Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mess up your hair. If you are wearing makeup – smudge it. If you have a pair of pants that dont really fit you – put them on. Put on a top that doesn’t go with those pants. Go to your sock drawer. Pull out two socks that don’t match. Different lengths, materials, colors, elasticity.
Now two shoes. You know the drill.
Need to add more? Ties? Hair clips? Stick your gut out? I trust you to go further.
Take a picture.
Get ready to post it online.
Are you feeling dread? Excitement? Is this not the image you have of yourself? Write about the fear or the thrill that this raises in you? Who do you need to look good for and what story does it tell about you? Or why don’t you care?
(Author: Matthew Stillman)
I don't do pictures... period. I've never been comfortable with having pictures taken and that's not likely to change.
Ever since I was little I've had problems with the image of being different. I was the tallest one in my class at least through the 8th grade when Martin came aboard and I've never been popular or willing to share with people... just like today, I'm vegging at home writing, learning more about WordPress and Thesis rather than calling friends and hanging out with them.
As it is usually the case lately what image you want to present is tied with who you want to be. It is also true that you present multiple images depending on who you're with but any and all of those images need to be grounded in the reality of who you are and who you will become.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?
It doesn't look so hard now that it is in the past, doesn't it? What's the next plan? What's the next challenge?
smiles Look at where you are right now. It seemed yesterday that you had decided to take on challenges you never thought possible and now they seem to quaint and small in comparison. And now you have challenges that 10, hell even 3 years ago you would have never thought possible. You're doing an Ironman Triathlon for crying outloud
The important part is not to settle... challenges are there for a reason, they show how much you really want something. The fact that you went through surgery is not the deciding factor, whether you're strong physically and mentally to complete the training and the events ahead is the important part. You always agonize with deciding what to do and how to do it yet when it's time to look back and look at the choices you made it always seems like such a little thing you had to decide and how much satisfaction you derived from your accomplishment
Be in the moment... worry about what you're doing right then and there; if you work hard enough you will accomplish what your dream of doing. Come on, when you did your first sprint triathlon 2 years ago, would you have dreamed that you'd be struggling with whether to complete an Ironman? a whole damn Ironman?!?!?!?! Not in your wildest dreams!
I almost posted something like this in Facebook earlier today
Carlos is seriously thinking if he can make in 3 weeks the qualifying time for US Masters Swimming Long Course Nationals. The time is 5:15 and the qualifier meet is 30 days from now. Wonders if he should push to meet that time or if he should wait for next year and see if he can cut it when he's healthy and not with Ironman written all over his head... tough question
It makes me wonder if I'm ready to push that hard so soon. If I'm good and listen to the doctor then I have about 9 days to really train for this. The stupid me is saying why wait, start now and be ready for those last 9 days. Practicality wins in the end... I'm in no shape to push 400 meters in 5 minutes and, at least this year, I have a good reason not to... it's in Arizona in November 😀
I've been back and forth as to whether I want to stay with the team or drop out now and concentrate on moving back to California. I'm pretty sure I'm getting old; before it would have been an non-issue, just push back through pain and through discomfort and get back to doing what you're certain is the best thing to do; Now I'm struggling with a decision that shouldn't be even a thought. I know why I decided to do this when we started in January and I know that, one way or another, I'll see this through the end, whether as a participant or as spectator supporting my friends, that remains to be seen.
There are things that are more important than pain, there are people who deserve your continuing to push yourself even when you think you can't go any further. It doesn't mean be stupid and reckless but it means that, within your limits, only you can decide how far to go and how hard to push.
It is both a matter of pride. I've invested too damn much physically and emotionally on this training and on this group of people to give up and quit. My body may not be 100% where it needs to be but I'll be damned if I'm not going to give it the best effort I humanly can.
Sometimes I question what I'm getting myself into... something like the swim start below:
In the end, I'll look back at this and know that what I did was right and I did it for a worthy cause and for people who truly and really deserve the support.
1. Stay POSITIVE!!!!!!!!! No matter what course you're on....keep focused and STAY POSITIVE! Be aware of your mind, body and spirit connection. Running is an excellent time for meditation, prayer, self therapy, reflection and bonding!
2. Train hard when you are training - but also remember: keep a pace that is enjoyable and safe in between! Nothing is worse than going out for a "killer" run that your body is not yet trained for. Your own flesh and blood ends up rebelling against you because you are being unrealistic. Your body knows what it needs, so LISTEN to it.
