Sunday, September 12, 2010

(just a little short of) 100%


as in perfection. as in maximum. as in the best. as in a scale from 0 to 100.


it's what we always strive for. what we always try to reach. in training, in racing, in living.


it's more than just a number. more than just a goal. it's what our life is supposed to be.


truth is, however, things are never ideal. life is never the way it's supposed to be. what we want is always beyond our reach. and we never quite make perfection. we are, in fact, never at 100%.

as in quite at. as in a little less than. as in a little short of.

because things just happen. either by intent or negligence or mistake or accident or causality or chance. things happen that do not always set us right. nutrition is lost. workouts are missed. recovery is curtailed. priorities are misplaced. plans are abandoned. people are forgotten. issues are multiplied. stress is magnified. equipment is damaged. the body is broken. conditions are horrific. and whatever we were in training, we're certainly not that in racing.

on the face of it, the temptation is to despair. to surrender, give up, quit.

but before we do, there are certain things we need to consider:

1) it is most certain that we are never in control of our surroundings. it is very likely that we will invariably lose control of our equipment. it is even possible that we will not always control our bodies. but as much as we cannot control any of these things, we can control our minds. and that means we can control what we think and we can control what we decide. and we can decide to set our minds at 100%.

2) it still helps to try. sometimes effort is the one thing that makes any difference in life. no, it is not a guarantee of success. but it at least gives us a chance. and the more we try the greater our chances. and some chance is better than none. which is what we have if we do nothing at all.

3) we may not ever reach the ideal. perhaps no one ever does. but through the struggles of our endeavors we sometimes manage to get ourselves a little bit closer to it. and a little bit closer means a little bit farther. and a little farther is a little bit better than we where we were before.

4) it may not seem that our aspirations amount to much. but by getting closer, by putting forth effort, by committing to try, it means we didn't quit. we didn't give up. we didn't surrender. which means we didn't lose, and in some ways perhaps even won. and that itself is a form of victory.

it is a truth that in life we are never at 100%. we are always short of perfection. which means all we can ever do is to make the most of what we have in hopes of being better.

but that, ultimately, is perhaps what it means to be human: a little short of perfection, a little less than ideal, but forever doing what we can to get a little bit closer.

1 comment:

Habeela said...

Wow, what an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing!