Sometimes, I just have to sit for a while in a quiet place and try to make some sense of the life I live.
Most days, everything makes sense. I set a goal, focus on it, go after it, and after some struggle, I either achieve it or I don't. And then it's on to the next "thing," whether it's a new task, challenge, milestone, relationship, or something else. Challenges motivate me the way Pacman pursues pellets. I want to gobble them up.
On the other days, it's a messy jambalaya of good, bad, hurt, joy, gain and loss. The swirling feelings of conflict and confusion remind me of the lyrics to one of my favorite '80s sitcoms, "Facts of Life":
"You take the good, you take the bad
You take it all and then you have...
The facts of life, the facts of life..."
If I'm staring within myself at a big, heaping bowl of jambalaya, I find that if I can just sit for a bit and try to understand and appreciate the situation -- without trying to fight it -- I might rise above it.
This is one of those days. Though the "rising above" part is always easier said than done.
I'm not going to focus on the "bad" part of the jambalaya today, but rather the reason why I'm writing this blog in the first place: to give my future children (nevermind the lack of a wife or girlfriend at the moment) a blueprint for setting and reaching major goals and, more important, inspiring others to try and do the same.
So far, my father is swimming, my buddy Dustin is embarking on his first triathlon, Corey is trying to eat better, and I just learned that now Anat's father is starting to take walks with his daughter.
Partially because of my story.
The movement is growing! Person by person. Day by day. It grows slowly, but we are building momentum. Something special is starting to happen.
What a feeling!
Helping fuel other people's fires is rekindling my own when my flame runs a little low. Today, my fire was a little dim. I couldn't rally for my morning swim because of a poor night's sleep. I fit in my 45-minute bike ride on the trainer, but the swim was the first workout I've skipped due simply to lack of effort in my two months working with Coach Gerardo.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't beating myself up at all about missing a workout or why, but the process of Ironman training is at least helping me better accept the true meaning that tomorrow is another day. A new opportunity to spit out the bad pieces in the jambalaya. To refocus on the positive. A fresh start. A chance to look forward and not behind. A chance to convince one more person that they can do something beyond their wildest imagination if they want to and are willing to put in the work.
So, I'm going to amend the "Facts of Life" lyrics, for now. I'm going to acknowledge the bad but only take the good. And march forward.
And there you have... my facts of life.
303 days and counting.