in after the swim?

    1. Thanks Matt. i was 4th out of the water. problem with the swim is it gives no advantage - too short