Monday, June 2, 2008

Nothing to See Here

Well, it's about the gazillionth week of my training, and I have practically nothing to report. I'm just working out, doing my thing, trying to find balance between it all. Just like every other person in America, I get up, go to the gym, go to work, and go home. I have no wisdom to impart; I am just trying to keep up.

I think these times are sometimes the most challenging when you're working on a goal. When there is an uphill battle, a cause to rally around, or smack talk to be made, the process is interesting and entertaining. When you're just going to the gym and working out, the real work begins. It's easy to go in and give your all when you're psyched up to win. It takes more effort sometimes to just stay the course.

That's what I've been doing lately. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my trainer a couple of weeks ago. He is also a coach for a variety of sports teams, one of which being baseball for middle-schoolers. At least once a week he is shaking his head about the antics of the over-enthusiastic parents of these kids, who seem to engage in a combination of full-contact bleacher coaching and play-by-play commentary, usually directed towards the umpire in the form of personal insults. In this particular case, a parent had become angry when his son's team didn't win the game. He made all sorts of accusations of unfair calls, unsportsmanship, and summed up by saying that the other team just didn't deserve to win. Maybe so, but they did. It happens sometimes.

Not only did this story make me sad for his son, who is missing out on the fun parts of being on a sports team because his dad doesn't play well with others, it made me realize that winning doesn't necessarily happen on the field.

In this case, the baseball team had shown up thinking they could destroy the competition, and they hadn't practiced as much as they should have. The other team was a come-from-behind underdog who pulled it out and won the game fair and square. They had worked hard, created a better strategy, played a stronger game, and ultimately showed that winning happens in practice, not on the field. The other team may have had more experience, highly-skilled players, and a better track record. But even the pros need to practice. Just look at the Saints.

I might just be a product of the "everybody gets a trophy" generation, but I really feel like just getting out there and putting yourself to the test is worth a high-five. Sure, at the end of the day, I want to win. Not necessarily against other people, but against what I thought I could do. But I know better than to think I can just show up and dominate. It takes a lot of hard work to be able to back up that kind of bravado. Maybe I would feel differently if I was naturally athletic and accustomed to easily winning feats of sportsmanship; every inch I have gained (or rather, lost) has been won through lots of blood, sweat, and tears in practice.

So I guess this week, when I have nothing to report, it is because I am practicing. After all, I don't want my dad to have to make a scene.

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