Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Easy


When we combine moderate talent with extreme work ethic then we will achieve results in most areas. Gordo
Yesterday in a meeting that had importance for the time a phrase was used that set me off. As most of you know that is not a really easy thing to do. The topic of the meeting isn't really important the point was we were solving a problem and we were going to ask a group of people to get out of their comfort zone. The discussion went on for 20 minutes or so and it didn't seem to me like we were really moving forward. I asked "What do they really want to do" The first words of reply are what set me off and what got me up at 3:00am today "They want to do what is EASY" My first reaction was somewhere between disgust and laughter. Somewhere during the conversation I think I said "This is work, it's not supposed to be easy". But after a few hours to think, it goes way deaper than that.
The picture above is from one of my most favorite days of 2007. It was a beautiful day in the best city in the world to live (San Diego) and Marco and I decided to go hiking. We discussed the many different possiblities. Marco chose Mission Trails but in his words, "The trails by your office". As we started the Hike I like most dads was guaging where Marco would possibly break down and say enough. During the first half hour or so, I regulary pointed out where I thought we would go and how long it would take us. Marco in his regular enthusiastic tone "O.K. Dad". As we started up the steep climb of Mount Fortuna, Marco started to feel the hike in his legs. He didn't complain but you could see it in his eyes, he was starting to wear down. 1/2 way up and 2 hours into the hike and I gave him an option "We have 30 minutes to the top or we have 45 minutes back to the car" He weighed the options and said, "This isn't easy Dad but I want to go to the top" So we kept hiking. The picture above is from the top of the mountain. That kid was so proud of getting to the top. He wanted to stay up there and enjoy where he was. On the way down I asked him why he didn't turn around when we had the easy choice of going back. He said "I wanted to see the top".
Marco still talks about that hike. He did something he had never done before and it was hard. He doesn't rememeber the hard part he only remembers the top.
If you look through history and I like to use history of sport, the greatest champions always made what they did look easy. Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Paula Newby Fraser set the bar for the toughest one day endurance event in the world, the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. Between them they won a whole bunch of times and their win totals may never be matched again. They really made winning look easy. Once they won the first time it was not hard to predict who would win. There is big debate in all sports over talent. These three were talented but at the top of any sport the difference in talent is small. What it really boiled down to for these three was work. They simply combined their great talent with more work than anyone else was willing to endure and they got championships. The thing that looked easy was the race itself. What most didn't see was the hours upon hours of training their body to endure discomfort for a long time. In other words, it wasn't easy.
The best things in life, climbing to the top of a mountain for an 8 year old or winning at the top of your sport, never come easy.
It's a good life....
Dave
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