Because I love a challenge…

“Because I love a challenge”…

Those five little words can be (and probably have been) used to justify the initiation of all sorts of weird and wonderful activities across the globe. Why do you want that new job? Why do you want to row across the Atlantic? Go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel? Swim across the English Channel? Go into business for yourself? Eat five Big Macs in succession? Listen to an entire Justin Bieber album? The list of activities initiated on the basis of “loving a challenge” is limited only by the imagination of the human species.

I set up my Endurance Daddy blog to chart my progress towards running a marathon and competing in a middle distance triathlon – an event that covers 70.3 miles. These are what I’d call “optional challenges” – I completed these challenges for my own gratification and entered them voluntarily. There are other challenges in life which I consider non-negotiable. Bringing up my children to the best of my ability, in a beautiful world that paradoxically seems so full of unexplainable horror and confusion is an example of a challenge of the non-negotiable variety.

Now, irrespective of the nature of the challenge, one of the things that my endurance event training has taught me is that where challenges are concerned, to reap the rewards you must accept the nightmare.  Long distance events are tough. The training required up front takes discipline, sacrifice and application over a long period of time. That training can cause injury and even after a long, successful training block, a race entry can be compromised by unexpected illness, equipment failure or some other unwelcome outside influence. Failure to train or apply oneself correctly will also result in the nightmare of poor performance and an inability to reach planned targets.  Even during an event, the going will be tough. You need to dig in and ride out the nightmare before waking to the glory of the finish line.

Doing endurance sporting events has given me this perspective on challenges and it’s one I hope I carry through all challenges in life: to reap the rewards, you must accept the nightmare…

 

This post was in response to the Daily Prompt of 15th July.  Please by kind WordPress – it’s my first go!

Nightmare

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