I went away to CT for a weekend conference where I got inspired to be a better person. I learned some things about ministry – I work with young people – and I learned some things about myself.
I shared some dreams with people who have similar goals so I’ll share them with you too. Sometime next year, I want to hike the Appalachian Trail and do winter camping. Yesterday, my friend asked me if I’ve thought about going back to school to get a PhD. (Yeah! That’s one of my main medium term goals). And I started this blog when I first decided to run the NYC Marathon 2014.
Hike, winter camping, doctoral study, marathon. That’s 4 medium term goals for which I know serious planning and preparation is required. The way I treat my body in terms of nutrition and exercise this year will help me prepare for the marathon this year but it will also impact how I get ready for the hike next year. Being able to work on projects and build a team to accomplish goals is a way to prepare for the trail hike but it’s also a skill I will need to develop as I go into the research part of my PhD program.
What about your goals? What do you want to do? What do you want to be doing in 6 months? Next year this time? In 5 years? What does it take to get there?
And so as I shared my goals, I thought about how I have to prepare for the things I want to do, long before I actually do them.
I want to hike the Appalachian Trail (called the A.T. by those in the know) and maybe even do a thruhike – that means you start at one end and stay on the trail until you come out the other end. A thruhike might seem like a natural progression but because the A.T. is so long ( about 2,200 miles) and spans several states and hiking it takes you through varied terrain and weather/climatic conditions, some people do the hike in stages – they start in Maine or Georgia (the 2 endpoints, called trailheads, they walk 100 miles and go home to recover and live their lives, then a few months later, come back to where they left off and resume the hike. 2,200 miles is a LONG way to walk, with all the stuff you need on your back or hanging from your belt. It’s the kind of situation that will cause you to focus on your survival and not much else. And it’s the kind of situation that you need to be prepared for. Prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially, because sometimes, dreams cost money. Holistic preparation. It’s not the kind of thing you just get up and say, “I think I’ll do that today!”
And that’s how we have to live our lives. Every day, every moment, every decision affects the one that comes after it. What I eat today determines how I will feel today and tonight and tomorrow. Whether I exercise today will impact how I feel tomorrow. If I exercise enough, my joints will be a little looser and the exercise will be a little easier tomorrow. If I overexert myself, I might be in pain tomorrow. It’s like that book where you choose how it ends, so every choice you make for the character there’s an alternate way the story can continue. You are that character. And you get to decide where your life goes. And you decide how situations will evolve by the way you prepare for them.
It’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit in NYC today. Water freezes at 32 degrees so we are 23 below freezing. And before everyone went outside today, I can almost guarantee they looked at their phones or turned on the TV or the radio or the computer to check the weather. Is it still snowing? Cause I gotta prepare for that. Is it icy? Cause I gotta prepare for that. Is it just bitterly cold and windy (which it is)? Because I gotta prepare for that.
If you prepare for the weather, isn’t is worth more to prepare for your future? For the future you want to have..
So today, this is my preparation for the future I want to have. Eat better. Exercise more. Love. And pray.