Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do you believe in what you want?

Wow, can't believe it has been a month. Time for a quick update and some ramblings...

Raced the Sahuarita Triathlon on Memorial Day, and it was a great time! A low-key race on a nice course, close to home. I went into it with high expectations, but was surprised by the very competitive (yet small) field. Good stuff! Highly recommended if you're in the Tucson area next year.

Besides that, boy am I keeping busy! Working hard on all fronts. Following a kick-butt training plan for Vineman 70.3 (thanks to Grasky Endurance). Lots of hard work and some hamstring issues a couple weeks ago. However, the pain is now gone and the workouts are clicking. I think I'll be running on all cylinders in a month. 25-29ers beware :)

Also back in class at the U of A. I was hoping to defend in July, but a not-so-pleasant surprise--my class goes through August! This means I can't defend during the summer, and more importantly I will not officially graduate until December (and I have to pay tuition...again). Gotta love the hoops that the U makes you jump through. Work has been crazy as well. Working days and nights on proposals in hopes that I can land a couple other environmental restoration-type projects to carry me through for a while. Family rocks! The girls are growing up SO fast. Luckily I've been able to be especially involved lately thanks to a lack of fieldwork commitments.

A diversion...on an advertisement at the Rec Center (for personal training), there is a simple rhetorical question that has really got me thinking: "Are you reaching your potential?" Of course this is made to get people thinking that they need a trainer to help them "get in shape" or "get healthy" or whatever, like there is some ideal place that you should be. After musing over this dumb poster for a couple days I finally realized it: no one is "reaching their potential". Think about's impossible. For training, there is always something else I could be doing. Stretch more. Do yoga. Weight training. Ice baths. "Optimize" this, that, and the other thing. What happens when the new "best method" comes along? What about not enough hours in the day?

Now, pile on the rest of your life; other areas where you should be reaching your potential:

Work? I should be doing research right now. Writing proposals (two due next Tuesday). Searching for other business opportunities.

Family? I should be watching TV with my wife. I should be researching parenting methods. I should stop training so that I can help out more. I should call my parents/sister/brother/grandma more often.

School? Um, "optional" homework? I should be making sure I get an A in my last class to keep my 4.0 for my PhD program. The material (calculus applications) is stuff I will probably never use. But what if I need it? I should be spend every waking (and sleeping) hour thinking line integral this or divergence theorem that. I have papers to publish...I should be writing/editing/submitting.

Let's add to the list: community involvement, looking for other tri sponsors, blogging, fixing up the backyard, cleaning my bike, cleaning our cars, socializing (ha!). There is no end. Show me someone you think has reached his/her potential. I tell you that you're wrong.

So what does this mean? Not sure :) Just another way of saying that I need to prioritize I guess. Do the things you have to and pick and choose the things that you want to do. Doubt your priorities and figure out what you need/want. If something unimportant impacts the important things MAKE A CHANGE. We only live once, right? I'll wrap up by saying that I don't hesitate to doubt my priorities. Let's just say that I'll be thinking long and hard about priorities, needs, and wants while I'm wrapping up school. Maybe a change will be in the works for 2010. In the meantime--day by day...

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