Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zeroing In

Wow, it's been a few days since I posted anything. I need to catch up here.

By the way, in case you're wondering, the picture on the left is that of a torpedo. least it's supposed to be. Stay with me on this'll see where I'm going here.

So, it's been a few weeks now. Since I'm moving forward, predictably, the challenges are beginning to present themselves:

A couple of weeks ago, I took the time to weigh myself. I gained 3 pounds. Up until that moment, I had a pretty good relationship with the scale. It said nice things to me and made me feel loved, but then it started nagging at me by telling me the truth. I think I ate too much red meat and starch. I hate it now. Result: Discouragement.

Due to my late hour routine, I began to lose control of my schedule, staying up late to wind down, waking up late the next day, heading straight to work, and working late to play catchup because of fatigue, and then back to the club to work out late, and on and on, resulting in no time for myself with the potential onset of burnout. Result: Discouragement.

I woke up the other morning with an aggravated ankle, which is a result of a circulatory condition due to weight and inactivity from sitting in front of a computer all day. I think my new activity level shocked my system and it's starting to fight back. Result: Discouragement.

Like many people, the economy has hit us hard. This month, I'm dealing with a 50 percent cut in my family income, which had already been cut 40 percent over the past two years, resulting in wonderful discussions around the kitchen table at bill-paying time about our inability to pay for luxuries, like food and gas. Result: Discouragement.

Setbacks, family stressors, job issues, financial struggles, health challenges, car trouble, our dog taking off down the street, stress incontinence (okay not so much), and Netflix losing the rights to video-stream Dexter episodes have given me some frustration over the past few weeks since I started hitting the treadmill. Result: Discouragement.

I can't even enjoy sports right now. The Giants have lost 13 out of their last 18 games, and the 49ers' starting quarterback can't even pass gas. Result: Discouragement.

To top it off, and I don't know why, I always seem to attract the club weirdo who likes to sing out loud and beat his fists on his console while listening to his headphones and spraying sweat over me as he waves his arms to some kind of 5/4 rhythm, trying to do a Roger Bannister impression as if he were breaking a 4-minute mile. Result: Not really discouragement, just irritated. I hope he has a You Tube "Fail" moment.

I'm once again learning that in order to accomplish my goal, there will be setbacks and challenges, and I have to maintain a clear vision by zeroing in on my target like a torpedo.

Torpedos are pretty remarkable weapons (except for the lame one in the picture). They whiz through the water with only a propeller and some fins to keep it somewhat straight as it travels to its unfortunate target. The nice thing about them is that no one is needed to steer it. It locks onto a target and begins its journey to it's glorious end by relying on gyros inside it to communicate directionality, constantly making corrections to it as it drifts off course in one direction or another, getting it back on course. It's in a perpetual state of adjustment until it's time for the Great Kaboom.

Pretty simple: Launch, lock on target, drifting, correcting, back on target, drifting, correct, on target, and KABOOM! Goodbye enemy ship.

Goal-oriented people have their targets and, like a torpedo, are focused on it, listening to their gyros, making adjustments along the way until they reach their goal.

Most people, unfortunately, let their gyros get to them. They don't say stuff like: "I didn't lose any weight - let's evaluate my diet." Nor do they say: "I'm tired - let's work on getting more rest." Instead, excuses abound, such as: "I didn't lose any weight! I'm too tired! I'm sore! I'm stressed! I have no time! I'm broke! It's Shark Week! (ok, that one is mine)." We start finding reasons to quit and stay home.

What if torpedos were like people? What would happen if a torpedo took failure personally and couldn't handle it?

It would be more like: Launch, lock on target, drifting, correcting, torpedo takes the correction personally, begins to cry, says "Why me? Forget this! I'm going back home!"

Sad torpedo turns around and heads back home, the submarine captain looks through his periscope, announces to the crew that they are about to have an "Oh Crap" moment, starts cursing the recruiter that suckered him into joining the Navy, and then experiences the Great Kaboom.

Goodbye torpedo. Goodbye submarine. Goodbye captain.

Believe me, there are times when I wanted to turn around and go home, but all that will accomplish is regret for not working out, plus the TV shows are better at the club. No Kardashians or Bridezillas on their televisions.

Ultimately, my goal is part of God's bigger plan for me. I know if I stay focused on the true Target, the goal will come to pass. I'm blessed to have my Target; He keeps me going and He adjusts my gyros as needed. He keeps me keeping on, and I'm trusting in Him to take care of the other stuff as well, resulting in fewer ISTBM (It Sucks To Be Me) moments.

It's time to go now. The dog took off again...

(Maddie - our 13-year-old puppy)

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