April 12, 2011

The Finish Line Is Not the End

How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” ~ Yvon Chouinard

Getting to the top of any mountain — accomplishing your goals — is an incredible feeling.  The true reality of the accomplishment has much more to do with how you got there and what you do when you have to climb back down.  When I was searching for quotes on this subject, one of the words that came up a few times was “grace.”  My choice would have been “humility.”  These are very significant words and both reflect accountability for what we do and how we do it.  We accomplish nothing great without the support, admiration, encouragement, and inspiration of others.  Our quests are not simply about us or for us.  They may be defined by us but they are only fulfilled in conjunction with the collective energy of many.

Once on the top of the mountain, you cannot stay there forever.  You will eventually have to come down.  You will eventually hve to return to the normalcy of the new routine that you have created for yourself.  Your celebration and your success become symbols of the ability you have to accomplish incredible things.  However, you are not able to simply rest on those laurels and stand in place.  You now need to get moving and stay successful and stay powerful.

The ability to do this is founded in the lessons learned while climbing that mountain and how you handle the realities of coming down off the mountain.  In football there is a term known as the “Super Bowl Hangover.”  The term has been applied to teams that have terrible seasons following their championshop season.  These teams got so caught up in celebrating their championship that when they started preparing for the next season they forgot how hard they fought and worked to win in the first place.  The lessons learned are not in the accomplishment but in the journey to accomplishment.

As I celebrate the excitement of 100 Pedals, I am reflecting on the journey and the euphoria of successfully crossing that finish line.  I am reminding myself that Sunday was merely a stop on the way to more incredible successes with some likely monumental challenges.  As I chart my journey for the next 100 days, I need to remind myself of all I learned, all that has been shared, and the discoveries I have made about myself and others.  I am climbing down off the mountain.  As I do it, I must focus on maintaining the activities that enabled me to stay focused, be successful, celebrate with others, and share my passion and my gifts to others.  That was the part of the journey that made 100 Pedals successful.  The rides, like climbing the mountain, were symbolic of the journey.  The accomplishment, the experience, and the lessons were the real success and those need to be sustained and carried forward on a daily basis.

Whatever your goals, whatever your accomplishment, or whatever your success; remember the finish line isn’t where you changed your life it is what you do after you cross it that defines how you celebrate the rest of the journey.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.