Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Goal is the Journey

Last Spring I crashed and broke my collarbone while racing the DeSoto Triple-T in Southern Ohio. This was my last big race before Ironman Lake Placid ten weeks later. I was psyched for a great race in Lake Placid (my 4th Ironman). I had put in tons of base during a harsh Midwest winter and early spring.

Almost from the moment I crashed I started thinking about all of my wasted training. Those wasted winter days spent riding in sub-freezing temps. Wasted vacation time that I took in order to get in extra training. Wasted races that I didn’t taper for in order to be in better shape later. Countless wasted hours sitting on the rollers. It took about 2 days of this type of negative thinking for me to realize that it was complete and utter bullshit. Self-pity and regret are truly two of the most stupid and useless of human traits. If you enjoy what you are doing then there is no possible way to have a “wasted” day of training. No goal –no matter how lofty- is worth “wasting” even a single day of life on. My high school cross country coach loved to say “You don’t have to run, you get to run.” If training gets to be such a chore that you start thinking: ughh, I have to go swim (or bike or run) then it is time to reassess your motivation and your personal reasons for getting into the sport in the first place. Once I started thinking back I realized that even though I had crashed nothing was really wasted. I had a blast riding in horrible winter weather and stopping at Casey’s for gas station cappuccino and donuts. I kind of like learning new tricks on the rollers. Right up to the point where I crashed I was thoroughly enjoying racing in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachians.

Remember this: no matter what you choose to do with your life the time will pass. If your heart is in the right place, not a precious minute of that time will ever be wasted. Do what you love. Do it with unbridled passion.

The Goal is the Journey. The end of the journey is no more (or less) important than every day along the way. In sport -and in life- it is essential to have goals. It is a sad truth of our culture that people often become utterly fixated on end goals to the extent that everything along the way is forgotten or "wasted". The Goal is the Journey is about changing that mindset. It is about appreciating the minutiae and learning to live in the moment. It is about being mindful instead of mindless.

Through this blog I hope to share with everyone parts of my many journeys. Mostly you'll hear about triathlon and my journey as part of Team raceAthlete. Being part of this team is an unbelievable opportunity for me and something that I want to share with the larger multisport community. I've been racing triathlons for more than 15 years, so I'll also be sharing knowledge along the way. I'll do some product reviews and race reports. By its very nature, The Goal is the Journey is larger than triathlon. If you read my blog you'll also get a dose of practical philosophy and random musings. I'm a librarian so you might read something from me about censorship or hot new reads. I was an English major and take pride in my writing. You won't get lots of hastily written garbage posts from me. I won't be posting every day, but hopefully when I do it will be well-done and worth reading.

Join me on the Journey.

Thanks for reading.


SimplyStu said...

Can't wait to follow your journey!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be your year!!!!

Tracy said...

Hey little brother :) Here we go!

Bolder said...

welcome to Blogland.

may it be as good to you, as it was to me...

:) said...

Simply awesome post. Thanks for reminding us to savor every moment.

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog Chris, great post.

Better stop slacking with that training though ;)


Duane said...

Hey there! Like the post! Looking forward to following you and your teamates as you train for IM!

Anonymous said...

This is great info to know.