Where do you want to go in life? What are your goals? Most importantly, what will happen when you reach those goals? Will everything suddenly be right with the universe? We all have a tendency to think that everything in this life will be better if only I could “fill in the blank“. You know how it goes… If I could graduate from college then I’ll be ready to make it in life. If I could get a good job then I’ll be set for life. If I could make more money then I would be fine. If I could get a good man/woman then life would be perfect. If I could get married and have children then my life would be complete. If I can just get my kids in to college then I will feel successful. If I could lose 15 lbs I could be happy. if I could make it to The CrossFit Games then I will be a winner.
But as you can see, once you attain a goal… where do you go from there? On to the next goal? Do we ever ever find satisfaction? Is there really a destination where all is well in the world and we no longer want for more? Probably not. But what we need to remember is that attaining a goal feels good, but the journey is where we get the real goods. There is no such thing as a destination.
When you look back on your life do you remember the destinations? I remember my high school and college graduations… sort of. I mostly remember all of the great experiences in college… But immediately after graduation I had to focus on finding a job. I remember my wedding, but what I really remember was being in love and wanting to be with that man and start a new journey together… but immediately afterward I was thinking about jobs and kids and what I wanted next. I remember birthing children in great detail, but what I remember most is holding that baby in my arms and thinking that I couldn’t believe love like this existed… and wondering what they were going to grow into. I can’t remember a time when I thought I was at my goal weight and would never have to diet or exercise again. But I remember several workouts and competitions and feelings of overcoming and feeling accomplished. And we all know that once we get that first pullup (or other movement you have been coveting) you immediately won’t be satisfied until you can do 10 unbroken!
Last year John Mariotti went to The CrossFit Games and competed hard and finished as the 6th Fittest Man on Earth age 55-59. He had trained incredibly hard for two years to get to the Games. I talked to him on the phone the next day, expecting him to be elated and yet he was in the worst mood ever! He was wandering around Carson, California not sure what to do with himself. He watched The Games and he took care of some business, but he generally just felt lost. He had worked for two solid years and he had attained his goal and suddenly found himself not sure what to do with himself. What was his next step? Start training immediately for next year? At the time he really wasn’t sure.
But wait… aren’t we always telling you to set goals for yourself? Don’t we constantly discuss how to create S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals and create a plan to achieve all of of the amazing things you want to achieve? Well yes, and it is important to have goals in life. That’s how we set a standard for ourselves. But a lot of the time we get obsessed with the final result, which quite often can never be reached. For example, maybe I lost 15 pounds, but now I think I would look better if I just lost another 5, or toned up, or if my butt was higher or my boobs were bigger or my face was less wrinkled. There is always something to improve upon in life. And yet perfection is nothing but an ideal that does not actually exist.
So why bother setting these goals and trying to achieve them? Because there is a whole lot to see and do in this life and because life is a big conglomeration of experiences. It is a bunch of moments that make us laugh, smile, cry, wretch, mourn, learn and feel.
But don’t let the goal ruin the journey. We all come to the gym day in and day out to take care of our health. We want to be stronger, skinnier, prettier, and better but most importantly we want to be healthy enough to do all of the amazing things we want to do in life. We want to live long enough to see our children get married and hold our grandbabies in our arms. We want to play with children and walk across Italy and hike the Grand Canyon.
So don’t get obsessed with the five pounds you are trying to lose. Obsessing will ruin the fun you are having and then the goal becomes less sweet. Have you ever accomplished something you worked really hard for and then looked back and wondered if it was really worth it? Think about all of those people with eating disorders who binged and purged and hid their disease. Does that sound fun to you? And then the reward feels dirty and undeserved.
On the other hand, if you get to the gym and ROCK your WOD and compete and laugh with friends and leave with a smile on your face, and then go home and eat healthily the rest of the day because you feel great – then losing 5 pounds feels like a rich, creamy chocolate cake with a big, fat cherry on top!
And quite frankly, it is.
So come on in and get your WOD on and have some fun doing it. Start your Journey to Extraordinary and savor every step of the way. It is yours to enjoy.
“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.” Nisargadatta Maharaj