When do you win bro?
My 2019 racing calendar ended with an amazing 8th place at CM6 Run in Thailand. As soon as the race was over I was already thinking about my next goals: finally doubling my body weight in a deadlift, running a sub 5 minute mile, finishing my book, moving to a new town, and oh yeah, finding a job. A friend suggested a business venture and I loved the idea but felt overwhelmed. On top of all of my goals, this business idea felt like the straw that would finally break the camels back. I feel crippled, crushed. Then my friend asked, “When do you win bro?”
I stopped and thought. The answer was never.
I am always pushing, striving, aiming higher and higher. In 2017 I set myself two impossible challenges: finishing Fat Dog 120 and writing a book. Before Fat Dog was over, I had signed up for Ultra520kCanada. Immediately after Ultra520kCanada I started a run challenge that would seen me run every day for the next 150. The streak only ended caused I moved to a new country. Moving to a new country was hard enough on its on, but I decided to make it more challenging by signing up yet another ultra marathon, attempting to double my body weight in a deadlift, and coaching myself. And through all of this—Fat Dog, Ultra520kCanada, moving to Thailand, training for another race—I was writing a book, which was possibly the biggest challenge of all.
My aunt had recently said that she worried that I did not know how to relax and have fun. Later, I asked my mom (for who knows me better?) if there was anything in my life that she thought I could improve upon. She said she worried that I was too hard on myself and that I didn’t know how to rest and relax. I saw the merit (and a bit of truth) in their words, however, I ultimately disagreed with them both. But when my friend asked,”When do you win bro?” the message finally penetrated my thick skull. The warrior goes to war. But after the war, the warrior goes home and rests. For years I have been at war, but at long last, I have put down my sword. I have no physical challenges in mind, and my book is on the shelf. I am honouring all of the incredible things I have done over the last three years and am giving my body, mind, and spirit a break. Hopefully this will create space and energy for new opportunities, Once these new opportunities are stable, then I can pick up my sword and awaken warrior. But for now, the warrior is at rest.
Set goals, strive, be the best you can be, but celebrate the victories. Understand that the challenges will set ourselves require energy and setting too many challenges can wear the soul. Take time to rest and to appreciate what you accomplish. Honour what happens in your life. Whether it is writing a book or running a marathon, moving to a new city or starting a business, losing a family member or going through a breakup—these are all challenges and each require energy, honouring, celebration, and rest. So once in awhile put down your sword and give yourself a hug. Life happens quickly, let’s celebrate the victories.