Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dream a silly dream...

"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men." - Goethe
Are you a dreamer? When was the last time you fixed your heart on something just out of reach, but attainable with some effort on your part? I believe these dreams, be they frivolous, athletic, or world-changing are what keeps us going, make the world a better place, and lead to all kinds of fun posts on Facebook. OK, not all of us can be Elon Musk -- the guy has made a career of bringing his boyhood dreams about space and electric cars to life after getting rich creating Paypal. But we can can all have dreams.
Do you have a dream you're working toward right now? No? Well, if you need help getting your juices flowing, read on, and I'll tell you about two dreamers I know who aimed high and achieved their aims in the same weekend (Oct 26-27, 2013).
Dreamer #1 -- Go farther than you've ever gone before
When I first met Pramod, he had a tough time finishing a length of the pool. We worked on his swimming for a few months, and he successfully completed a 750m swim at the TriRock triathlon. He surprised me by letting me in on his secret dream shortly after that event - he wanted to complete a 70.3 triathlon in seven weeks' time. I had my doubts about his ability to complete any of the three legs of this event within the cut-off times since his swimming was not yet strong, he had only a cruiser bike, and he didn't really run. I expressed my concerns, and he listened politely, but clearly had already made up his mind. He told me he wanted to meet every week for a swim lesson, and every time we met he told me about how far he had swum at Barton Springs that weekend, and how many miles he had added to his long bike ride. The distances got longer and longer every week. We talked about fueling and logistics. He borrowed a wetsuit. He bought a road bike and grew accustomed to using it. He rode around and around and around the 3 mile loop at the Veloway, somehow without getting dizzy, until he could do over 50 miles. He ran some, and walked a lot. He finished a 2000m swim at Barton Springs, and then did a 1.5 miler at Deep Eddy by accident. He didn't let my skepticism about his prospects stop him at all. He just quietly did the work, week by week. 
And then race day came. He looked confident as he hugged his wife and lined up with the rest of his
start wave. He was smiling as he ran out of the water after a remarkable 1 hr swim. He didn't freak out when his bike seat was too low and his knees started bothering him. He didn't quit when he made it out onto the run course with only 3 hours to go or when he was so close to missing the cut-off on each of the three loops of the run. He did what he had to do, and he crossed the finish line before the course closed. Congratulations, Pramod! You did it!

Dreamer #2 -- Eat more donuts than any human being should
Jimmy is the kind of personal trainer who is always curious about things and never tires of seeing how he can push his body in new ways. When he heard about the Tour de Donut Austin, a hilly 25 mile bike ride spanning 3 donut shops with time bonuses for each donut consumed, he was all in. Never mind that he didn't have a bike or a helmet. He borrowed a road bike and pedaled it in running shoes, and borrowed a helmet at the start line. He figured out how to shift the front and rear derailleurs during the first couple miles of the race, and rode as fast as he could to Krispy Kreme so he could begin to live out his dream of shattering the men's record of 20 donuts eaten. He kept his eye on John, the champion from the last two years, and figured out that smashing 3 donuts down into a donut sandwich was quick and effective. 11 glazed at Krispy Kreme, 8 miles to Shipleys to eat a bunch more, and then back to Dunkin Donuts for some jelly-filled and cake donuts before climbing a 15% incline hill to the finish. No clip-in shoes to help him get up that hill? No problem. He just picked up the bike and ran! And then collected the prize for setting a new record for most donuts eaten -- 23!
So what's your dream? To set a new personal best in a favorite event? Complete an Ironman or an adventure race? To lose 10 pounds and/or regain fitness lost after illness or injury? Set a concrete, time-sensitive goal that is a stretch but not totally out of reach, tell your friends about it so they can hold you accountable (and lend you a bike or a wetsuit), and then get out there and do what it takes to achieve it. Even if it sounds a little kooky!


  1. I'm working on my dream - to help high school students from an underperforming school achieve a goal of completing a 10K all while fundraising to help in the fight against cancer. I want them to be able to realize their dreams of reaching outside their comfort zone and realizing that anything is possible. Bits and pieces are coming together but I still have obstacles. I'm praying for God's guidance and wisdom - especially to reveal to me who's dream this really is.

  2. Hi Pramod, Nice to read about your story on some once blog. You have proved that only handwork matters and You did it....