Sitting on the plane from Sapporo to Bangkok, I read an interesting article in the Bangkok Post about Ed Whitlock, an 85 year old marathoner who ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 3:56:34. It’s inspirational. He doesn’t do any specific training, doesn’t adhere to any strict diet or use any gadgets to monitor his heart rate and training. All he does is run by the cemetery by his house in 15- year old shoes. He doesn’t run for his health, or gets runner’s high. He runs because “the real feeling of enjoyment is getting across the finish line and finding that you’ve done OK.”
Numerous tests have been conducted and he apparently has a large VO2Max capacity and good muscle retention for his age. I suspect his genes play a big part in his being able to continue running at such an age. What I find more intriguing though is his attitude which I think is what really keeps him going. In the article he is quoted as saying, ” I believe people can do far more than they think they can. You have to be idiot enough to try it.”
This, to me is probably his secret. If you believe you can do something and truly work at it, I believe you can achieve anything you want to. It’s the story we tell ourselves that determine the story of our lives.
If you tell yourself you can’t do something, then you can’t and you won’t. If you tell yourself, and believe in yourself, you can accomplish whatever your goal is. That said, it might take some time before you accomplish your goal, but if you work at it long enough, you’d be closer to your goal than if you had never started. If you focus on the end goal, you might get frustrated at not being able to reach it, but if you focus on taking action towards those goals, then you’d keep moving forward. As Ed Whitlock showed us, age is not a limit and is not a constraint to living your life because at whatever age you start working towards your goal, you are one day closer to your goal than the day before.
Thank you Ed Whitlock for reminding us that life has no limitations than those we set for ourselves. Now, the burden is on you. What are your goals in life? Let’s get moving!
Having just read the New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” I can’t help but nod in agreement. Yes, to have an education, finish school, graduate from highschool or even a college degree does not ensure you will have a successful life. A degree does not guarantee that you won’t jump off the balcony because of a broken heartache, nor does it guarantee you will know how to handle the stresses of life and stop yourself from falling victim to a nervous breakdown. Traditional schooling paid attention to grades, to achievement tests, to placement exams and all the while, they forgot about focusing on the student’s character. How do they handle stress? How do they interact? Are they a good person? Do they think of other people?
The article mentions how those who succeeded in college were not always necessarily the ones who scored the highest in class and got the best grades. They were the ones who knew how to get up after they failed. They were the ones who knew how to handle a failure, a bad grade, and move on. They sought for help and worked hard with a determination to succeed. They were the ones who graduated from college despite coming from a background where college degrees were not the norm.
I think the same applies to everyday life.
Once out of school, out of the safe confines of classrooms and professors, being out in the world can be a pretty daunting task. Whether you succeed or not depends a lot on your character. How resourceful are you? Do you know how to ask for help? Do you know how to treat other people? Are you aware of other peoples’ feelings? Most importantly, do you know how to get up after you’ve failed?
If you never fail, if you are never allowed to fail, then you would never know how to pick up yourself after having failed. That’s why you hear stories of girls committing suicide because of heartache and students who kill themselves because of a bad grade. They didn’t know how to handle failure. They were never allowed to fail. They thought failure meant the end of the world. They grew up protected from failure.
It’s important to know that it is OKAY TO FAIL. That I think is an important lesson everyone should know. It’s okay to fail. Failing doesn’t make you a bad person. We are humans. No one is perfect.
Failure in itself is a learning experience. What’s more important is to ask yourself, what did you learn from that failure? What went wrong? Once you realize this, you can move on so that you won’t repeat the same mistake again.
That’s a trait for success. That’s what makes the difference. Because you have failed, you know its pitfalls and you know how to avoid them. Therefore fail to succeed. Success cannot be gained without first failing.
Here’s to learning!
Tonight is the night I break the lucky 300th post. I therefore want to give a special note of appreciation and thanks to my dear readers. For each and everyone of you have and continue to inspire me. Your comments, your thoughts, and your support are an invaluable source of motivation for me to continue on writing. I also want to thank Alex who is always there by my side prodding me along whenever I need it. Thank you.
Without your support, Having “Me” Time would most probably have been left to gather dust in a little corner and be one day labeled as “internet junk.” (Perhaps it might be so in the future, but not just yet. Not anytime soon.) I have to admit that writing out into the abyss of the internet day-in day-out can be somewhat of a daunting task. There is so much out there. The internet is a vast universe of its own and we occupy but tiny corner of it. A nano sized speck invisible to the human eye.
For three hundred nights I have sat in front of my computer screen and for three hundred nights, I have smiled upon seeing your comments and your support. Thank you my readers. You mean much to me and I hope that Having “Me” Time will continue to be a part of your lives.
Together we have lived through political turmoils, reflected upon lost lives, prayed for tsunami victims, explored various corners of this earth, and enjoyed the great cuisines of this earth. Most importantly, we do all this without forgetting that it is essential to live healthy. Life is full of such unexpected events and there is much to experience in this short life time of ours. Let’s go out, have some “me” time and enjoy what this world has to offer. It’s too precious to just let it pass by.
Take care and sweet dreams until tomorrow night.