Friday, January 17, 2014


Triathlon and sport in general can be a very selfish endeavor.
  1. 1.
    (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

The more serious you I get or the more success you I want, the more selfish you I can become. I realize that when I have a goal or something I want to accomplish, I can be extremely selfish, making sure I'm doing everything I need to be doing for myself, trying to convince others to swimbikerun with me because it's on my plan (even if they are doing the same race and may have other ideas on what they want to do) and generally just being self-involved (in sport). I may not be the most pleasant person to be around if I miss a workout or have to change things up a bit (being more flexible with plans is something I'm working on). I do like having those plans. If I miss a workout, don't have something planned for this particular day, get home late from work and something needs to be pushed to another day, I can be grumpy. I need my activity and when I have a plan, I like to follow it. Plans have a purpose and they are there to keep us focused on the end goal, but for me, right now, sacrificing relationships and the important things in life isn't always worth the grumpiness that can come when I'm so 100% attached to the plan. THE TAKEAWAY...Activities can always be shifted and plans are always evolving, nothing is set in stone. <----I need to remember this!

These goals or desires are MY goals and desires not yours, not hers, not his and it's not fair for me to not make time for the important things in life, the things that will be there after life in sport can no longer happen (and this day will come for everyone): like family, relationships, friendships, enjoying a glass of wine or a movie with the people I care about, walking the beach, going on an unplanned adventure, enjoying a sunrise or sunset, going for a hike or a walk around the block, exploring new places, relaxing with a book and some tea, even trying to learn a different activity that might make me tired for swimbikerun, etc.

Have you heard this story?
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous - yes.
The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar - effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, and your children - Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else. The small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.
"Take care of the rocks first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with friends."

....a good little story to remind us about the important things in life...

As racing season starts to creep up on us, I just wanted to remind myself that nothing is more important than my family, my relationship, the people in my life and my health. No matter what my goals are in sport this year, I want to make sure I keep those relationships happy, healthy and strong. It's those connections that keep me going when the going gets tough and without them I wouldn't be able to do what I love.

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