During off-season workouts, in the old dusty college gym, our coach approached us with the conditioning program of the day. “For your warmup, go outside and run for 30 minutes”. As baseball players, we really only knew how to run 90 feet at a time, and usually more running, was a form of punishment. We all hated it. However, as a leader on the team, It was important for me to put forth 100% effort. So we ran, and ran, and ran further and farther than we ever thought possible. It was painful. The cold winter air was burning our lungs, but our hearts and dogged determination, carried us though. We came back to the gym, expecting a pat on the back for a job well done. We were shocked when Coach Palmer, seemingly surprised to see us, looked at his watch, and calmly said “Ok….only 25 more minutes” Wait….we were only gone for 5 minutes!?.
Looking at where I am now, what I do for a living, what I do for “fun”, it is clear that things have changed, a lot. I have grown, a lot.
It’s a huge mistake to think that where you are now, is the only place you’ll ever be. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I transitioned to events that take me 12 hours to complete, but I do know this: I still hate it. I don’t really want to run for more than 5 minutes (or at all for that matter), but I have learned to not only embrace my weaknesses, but to master them. This has had a direct correlation to other facets of my life. When I recognize a deficit (although sometimes I need help with the recognition part), I am not afraid to meet it front and center.
Those things which makes us the most uncomfortable, are the things that we really need to tackle head on. It’s the only way we can grow. Without struggle, there is no growth. Lucky for me, I struggle at just about everything, although I am really good at sitting down on the couch with a beer and watching baseball. In fact, I challenge you to find anyone better! However, I’m not quite sure how that talent, translates into paying the mortgage and tuition, being a loving husband and father, and making the world a better place, which are the things that I love most.
Get out there and embrace the pain. Embrace the struggle. Embrace growth.