The Benefit of Goals


Hill climbing muscles at work.  This is at my little local hiking trail where I can do half mile loops and keep track of how many miles I’ve walked.  I decided it was time to work on the uphill power, so I’ve been running up this slope below the trail.  I walk back down on return because I’m not interested in reinjuring my knee, but I have worked up to being able to do 12 times up and back before my legs feel like they will just give out.  (Mind you I have to stop a couple times to let my heart rate drop down a little.)  It’s a good workout (not the whole workout!).  Eventually I will move to a steeper section – when this one gets easy enough.

Thinking back several years to 2006, unable to even stand.. I never thought I would be able to hike again, much less run at all.  I am now jogging a little, alternating with the usual walking to keep from taking my heart rate too high on that as well.  I know now that with time I will be able to jog my entire walking route, and it doesn’t really matter how long it takes me to get there.  I will get there.

We are viciously self-limiting creatures, we humans.  The real battle is fought between our ears.  Once you master that, you have many choices in which to invest yourself and no one can take that away from you.  My goal is not to get to Yosemite and stagger up to Half Dome feeling half dead, and return and collapse and have a horrendous disease flare.  My goal is to do it proficiently, and be strong on the cable section, and feel good about the day when I am done.  Tired, but good.  Without patience and dedicated hard work, that cannot happen.  I am still saying it will happen when it is time, and when I am ready.  It does now feel like a reality, in any case… and I am confident about it.  Everything between now and then feels like a joyous challenge to meet, not a daunting task.  If you can meet each day with that same fire, you have it mastered.  Daily victories.  That’s where it’s at.  They all add up.

This is why it is so important to set goals for yourself.  Have a direction.  Give yourself something to accomplish, whatever that may be.  Merely existing day to day without progress and change destroys human spirit.  Your physical health will suffer too with that.  You have to create opportunities to look forward to for achieving something.  Look around for something new – big or small – and tackle it.  🙂



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