Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nothing Changes Unless We Do

"The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls, looking like hard work." - Thomas Edison

Triathlon training provides us with a lot of time for reflection. Sometimes, during the early morning hours, we're simply focused on remembering what the swim set for the day is and what number lap we're on. Sometimes, we're going through the day's to-do list, mapping out which life/work/school/house/husband/family/training strategy will enable us to get through the week. And, then sometimes, we actually stumble across lessons that have implications far beyond our next race.

Coach Sage's training plan has helped us mine one of those gems: Surprisingly enough, nothing changes unless we do. We don't get faster just by running more mileage, swimming harder, or adding minutes to our Saturday bike ride. We don't increase our mental toughness just by thinking about the race ahead. We don't build endurance by simply wishing we had it.

As simple as it now seems, these things requires that us to actually change. Change our pace, change our distance, change our rest, change our intervals, change our food, change our attitude, change our lives.

Similarly, the homeless families currently living at Genesis Home won't find a way out of poverty simply by wishing it so. They won't get that job that pays a living wage by just applying for more jobs. They won't learn the skills they need to lead happy, healthy, and successful lives by thinking about going back to school. And, although many of them, have survived systematic injustice, their lives won't improve while they complain about the system.

Instead, they also have to change -- and Genesis Home helps them do that in the same way that Sage is helping us: providing structure, doling out encouragement, and holding us accountable.