There are so many classic stories passed on from older generations to the newer generations. The tortoise and the hare, or the story of two bulls, for example. It usually takes a few years, or even decades to realize the wisdom that was passed down to you was in fact the truth. When you’re faced with a truth, you can ignore it or accept it. I recently realized a pretty hard truth while on my morning run, more on that later.
When you are young, you lack the accumulation of experiences that mentally equip you to navigate life successfully. You lack the at bats or pitches to understand that actions have consequences. Youth gives you what I call “Superman Syndrome.” The idea that you can do anything and conquer everything.
I recently, literally, conquered a block wall in my front yard, this provided a helpful lesson (for the next few weeks) that I am no longer Superman. In my younger days I may, or may not, have learned a few lessons about how much sleep was needed to function, or maybe even a few on my personal limits of alcoholic beverages. I digress.
Back to my morning run, I was a decent runner back in the day and I walked onto a Division 1 track & field program, where I learned immensely about how to effectively talk to yourself. I found ways to trick myself into overcoming pain and running further and faster than I thought was possible, let's call it “mental fuel.” I can tap into memories of badass workouts or ruthless comebacks from years ago. But wait, was that years ago, or is it now decades ago?
Those guys who live in the past… the so-called “glory days”?
My father would often make jokes to me about guys who would brag about their sports achievements from back in the day. “Taylor, the older they get, the faster they were.” And we’d share a good laugh.
I’m not one to embellish on my past accolades, the digital era makes that quite impossible for my generation, and they’re not that impressive anyways. I can’t help but wonder if I’m becoming one of those guys we joked about: living in a past that continues to age further away from who I am currently, who I am today. The next question is the important one, and the reason I’m sharing this with you.
If the most epic and driven memories of my life are from over a decade ago, what have I been doing since?! Coasting?
Yes, everyone has commitments, important ones at that. My wife, children, family, home, pets, etc. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t drive to set and achieve new goals.
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