With all the fun and craziness going on this summer, I have had a lot less time to break down my life and all the things I want/need/hope for. I love training, I love working out, I love cooking and eating and I am getting to do all of these things more than ever. But, I also love reading, analyzing, and learning, and the time to do all of that has been cut back a ton. What generally happens when I am searching around for info on life and health and all that fun stuff, is I end up translating what I've learned into my own life. I always try to utilize the information I gather to make myself a better coach, athlete, friend, and you know, person. So, some of you regulars might remember I posted up a Bucket List that I fully intend to pursue over the years. But there was something somebody told me when we were talking bucket lists that really hit home. The question was raised: have you ever taken the time to appreciate all the things you have done?
This stopped me in my tracks. I have always thought that I have a pretty good perspective on all the great things I've done in my life, but when I started thinking back, I realized all of a sudden that there are SO many things I have simply forgotten about. Arguably ALL of these things have had some form of positive impact on how I turned out today. So, today's post is me starting the ball rolling. But before I do, I want to make sure a couple things are clear. Generally, this sort of thing is seen as bragging, or "stroking ones own ego". And you know what? Yep, it is. But unless you go around telling everyone all the cool things you've done on a regular basis (which will pretty quickly make you a pretty unpopular person) taking the time to not only acknowledge what you've done, but to share it with others will generally give you a tremendous kick of motivation to continue doing great things! The next thing is to be honest. Appreciating the things you've done in your life is all about you finding self-respect in yourself and your life. It's not meant to impress others. Hell, if something you're crazy proud of seems insignificant to others, that doesn't mean don't share it. It was something that meant a lot to YOU, and that is the point of this exercise. The second you start to allow other peoples' opinions dictate everything you say and share, you lose your voice, you lose what it means to be YOU.
Also, it doesn't have to be a short or long list. Just a list that males you look at it and be able to smile and feel proud. I'm sure I could write a 3-thing list one day and not have a clue what else to add, and then the next day be able to write a 200-thing list. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you are honestly appreciating what you've done in life.
I made a commitment to myself when I was in early High School: I wanted to play baseball professionally, and I wanted to inspire people (didn't know how I wanted to inspire, I just knew I wanted to). Now, I played 3 years of pro ball (one in Europe and two in US of A) and I am so lucky to inspire a good deal of people every day. I do think every single day how incredible it is that I get to do exactly what I've always wanted to. It's damn cool.
I ran 12 marathons. I broke 4 hours.
I ran an ultra-marathon. A 50-mile race through the woods!
I've written two full screenplays.
I made a short film that won almost every single award at the Siena College Film Festival. I wrote, directed, starred, and helped edit it, and it took only 3 days to do in total.
I fell head-over-heels in love.
I started my own business, and it has grown each and every year. Even through a move to a location where I knew nobody, it still grew.
I played drums and sang in a relatively successful band.
I have written over 100 songs and 50 poems from the age of 7 or 8 until now.
I taught myself how to play the piano and the guitar.
I had a podium finish in my first ever triathlon. And also in my first ever jiu-jitsu competition.
I actually toured with a pretty successful Eurythmy troupe in High School (if you don't know what that is, you clearly didn't go to a Waldorf School).
I spent three months in Germany as a foreign exchange student.
I went to a modeling audition once. It was hysterical.
I went to a movie audition once. I'm pretty sure I embarrassed myself more than any other moment in my life. But I walked out extremely proud (I was contacted to play a dilapidated insomniac. Really? Me? Wasting away? I was set up to fail!). It was awesome.
I've hosted three successful CrossFit competitions and a marathon.
I rode my bike 1800 miles in 13 days before crashing just past half-way while trying to ride across the country, and raised $8,000 for Children's Miracle Network.
I've won, and had top-3 finishes in all but 2 of the CrossFit competitions I've been to as an individual (top 6 in all but 1!).
I had a mohawk for a few months, and really like it (even went to a wedding with it!).
I've actually talked my way out of over 10 fights. In almost all the cases I've become friendly with the person trying to start the fight (talking like fist fight type of fight here).
I've found the things that make me truly happy in life (being in the wilderness, working out, challenging myself physically and mentally on a daily basis, and passionately pursuing my life-goal (refer to the first thing for my life-goal).
Want to know what's happening with me right now? I am remembering more and more things I've done. I am also feeling very proud and good about myself. I do NOT want this to become something where people say "oh, good job Josh, you're so cool." Or, "Jesus Josh, get off your high horse." I am merely doing this to give the example of what I mean when taking the time to appreciate your self-worth in the world. While I am sure that there are plenty of ways to do it, this is a way I really think would do a lot of good for people. And if you think it's stupid to share your thoughts, emotions, feelings, successes, and failures with other people, I will leave you with a great quote from John Krakauer's "Into The Wild:"
Happiness is only real when shared.
Share your life with others so that your life has meaning in the world. So that you can be supported and loved by others. So you can converse, debate, argue, and grow. So that the things you do can have meaning to more than just the closed-off closets of your own mind. Share so you can inspire others to be better and to learn.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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