The desire to push one’s self past what one deems possible, can be a slippery slope. In one fashion, it is completely rewarding, often times from meeting the challenge versus the finish line. But with the progress of building one’s ladder out of the depths of self-doubt, comes the quest for more.
More, a dangerous little word if you think about it. The definition of more: a greater or additional amount or degree.
The cliché saying that I correlated to this word growing up, was “give an inch, take a mile”- young kids are acutely aware of this command. Often it is driven from the physical tangibility of something. But it can also be from the potential of something or becoming something.
This latter condition is the danger by which I began this write up. To satisfy the need to quantify something; to qualify it. Tie progression to some kind of evidence: a number, a scoreboard, a trophy. This tieback proves the existence of what became, or unfolded, or was conquered.
A 5k, once a far off though, is now something that is run as practice. No longer does such a task, seem so outlandish, so we amplify. The more grows. One mile becomes two, then four, then eight. Thoughts of what could be, or what one can become tempt the volume of what once was.
“What got me here, won’t get me there”
The demand of more, can affect more than just the individual. Depending on what life chapter you are in- school, marriage, career, parent or a combination of some or all.
The demand of more requires containment by something all of us naturally seek, BALANCE.
Our bodies, as designed by nature, seek homeostasis naturally, in all things we do. The progression to meet the demands we create or repeat, is our natural way of balance.
We can upset this natural progress of our bodies desire to balance, by overdoing. Often this overdoing can be associated in some way shape or form to obsession. Obsession, in one facet of an individual, often overshadows the remaining facets, therefore offsetting the natural tendency to balance.
This imbalance no longer supports the totality of the individual, and what once was, or was once harmonious, becomes slightly off key. The components of our life, no longer harmonize with the increased demand for more, and one can perceive anything other than the more, as deviation.
This path isn’t sustainable. One facet of domination has no other result than to overshadow all other facets when it receives the primary focus.
So how does one achieve balance, within our journey of life? By using three categories to help us support our decision making- Roles, Goals, and Tolls.
Roles are important to help support the categorization of one’s level within sport. It’s important to recognize where our layer is within the sports we are driven towards, so that we can recognize where we are currently (Role), where we want to go (Goal) and at what cost (Toll).
Below are three categories of Sport Roles:
Spectator- This is something that you cheer for, are a fan of, but don’t actively participate in. Ex: rooting for your favorite football team on Saturdays, maybe even traveling to see a game, but you don’t suit up and hit the field multiple times a week.
Player- This is something you do for leisure, maybe even stress relief, or for the pure joy of doing it. A hobbyist individual who participates in the activity after work or on weekends.
Pro- This is what you get paid to do. Expectations are tied to the income you receive. You are performance critical and may not retain complete freedom of choice with regards to supporting the industry by which you are supported.
Recognition of oneself within the role categories is critical to remind the growing demands of more, the importance of the totality of life, and not just the single sport we may be hyper focused on.
Once a role category is determined, it’s important to set a Goal. What is it you want to do within the category you fit into?
Example of Role/Goal connections:
Spectator Travel to out of state event to support and cheer on the team/player of choice
Player Train 4 days per week and cross the finish line at “X” event
Pro Commit to certain amount of events and place within top 10% of pro field
Goal setup is important to create definition within the landscape we are residing. This definition can act as a territory for our more to reside within, grow, and hopefully obtain the goal we have set for ourselves.
A key component within a Goal is a timeline or deadline for achievement. The deadline establishes a period of time to work our more within and give us a point of reference to “be ready.” Without a deadline, we may never feel ready, never finish what we started and end up dissatisfied.
Once we have established our Role and determined our Goal (with timeline), it is time to establish our perceived Toll for ourselves and the others within our life (depending on what chapter of life we are in). This component is critical to establish expectations of what the goal will involve, the sacrifices it will take, and ultimately the sacrifices that others in our chapter of life may be involved in or need to endure.
Without the proper attention to all categories, one can be lead down a path of unreasonableness that can overwhelm the rational senses, forming a bridge to the land of obsession. Doing too much of anything, takes away from the totality of life which we are in. We just can’t do everything, to the same degree for the same amount of time. There is an ebb and flow, and without that balance, we are either flooded with too much, or left dry from obsessing in one area. And, at what cost? Relationships, Enjoyment, Health?
The enjoyment can quickly become monotony, and progress is no longer defined by intrinsic reward. Great care needs to be taken when finding that our sport isn’t bringing enjoyment to us in the way it started out.
Growth is inevitable, but it needs to happen always, in all ways, not just in mental demands.
Recognizing that sport, no matter which level of it you reside, is merely a layer within the totality of life, is key to keep our life sights open.
Although we are all different, the above is aimed to support our various levels and determinations we personally seek. I hope that within whatever you are doing, you are rewarding yourself, and the others that may be within your life, with enjoyment and balance.
As always, crush it with a smile, and hope to see you out there my friends. -Jeff Fairbanks