Twenty years into endurance sports and I cannot believe how much change has taken place.
When I began, I was consumed with the idea that my actual performance in area races would directly impact the success of Tri/Du/Run the Wildwoods (yes, that was the original name of the race). I placed so much time and energy into this idea that it became my identity. I was so wrong.
As I matured and began to see what I was dabbling in turn into a calling, I became aware of just how little I knew. That's a hard reality, but one that I was comfortable with considering I had been climbing uphill my entire life. Whether it was barely making the beach patrol, my college baseball team, or my venture into becoming a triathlete I was never considered a sure thing, I was always the long shot. What I didn't know was that mentality would consume everything about me for better and for worse. I began to see the entire scope of what I was capable of in a new light. I would ask myself the tough questions and come up with the same answers; they would usually look like this, "What if I tried this?" "Sure, it could work, I'm doing it!" And I would follow up that answer with massive action without a care of the consequences and that decision would ultimately propel me on a path to my next great lesson or success and myself and this company would forever be changed. We would no longer look like we used to, we would evolve.
Evolution. Change. Growth. This is our only constant. I revel in the fact that I am a completely different person than I used to be 20 years ago. I'd like to think I'm a bit wiser, less brash, more thoughtful, more grateful, perhaps actually gaining valuable experience that I can one day pass along. I've had my fair share of humble pie, taken one too many risks, and realized through 20 years of learning what not to do cannot prevent future lessons from being learned. If anything, and if you listen, the passing years taught me each moment is fleeting, both the good and the hard. We look nothing like we did 10 years ago, heck, we barely resemble ourselves from 5 years ago, and I love it. I love that we are fresher than ever, taking on newer and tougher challenges it's actually what keeps me this engaged 20 years into the business.
Ask yourself this question: What challenges have you accepted in the last 10 years, 5 years, 12 months? Have you grown? Have you evolved? Have you embraced your strengths and recognized your weaknesses? Are you proud of what you have gone through to become your best, highest realized self? Are you not happy with your answer? Do you find yourself griping when the road gets hard? I've got the cure. Take a task that seems impossible, and say yes with a smile, then refuse to give up no matter what. That's the secret, or at least, it was.