In high school, a clerk at a Banana Republic in Shrewsbury, N.J., gave me some of the best life advice I’ve ever received. I had tried on a few skirts, and was wistfully eying one of them, a flowy green corduroy number, as I put it back on the rack, unable to decide whether it was really worth my hard-earned lifeguarding money. “See if you’re still thinking about it tomorrow or the next day,” the clerk advised. “If you are, come back and get it.”
I returned to the store the next day and bought the skirt. It still fits, and is one of my favorite pieces of clothing.
As the 2011-2012 ski season approaches, I’m thinking about that advice, and how it applies to goals. Most of us know better than to chase goals that are meant to impress others rather than fulfill our own true desires—you know, getting a fancy job you don’t like to make money to buy fancy things to impress fancy people you’d actually rather not hang out with. But how often do you stop to differentiate between which goals seem fun and interesting, and which ones play permanent roles in your daydreams? These are the goals that not only offer motivation, but provoke a hunger that won’t go away until the goal is achieved.
For me, this goal is finishing my ski and toboggan training to become a full ski patroller, a goal that most of you are aware I was unable to attain last season thanks to an early-season ACL tear. Like the green corduroy skirt, I’m still thinking about it. And like the green corduroy skirt, I’m planning to go back and get it.
This week, I’m motivated by the realization that there hasn’t been a single day since last January that I haven’t thought about my desire to be a ski patroller. Heather at Dietitian on the Run shared a cool graphic illustrating that obsession following her smokin’ fast Marine Corps Marathon a couple weeks ago (goal achieved!).
It’s on my mind this week not only because the ski season is almost upon us, but because I spent the weekend at Whitetail for pre-season training—learning new medical protocols, renewing my CPR certification and practicing lift evacuations, as shown in this photo of Steve being lowered from the lift onto the ground.
Last weekend also marked the patrol’s annual award presentation, to include rookie of the year. For the first time, it was awarded to an entire candidate class—ours!
I left Whitetail yesterday evening feeling insanely proud, and like I have more allies than obstacles. I also left feeling a single-mindedness of purpose about where I want to put my energy over the next few months. I have some other secondary goals, including the Hot Chocolate 15K on Dec. 3. But those secondary goals don’t haunt my dreams. My ski-patrol goal does.
I spent the weekend (and the morning) thinking about a mantra Katie at Run This Amazing Day choked out to me during what was a painful, slow, post-injury Earth Day 5K for both of us: Your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. I’m still re-learning how to trust my knee, but the strength of my heart—my strongest weapon—is never in question.
This will be my only post this week, as I’ll actually be spending the rest of the week in Colorado visiting family. You likely won’t be surprised to hear that I’m planning to work in a couple ski days while we’re there. Regular readers know this isn’t my first post-ACL ski trip, as we went to A-Basin on July 4. This trip is just as monumental, though, as it’s the first ski day of the season I know will be the best of my life.
What’s motivating you this week?