I spend a lot of my time with a feeling of being cheated, denied something better, and denied my birthright. I have often explained to my girlfriend my frustration and exhaustion over a world where a good man cannot make a living to support himself and his family. At times the deck seems stacked against us and I have also proclaimed more than a few times that it seems a good man simply can’t prosper in a world as screwed up as ours has become. It’s maddening to see so many prosper around me through deceit and manipulation while others struggle to pay for gas and food. It isn’t fair.
The world isn’t fair though and sometimes in my anger and consternation I forget that. More importantly the world wasn’t meant to be fair and nature certainly isn’t not in the way we humans would consider it. Many of us today grew up watching John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. We were raised on movies and myths where the good guys always triumphed and rode white horses. History has a way of glossing over the bad things and painting those who were victorious in a magnanimous light. The truth is usually much more gritty and unpleasant though. I learned this the hard way in the military. The truth is that this world belongs to those who are willing to take what is theirs either through desperate measures, hard work, or thievery. That is the reality we live in and the underlying truth of our time. Our desire for what we want has come into conflict with what we are willing to do to get it, and the struggle is ripping us apart.
I want to be a millionaire; society tells me this is greedy. I’m tired of struggling to pay my bills, society tells me I should be grateful for the little I have. I want a chiseled core and the body of an elite athlete. Some groups would say I’m being shallow; that I should love the body I have and be glad for it. At first I wondered if I was asking too much, reaching too far, not enjoying what I had. Now I see it for what it is. I am right and my goals and desires are justified, but it upsets the herd. Yeah I said herd, how else would you describe a group of overweight grazers, content to spend their remaining days foraging and gorging, with no other goal beyond the next meal and the next bowel movement.
I created Jack because I was pissed off, frustrated, enraged even with the crap going on in the world around me. I was tired of the excuses, the coddling the justification and endorsement of mediocrity and substandard achievement being promoted by the masses. More than that though I was tired of being told by other people what I could have, how far I could go, and rise. I was tired of toiling away to build someone else’s wealth while my own was being denied. I was tired of being treated like an expendable resource to be milked for time and effort then discarded at the earliest convenience. I had bought into the scheme I had become a slave with a blue collar.
I created Jack to declare my independence once and for all. I drew a line in the sand, dusted off my balls and prepared to make my stand. I wanted to take control of my life and be the sole architect of its future and direction, to no longer rely on another for my well being and financial state. The simple and frank truth of life is that we live in a time where you can no longer count on other people. A man’s word no longer has weight or value. In a society where there is no penance or punishment for not delivering what motive is there to keep your promises? We must surround ourselves with allies these days not just friends, but people who share our desire and goals, and benefit themselves from seeing them accomplished. More importantly we must rediscover the lost art of self-reliance. In a world that promises no support, a man that cannot produce on his own is like a wounded deer surrounded by wolves; the end is simply a matter of time.
The title of this article is “Focus” Over the past few weeks, I have lost focus. I have fallen prey to boredom, and frustration. I have forgotten why I started Jack and what I wanted to accomplish. I have allowed other’s goals and enthusiasm to infect me and pull me off track. Focus is the lifeblood of any goal, and the force behind any movement. Without focus and a clear purpose, things quickly fall apart and lose direction. I see a problem in America and I wanted to be part of the solution not just another whiner adding to the chorus of ineffectual noise.
I was drawn to obstacle racing because I respected the mission, and I admired what it represented and advertised itself as. I saw it as a tool to tie into my own goals of promoting self-reliance and pushing one’s own envelope. I thought here is something I can get behind and encourage others to follow. It was meant to be an adventure, a reconnect with a more primal, visceral side of our humanity. What it turned into was a headache and stress bucket. Over the last few days my friends and I have weathered a storm of lost focus, failed promises, and frustration. Many feelings were hurt, rash things said and some friendships severely damaged. The lesson was that all of us had lost focus. We had taken something meant to be fun and turned it into a chore. We got caught up in that illusion that exists between what could be and what is. Obstacle racing is a business. Some guys discovered one day that they could make money by charging a fee to others to do what they loved and in this land of constant boredom people immediately latched on.
Spartan Race has their own goals and we must all remember that we have our own. I have a fitness empire to build, books to write and lives to change. I must leave them to pursue their own ends. In the beginning I was excited and enthusiastic about becoming part of a movement like Spartan Race. I wanted to hang out with people who shared my interests and goals. I fed off their vibes and it only amplified my own. I had forgotten though that I was already part of a movement, I was already part of something great and noble. Jack is my baby, and my cause. My focus must remain on promoting my own goals, and building my business. If I cannot dedicate myself to this goal then no one will.