3. Aim for consistency - like most things in life, that's the key. It can take a while to get into the 'rhythm" of running. Find the time to get out often!! Even if you aren't "feeling" up to it. Guaranteed - when you put those running shoes on and get out the door you will ALWAYS be glad you did! (something about more oxygen and a good sweat 😉 Embrace the inner child. Feel the movement of the ground under your feet - enjoy the rhythm. It's good for you... like music, delight in the rhythm. You're always a child, no matter how many races you've run.
4. Run! You don't have to be a "pro" or a marathon runner to enjoy the benefits of staying in shape (both mentally and physically). Do yourself a favor....Stop looking at the ground, your watch, or others around you and just move your feet, SMILE ... just for you 😉
That's the question I've been asking myself over the past couple weeks and came to the conclusion that as long as you ground yourself in the now, there is no reason why you can't look forward and dream the big ass dreams. So here we go.
2012 is the year to regroup and to plan for school, GRE Prep (again), lots of practice tests and 4 endurance events (in no particular order)
I got an email from a recruiter for a 3 year project based from Miami and I'm tempted to take it... but a lot will depend on what I hear from the recruiter regarding the position... Ideally I would take it if I can telecommute and maybe move to Atlanta or even California. It wasn't meant to be (for the type of work they want they were not paying enough) and I decided not to take it.
Now that that is taken out of the equation I get to really think whether I should stay with the team or not. The dreamer in me says that I'll make it... that all the pain and the effort is worth it in the end when I cross the finish line in Arizona in November. But the practical me thinks that I need to be more practical and start thinking money that I'll need to move back... oh shit indeed.
But, you know what? The part of me that hates leaving a challenge undone is pulling me towards not quitting, even if you're not gonna make it you should still take the challenge and see how far can I go before I have to drop out (if I have to drop out) either way it'll be an interesting challenge.
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
Part of what's been keeping me upset and depressed over the last few days was this simple realization: My immediate future is no longer on my hands and I lost what little control I had over what I was going to do outside work.
I was diagnosed with Gallbladder attacks Memorial day and the earliest I could get scheduled for surgery was tomorrow (6/13) which means that I won't be able to go back to training until 6/27 at the earliest (I'm still hoping the doctor will only give me 1 week recovery but it doesn't sound very likely) which in turn makes it unlikely that I will be allowed to continue training with the IronTeam for Arizona.
Don't get me wrong, I want to continue training really badly but it's not up to me. Mary and Mike will be the ones deciding when/if I can continue. All I can do is the best I can and hope that it'll be enough.
Going back to training or lack thereof today (6/17) I got a call from one of our coaches. In and of itself that's not unusual (maybe not welcome but not unusual) but the content of the conversation made me happier and gives me hope that I'll continue with the team all the way through the end in November. Holding my breath but not too deeply 🙂
But even if I can't continue training there are questions that bring up the larger picture and the larger questions that I have been avoiding so far: How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?
Then there's something to be said for fear. The first question is to ask what are you really afraid of? Are you afraid of not making it it, making it or just staying where you are while you wait and see all the people who actually took a chance and made it pass by?
What is holding you back? What are you afraid of? Why are you letting fear hold you back? WHy not use the fear as the fuel that pushes you forward?
The Art of Non Conformity and Legal Nomads have opened my eyes. I know there is something bigger and better to be had outside the conventional 9-to-5 salary mindset. I've blogged about it before but there's still something holding me back and not letting me explore what it is that I really want to do.
Doing Triathlons and endurance sports is one thing but it's not the only unconventional thing I do or rather it's not the only thing that I would like to do in a regular basis. There is so much more to do and so much more to be in this life that every time you constraint yourself you're hurting your life and your future.
Yeah, people tell me that 37 is not old but it's older than I was when I first started exploring questions of happiness and trying, as poorly as I did at the time, to define what success really means and in what context. It's never to late to start but there are times when it's too late to realize you can begin to change.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Steve Jobs - 2005
There is such a feeling of freedom when you realize that you really don't have anything to loose (and even more when you realize that you never did). If there is a time to take risks is now. Don't wait until you're sure (when are you ever 100% sure that you'll actually do something or that your plan will work exactly as you intend to?)
SO the next challenge is to actually do things. If you think it's going to be worth the effort then go for it. Don't let anything get in your way. If the sky is the limit then you're the rocket that will get there but only if you let yourself do so.
So what will 2012 look like?
Part of accepting challenges is to accept that you can't win them all but that it doesn't mean you stop trying. 2012 will be shaped by this year regardless of what happens in the TNT/Ironteam front.
Either way I'm moving to California at the end of 2011 (exact dates depend on whether I actually race IMA or not). I don't think that UWG is the place for me long term and I will sure as all hell not make myself miserable trying to figure out if it is or not.
