Someone’s trying to tell me something

On the way to work I listened to an interview on 104.5 The Zone with former University of Tennessee and Dallas Cowboy football player, Dwayne Goodrich.  His story is one of tragedy and triumph.  Charged with vehicular manslaughter for killing two people, he went to prison and it gave him a lot of time to think.

The interviewers asked all the tough questions, and Goodrich didn’t run away.  He has owned up to what he did, but puts all of his energy into being a better person and helping others do the same.  In the end, he hopes to get this simple message across to young people:  Your choices define your consequences.

As I walked across the parking lot at work I thought, “Hey, I’m a ‘young people,’ I should really think about this.”

How does a young person like myself make the right choice?  And is it really possible to control consequences?

I sat at my desk, and the first thing I saw in my email was this little gem called “Your Choice” from Seth Godin.

He talks about how our habits, giving, reactions, words, work,  ideas . . . everything is choice.  And they all bring consequences.

For me this all points to being aware and consciously in the moment.  Too often I find myself “somewhere else” and doing things on impulse.  Mowing down a bag of chips or haphazardly running out the door dehydrated and tense.

Preparing to be Prepared

image_6Triathlon training is a delicate balance and a great way to learn the value of making good choices.  Relentless workout schedules and a constant need for fuel can be a good recipe to get off track.

One of the biggest mistakes I consistently make is not being prepared for my workout.  Often it’s because of poor diet or hydration, but mostly it’s because I don’t make time to be ready.

I’ve played sports my entire life and every single time I stepped onto the field, I warmed up before the game.  Even if it’s “just a workout,” it’s still a taxing event and the body doesn’t go from zero to sixty without consequences.

On the Saturday before my Sunday race at Rev3 Knoxville, I went to the river for my practice swim around 1:00.  Without thinking about it, I put on my wetsuit, jumped in the water, and started swimming.  Seven hundred yards later I held onto the edge of the pier and floated for 10 minutes.  I felt like I got hit by a Mack Truck.  I didn’t “think” I swam that hard, but I was breathing heavily and a little off balance.  This is what happens to me.  It’s always happened to me.  I seemingly never learn.

But I did learn.

Preparation Pays Off

Before the race on Sunday, I made the choice to get up earlier than necessary and spent a good 45 minutes easing my body into being awake.  I spent time on the foam roller, did yoga, and meditated.  I was preparing to be prepared.

imageWhen I got to the Swim Start I focused on loosening my arms and getting the blood into my upper body.  I kept moving and added light stretches.  I jumped into the river as soon as I could and did some easy swimming to acclimate to the water.

I’ve screwed several races by bastardizing the swim, but Sunday was a perfect example of making a choice to be ready, and it paid off.  I eased into the swim, bike, and run that day, and the payoff was feeling stronger at the end of each event.

I made one choice and it delivered a string of positive consequences.  I’d imagine that can also work in reverse.



Your Choices Define the Consequences