I dream big! Some people will tell you that’s not a smart thing. “Be realistic,” they will say. Life is about doing what you have to, not what you want to; dreamers die broke and hungry and on and on. I say screw that kind of thinking. I could tell you that throughout history the greatest changes and advancements in both business and science were made by those society considered to be “dreamers.” I suppose I could also tell you that the most accomplished athletes in our modern world all started with a dream and little else. I say the problem with the world today is that not enough of us dare to dream anymore. We let life beat us down and negative people think for us.
I dream of being an athlete. At thirty-four years of age many would say it’s a little late to start pursuing that dream. I think it’s just now the perfect time. Many of my peers would certainly say I’m too old to compete with guys ten to fifteen years younger than me. But they also say someone my age can’t do the things I do while watching me do it so what do they know? I remember being twenty-one and if I may besmirch myself a little; I was lost. Sure I was strong and capable but the gulf between what I knew and thought I knew was immense. I had no idea what mental fortitude was or real endurance. My world consisted of partying, chasing women, and walking the world as a young Marine.
Things have changed somewhat in the intervening years. I believe I am stronger now than I ever was in my twenties; I’m smarter, more thoughtful, more patient, and more willing to suffer to get what I want. In fact, time and time again I’ve found myself able to outlast guys much younger than me in workouts and competitions simply because I refused to quit. I was willing to wade deeper into the pain trench then they were because I know from experience sometimes the only way to get through pain fast; is to go right through the middle of it. It’s also the best way to grow and discover who you really are.
I was an athlete in High School. I played football, ran track and cross-country and even wrestled. In my late teens I could run a half marathon in boots and camouflage and consider it fun. Today I’m aiming to make it to the CrossFit Games in 2014. This year my goal is to complete the open and earn a spot in the regionals. I live in a tough region for newbie’s. Many of last year’s top ten finishers from the CrossFit games hail from Florida and train here. That’s also a good thing though; what better way to train than with some of the nation’s best athletes?
I make no apologies for dreaming big and if you read this I hope you’ll dare to take the plunge as well. It starts by ridding your life of those people who tell you you’re dreams are impossible or silly while telling you theirs is smart and real. Dreams should be big, bigger than what you think is possible and even a little intimidating. If you want to grow you have to push and go beyond what you know and leave your comfort zone far behind. Never be afraid to walk alone or take the path less chosen. You may find yourself in the dark at times but only those who wade through the dark truly appreciate the light on the other side so welcome the challenge and the derision. The best way to tell you’re going the right direction is if it pisses off the conventional people.