If I make it through to Arizona
If things work out the way I want them to then I'm quitting UWG at the end of September (week after Ironman 70.3 Augusta) and start shipping crap at that time. I'd travel with the team to Arizona and then come back, close the lease and fly back to California sometime in early December.
If I don't make it through to Arizona
Part of what worries me about moving to California is that my mom mwill continue to try and live my life for me; maybe not overtly but with her subtle "you should do this" hints and pronouncements and 'this is my house and my rules' situations.
But I still need a few months of California before I can jump in to dreaming big. If I can't make it to Arizona I don't know how much real training I'll have for Augusta and that may dictate that I live mid September instead of December. It may cause issues with the landlord but I think I have that taken care of 🙂
The rest is all up in the air and for the first time, I'm OK with that.
This is excerpted from my free report: Five Days to Goals That Inspire You (longer available online), and inspired from many sources (including, in no particular order, Barbara Sher, Paul McKenna, Jennifer Louden, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Martha Beck).
Start by imagining your Ideal Day. Set aside an hour and allow yourself to daydream. Imagine what one ideal day in your ideal life would be like. Picture yourself 5-10 years down the road – and imagine your day from the moment you wake to the moment you fall asleep. Picture it in vivid Technicolor detail – with colors, sounds, smells, and touch. Examine at every detail – where you are, what the room looks like (if you are inside), what it feels like, what it smells like, who is with you (if anyone), and what you are doing. Take note of every meal you eat, every person you speak with. Write it all down.
I promise you will find this to be rejuvenating, refreshing, and fun. It’s total fantasy – your fantasy for your life. And if you think you have more than one ideal life, pick one. Choose the one that appeals to you the most in this moment (You can always do this exercise again later – with a different Ideal Day. In fact, I encourage you to do so!) If you find yourself uncertain about some parts of your day – that’s fine. Simply move on to the next moment.
It is very important that you do not evaluate or judge yourself, or your ideas. If things don’t make logical sense, that’s fine too. This is a fantasy after all. Put on some music that inspires and relaxes you – make some tea or pour yourself glass of wine – and dream. Sit in your favorite chair, pick up your favorite pen, and write it all down.
When you are done, stand up, smile, stretch, and take a deep breath. Congratulations! You have taken the first significant step to setting goals that will work for you! Now, put this aside for the rest of the day.
Work Ideal Day (6/19/11)
It's 05:00... I know it's early but I'd like to get a run before having to sit down and start typing away. I think I'll treat myself nicely and only run 10 miles today.... we'll just have to see how the legs treat me particularly since I haven't ran that long in a while. I made it back home around 8:15... 3 hours for 10 miles is not as good as s it could be but for it to be the first run since the surgery, I won't complain too much.
Workout 1 for the day is taken care of and now I can shower and concentrate on working. I have 2 big projects I'm working on. I'm working with the programmer on my special collaboration/distribution system and I'm also working on a contract to move a site into WordPress using Thesis.
The conversation with the programmer goes fairly well, we're almost ready to demo the project to our first clients in a couple weeks.
The WordPress project is a little more complicated. The design is a nightmare to translate and I'm about to say screw it but the stubborn part in me tells me to give it 4 more hours and then take a break; if need be I can always ask for an extension.
I take a break for lunch, I had promised a friend that we'd have lunch in the city today. Make sure you take the correct train and that you take the laptop to work on the train there. It is amazing how much a little change of scenery can help with your designer's block. I think I finally figured out how to do that design and right in time for lunch 🙂
My friend and I decide to hit Fisherman's Wharf for a good bowl of clam chowder, I know it's not New England but it'll have to do until I can get myself back to Boston, and a long-overdue talk. We both got so busy that we always have to push meeting and getting reacquainted with each other but no more. I keep thinking that I'm not getting any younger (another one of those relative terms like good, bad, pretty and ugly) to start chasing my dreams.
We talk for a long time. We talk about Christianity, we talk about family and friends. We talk about our respective fathers and how he still hates his and how much I miss mine. We talk about Max and his new sibling and about the travels I will embark on in the next few months.
I'm working on getting all these work-related project settled in because I'm traveling. I finally made up my mind about going to Chile December and January... I am doing Ironman 70.3 Pucón! It took me a while to decide on this one but it was the right thing to do. I get to see what's left of my family and I get to race another 70.3 race 😀
At some point I decided that the baggage was worth the trip and the emotional toll it's going to take out of me. Mom's right when she points out that I owe it to my aunts... they are not getting any younger and I'm one of the last family members still alive.