A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the liquid into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."
"So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
What do I get from this story? Well, aside from having a full jar (the usual suspects), I am also juggling a few balls just above the jar. These additional balls are the races in which I intend to partake this year:
- Ironman South Africa 3.8k swim/180k bike/42.2k run (hobble) (April 5th)
- Two Oceans Ultra Marathon - 56km (April 11th)
- Comrades Ultra Marathon - 89 km (May 24th)
All pretty big chunks of the Big Boy racing calendar. Now, how do I go about doing this? Well, the first thing is to make it up as you go along and keep going forward. Surrender or retreat is not an option.
Secondly, one must remember that one is always surrounded by the enemy. When you are sleeping, they will be training. When you are eating they will be eating less. When you are sweating...OK you get the picture.
Finally, one needs to be inventive and think outside of the box. Sitting on your heiny waiting for things to happen isn't going to cut it. Initiative and fortitude are paramount.
Only two weeks to go before the Caveman diet is nailed. Thereafter I am seriously contemplating a salad/veggies instead of potato/bread month. Just a little extra to keep the muscles lean and the extra weight off.
At the moment, in times of despair, I think of the pizza and beers that await me at the finish line in Port Elizabeth and I am able to go on.
Did I mention that I am doing a 140k bike ride on Saturday followed by a marathon on Sunday? Just a little extra to make the competition think "What the hell is he up to?"
Keeping it Real(ish),