I love motivational sports movies with those big halftime speeches, those “dig deep” and “don’t quit” moments, those stories where the Bad News Bears of whatever sport rally behind one common goal, and with victory or not, come out winners…
I enjoy watching MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and seeing how each warrior trains for each particular opponent, and when a fighter, who is all but counted out, is able to win a decisive victory… How can that not be inspiring?
Or those moments in sports, where a man, woman, or team, that no one thought twice of having a chance in hell, shocks the world… I remember so clearly the night James “Buster” Douglas defeated Mike Tyson… How some of my college house mates and I stood up screaming in complete victory, it was almost as if we all had something invested in the outcome… And now, looking back, we did. (FYI: Apparently “Buster” was a 42 to 1 underdog in the only casino that would lay odds in Vegas.)
Although I’m referencing a fight that took place on February 11, 1990. What we had invested was the story of the underdog… If “Buster” could do it, perhaps so could we. Not matter what unbeatable force stood in front of us. We were young and easily motivated, and any good “go team go,” could and would light a fire within us.
And if you go back a little further, to 1980, when the “Miracle On Ice,” occurred… The country freaked out for the very same reason.
So, now that you’re feeling good… Pumped up and ready to go in there and leave it all on the line, to fight for that last inch, to get up off the canvas, to never give up, to never say die, quit, or surrender, to claw and scrap, to dig deep and persevere no matter how hard the obstacle… Go to it, do it, knock ’em dead, hit ’em with your best shot… Unless, you like me, get stuck there.
When I’ve hiked with people, I have often been referred to as a juggernaut, a machine, an animal… I’m not the sveltest, thinnest, obviously in shape person, you will ever meet, but I enjoy devouring hills and mountains… And as of just recently, I have come to the realization of exactly why…
In my pursuit of my goals in the creative arts (acting and writing…), I don’t know who the hell keeps hitting me, I never see the blows that knock me down, I’m never sure which way to face, which way to wing my wild haymakers, what to tackle, what to fight for, which direction I’m supposed to claw forward in, and exactly which essence of my soul to call upon for victory…
As much as I do not envy a heavyweight boxer who stands toe to toe with another muscled-monster, slugging it out… Having the literal snot and blood out knocked out of him. I do have to admit I am a little jealous that his obstacle and his route to victory are so perfectly clear. And while the precision or athleticism of basketball, baseball or even golf aren’t an easy task for the majority of us, the reality is, they are all extremely simple in concept…
As Pete Rose put it… “See the ball; hit the ball.”
“See the ball; hit the ball.” – Pete Rose
Motivation is great, it’s awesome and powerful… But motivation with no clear goal is just like spinning tires in mud. Imagine the best half-time speech where the coach pours out his heart, where the team all bonds together, but at the end instead of going back out onto the field to rally, the coach has convinced them all to call their individual moms and wish them a happy Mother’s Day.
As Yogi Berra was quoted as saying, “”If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra
The possible reason I storm up hills on hikes, or work like a man possessed when work is put in front of me, is possibly, the fact that I have something tangible in front of my eyes, in my hands, under my feet, something I can overcome, something I can see, something I have control over… That, no matter how hard my chest is pounding, how much sweat is pouring into my eyes, how freaking hot the sun is, or even how my fingers hurt from typing so much… There is a clear and present goal right there, that I alone control the outcome of my success of completion.
I am by no means claiming that I am some super powered adventurer, or that I’m scaling Mount Everest or Nanga Parbat… Trust me, I’m sure you know a dozen people that could kick my ass on a trail, make me cry in a cage, mop me up on a tennis court… Wherever… Whatever… However… The point of this posting is not at all to brag. It is simply to relay the frustration I often get in my pursuit of my dreams and goals. And to stress, motivation is nothing without a goal or target.
I’m sure someone said it better, some where, but it takes just as much energy (or more) to throw a punch, or swing a bat that misses, as it does to throw one that connects. And going around swinging fists or Louisville Sluggers, wildly in the air, is just going to get you locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane.
– Quiche Out