Dreams they can be fleeting and yet so motivating.
They are more than a goal, so much more than that.
True dreams are something that can make a huge difference in our lives and become a part of who we are, not just words on a performance evaluation or a blog post. Dreams make us work harder than we ever thought possible and when they are dashed, can be disappointing at the least and be devastating to who you are, if you allow it.
We put so much of ourselves in our attempts to prepare for and then work to complete those dreams that we truly want to achieve. They are something that we want to accomplish so badly and when or if we don’t or can’t finish our dream, a piece of us dies.
Am I being negative – no.
I am simply being honest.
All the motivational shit that is out there about failing says:
- failing builds character,
- failure is not an option,
- failure is going to happen
- what matters most is what you do after you fail
- all the other ad nauseam stuff about failure
is just that shit.
A dream dying changes you forever – it is more than simply failing, so much more.
No one who has a dream about something they really want to do, wants or simply allows a dream to fail without fighting for it and when a dream does die, it might not be the end of a world to anyone else, but a piece of you dies.
It hurts like hell and is something that you never forget. Yes, the pain fades, but the memories of what happened always remain.
Over the past couple of months I have had two dreams die:
- A small business that I started – A Veteran Runnah.
- Running in the Marine Corps Marathon and qualifying for the Boston Marathon 30 years after I failed in 1983.
I worked hard to create and build something that I believed in, that I could do well and enjoy. Unfortunately, after I got into the world of owning my business, I found that I do not have the personality or even more important – the attitude to be successful in the field that I chose.
The reality of what my business became was not the same as the dream that I had for it. My business died not because I could not do the work or because I had unrealistic expectations of what would be necessary to be successful, but was that I did not fit the niche I had chosen and I walked away before I became someone who I am not.
Yes a piece of me died when walked away and shut down A Veteran Runnah, but at the same time it was a relief when I did and looking back it was the correct decision.
Marine Corps Marathon
This one hurt. Running the Marine Corps Marathon and qualifying for Boston there, was a dream that I have had since I failed back in 1983 and had been actively working towards this time since 2011. This dream became the basis for my blog, my business and the hook that brands liked about me, when they were looking for someone to “represent” them.
However, running the Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday was something I really wanted for me more than anything else. Running and achieving a BQ there, would have been a redemption of my MCM marathon 30 years ago, when I finished, but did not live up to my expectations and did not qualify for Boston.
Last Sunday, MCM happened without me, due to a freak running injury (a partially torn Achilles tendon) that occurred while running in a race back in May, which eventually dashed my dream. Quite honestly, the weeks before the marathon sucked.
Right up until the last couple of days before this race, I held out hope for a miracle to happen and that I would be able to go and run MCM at the last-minute.
It didn’t happen.
Finally, the Thursday before MCM, I accepted that I would not be going to Washington D.C. to run the Marine Corps Marathon – the dream died. It sucked!
Yes, It hurt and yes a piece of me died that day.
It is all about Choices
What you do when a dream dies is important and I had choices, just like anyone else when their dream dies:
I could go into a deep, dark depression
Accept that this dream is over, think about what actually happened, take the lessons I learned to heart, make changes that I can, move on, but most importantly not forget the dream and the things that I did achieve as a result of having that dream.
Instead of looking back to my dreams dying and wallowing in despair, I am moving forward and in the process of creating new dreams.
The reality is that
As I go through the seasons of my life, yes I am approaching the winter, I know that I still need dreams to aspire to, but that those dreams are and have changed as I have gotten older.
No, I do not dream about starting another business, that dream is dead. I have moved on.
However, I have had the dream of qualifying and running the Boston Marathon for over 40 years. It is time to let go of qualifying for Boston at the Marine Corps Marathon and focus on running a BQ in a smaller race, that doesn’t have the memories and negative emotional baggage that MCM has for me.
Do I have other dreams, sure – but I am not writing about those here.
Now to figure out how I am going to chase or should I say achieve this old dream of mine. I have a few ideas to explore and you know something, I am getting excited about the possibilities that are going to come along with going after my Boston Qualifying dream and how it will affect my running.
I am not starting over, I am improvising, adapting and moving forward.
Do you have dreams, what are you doing to achieve them or if a dream died recently what are your new dreams and what are you doing to go after your new one(s)?