11 August 2006

Superman

I’m struggling with my “superman complex”.

I read an article today about a man named Mike Trevino. He is a unique athlete… what they call an “ultra” athlete. This refers to the genre of competitions he is involved in. For instance:

- Insight Race Across America (RAAM)… a bike race in which there are no enforced stops, as in other multi stage races, such as Tour de France. The race is simple: Whoever can ride their bike from Oceanside, CA to Atlantic City, NJ the fastest, wins. He completed the race in just under 9 days in 2004. He slept an average of 90 minutes per day to claim that victory.
- Bikes 800 – 1000 miles per week
- On first attempt, won the Badwater Ultramarathon: 135 miles of running in Death Valley.
- Won multiple 24 hour cycling races: ride as far and fast as possible for 24 hours straight: he logged 463 miles on both of his winning attempts at this race.

It made me think a lot about human capacity.
It also made me think a lot about incapacity, and how it happens.

I don’t have ambitions to become an ultra athlete… but if I’m honest with myself, and in this instance, with you – I have ambitions that are absolutely on par with the achievements of this Mike Trevino.

Something happens that separates those with superhero like capacity, from those who seem to settle into an ordinary existence, with ordinary capacity. What is it?

What is going on with the people I encounter who encourage me to scale back my dreams to the realm of “normal”, “safe”, etc? Why do people keep telling me to stop trying to be superman?

On the bell curve – why is the guy in the middle – not at the far extreme instead?

Is our sense of, and love of, normalcy, perhaps one of the most destructive viruses known to man kind?

I don’t know the answers.

This, I’m pretty darn sure of:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things,
to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure,
than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy
nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight
that knows neither victory nor defeat"
--Theodore Roosevelt

And of this, I am certain, with my whole soul:

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
the saddest are these, 'It might have been!' "
--John Greenleaf Whittier

I’m thinking about getting rid of the people in my life who tell me to stop trying to be superman.

1 comment:

  1. Disclaimers:
    I'm not mormon.
    I'm not divorced.
    I'm not a man.

    But I just want to tell you that your voice here strikes me as very genuine and thoughtful, and I am glad you are writing a book. And I'm glad I found your blog.

    ReplyDelete