Wednesday 22 August 2007

Daily Life - Should I Stay or Should I go?

Just been reading Lance Armstrong's first book. He describes his early years as a teen competing against experienced athletes in triathlons. His determination and desire were heavily steeped in a reckless need to go faster and be first. He mentions how he used to 'race' traffic lights when still in high school - beating 5 in a row one day, narrowly missing the reds each time until the sixth when he was broadsided. After sustaining injuries that needed stitches in his foot, knee and head his doctor advised him to rest up for a few weeks and stay away from any training. 5 days later he took out most of the stitches and competed in a triathlon. He won the event and after the ensuing media coverage he received a letter from his doctor simply stating "I don't believe it". Later, he would win bike races with little regard for etiquette, tactics, or pain thresholds. Bull ignorance and power were driving him through the boundaries of what should or shouldn't be done on the bike. When he learned of his widespread cancer he treated it in much the same way, something to be obliterated, to be beaten.

If we all went around approaching our daily dilemmas with a bull-headed ignorance, we would just create a lot of hassle for ourselves. No doubt we would sort out a lot of the world's problems that way but there are times when you just have to let things go. Someone annoys you on a bus - e.g. texting with a beep sound just to make sure everyone knows they are texting - you look away, you turn on headphones, you change seats. The Lance approach would probably be to smash the phone. The correct approach would probably be to mention it to the person but people on public transport always seem to carry the potential threat of going psychotic at any moment. Conceding certain situations that are generally out of your control are the best way recipe for a hassle free life. As Kenny Rogers would say "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run".

Have had a few setbacks recently that have forced me to reconsider something I have invested myself in over the year. I have sacrificed a lot and pushed myself on a daily basis to attain a place on something I have aspired to for years. Now, as we near the summit, my efforts don't seem to be deemed worthy. Disregard of my efforts would probably be a more accurate description. It has been galling experience laced with anger and frustration. Do I get back on the saddle and drive on blindly ignoring the obvious hoping for a handout? Do I walk out with my head held high knowing I did everything I could? Even as I write this I get the feeling that some people will be experiencing the Lance approach today. All I can do is try to give everything I can where I can ... and maybe one more roll of the dice.

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