The last day of 2017 is rolling on by. The cold winter has embraced Wisconsin in force. Reminding us that nature is indeed merciless. What did you do this year that you were not proud of? Was there anything that just truly sucked? Now what was your winning moments? Those times that life just happened in all the right ways? The planned vacation? The personal best on a 5K? A new job? Or was it that you planned just to live each day to their fullest?
2018 creeps closer. Each second drops. A new year turns to face you. What are your goals for this year? What are your whys? Why do you get up? Why do you push yourself harder? Faster? To read more. To study more. To try harder. A date on the calendar doesn’t have to mean ‘Today is the day I start’. It can help. It sets a point in time when decisions were made. But it shouldn’t be the only day you make resolutions. Every day you should tell yourself ‘Not this day! I will not just lay curled in my warm bed. Not. This. Day!’ Every day is a chance to rewrite yourself. Everyday is a chance to be the person you want to be. Opportunities are dropped at our feet all the time. Make this day your day. Make this hour your hour. Make this breath your new breath.
There are a lot of days in the average American life. If you live to be about the age of 80 you get about 29,200 of the sun rises and the sun sets. That seems like a lot. Over time we set some goals for some of those days. Day two thousand, go to a park. Day 16 thousand, get a new job. We look at the goals as a way to accomplish something before day 29,200 gets here. To be able to say to ourselves “It was all worth it”. Maybe you tell yourself that if you run a marathon, you will look better. Or is your goal to be a better person. Too many of us focus on just one goal. Lose weight. Eat right. Get stronger. Get smarter. But life is not that simple. We are complex beings. I have many goals. Get my business off the ground. Eat better. Finish Goruck Selection. Be a successful husband. Be an even better father. Have a meaningful career. All these things are parts of what I want to be. Each a separate goal. So I split them all up. Focus on one, then the next. Study hard for weeks for a certification. But then I don’t train for Selection. Train for Selection every day for a month. Then I don’t spend the time with my family. Work late every night for three weeks. Everything else suffers. How do you juggle all those goals? How to fit everything in. The first step is to realize that all those goals are part of the same goal. To make a better you. To support the ‘why’. To secure your ‘purpose’. Each of those goals are actually segments that are intertwined in the goal of not waiting till day 29,199 to say “This was a good life”. Every day is a good life. Each day the goal is to make the next day even better. Your purpose, your why, the family, the job, strength, endurance, intelligence, intuition, all woven together like an amazing orchestral piece that is your life. Don’t wait for day 28,800 to think that you could have been more. Don’t even breathe. Move with a purpose. Plan & Conquer. Now.
p.s. Thank you Team Awesome for reminding me.
The sun was setting. Mosquitoes were in phalanx size units. Lethargy had set in for the evening. Glitter covered my body because my two year old daughter was wearing a shirt with the sparkly material. Thus everyone in the house is covered in glitter, the dogs, the cat, my wife. This was the perfect time to work out. Lifting the awkward sandbag onto my shoulder I walk to the bottom of a lazily slopping hill. Stopping at a rock pile to grab a handful of pebbles. Fifteen to be exact. At the bottom of the hill I pile the small stones. One mound will be the repetitions I have done. The other mound will be the repetitions I have left. 15 to zero so far. The ice cold water bottle placed next to the dreadful green sandbag. The buzzing in the air is informing me that a battalion of mosquitoes were readying an assault. Time to move.
First sprint up the hill. Who thought this was a good idea? In the distance I can see my wife with a ball of silver light running before her. Keep running. Panting, sweat pouring down my face. Get to the half way point and turn around. All down hill and there is my wife again with my sparkly daughter. Pass them with a smile and stride down to the sandbag. Eight back squats and eight sit ups. One repetition complete. Move a rock over to the complete pile. 14 to 1. The odds are looking up. OK that was not so bad. A 30 second break as I watch my daughter make her way to my starting point. My wife is holding our three month old son. Woops time to go.
Sprinting up the hill a second time was not that bad. Warmed up. Get to that half way point and turn around. Look, my daughter tried to follow me up the hill. She tries so hard to do what I do sometimes. It is impressive. She is nothing but giggles as she chases me. I am sweating and wondering why I am torturing myself. But to her it is a beautiful evening to play games. By the time I finished my second set of squats and sit-ups she had made her way to me. The stones are set to 13 to 2. Making progress and I sprint up the hill for my third rep as my wife watches over all of us.
This third sprint is starting to slow down. Those squats just ruin your legs for any kind of running. Running back down the hill I see my little angel playing in the dirt by the sandbag. Nope that is not dirt. She has scattered all my stones. Damn. Well at least it was only two reps. Finish up the exercises and reset the stones while my daughter is distracted by some piles of grass. 12 to 3.
Sprinting up the hill seemed to attract the attention of the local insect militia in force. But I need to keep moving. As punishment for my slowing down I add another ten yards to my sprint. It seems that even the run back down hill is starting to slow down. By the time I get to the sandbag the blood suckers have regrouped. On my back for the sit-ups it is hard to see the sky through the winged leeches. OK ,11 to 4. Easy day every day.
I was hoping this workout would go quicker.. That this would not take all night. Stepping up my speed, and widening my stride seemed to help my mood. Is that my daughter at the sandbag again? She is playing with my stones. Wait, how many reps have I done? Why wont she leave them alone? Her giggle answers none of my questions. Anger is slowly building up in me. This is hard. Does she not understand that? She pushes all the stones around in different patterns and smiles at me. How can I be mad at that? This little imp is pleased with herself. Sparkly legs wobbly get up and walk towards Mommy. Despite the evil hum of devil vermin she insists that Mommy take all of her clothes and diaper off. With that task done, my two year old daughter stumble runs up the hill, bare buns blazing white in the fading light, leading my wonderful wife and son into the distance. I stare at the ground. Look at the stones. Then at my family. Again my daughter has taught me a lesson. She has taught me so many of these lessons. This flash, my family silhouetted against the sky and life is what is important. The stones do not matter. The hill does not matter. The bugs do not matter. Clothes do not matter. All that matters in life are a these few simple things. A giggle is the most useful thing you can ever have and do. It is vital to have someone who cares in your life, that will help you get naked and not laugh. It does not matter how much you have left or how much you have done or how big the bugs are. Just do them and do not stop. The most crucial is that you consistently be there for the people you care about. No matter how big or small you are just being there is sometimes the most important thing that helps out.