Here is something different. This blog post is about me as a person. It is about being an average person doing average things. Yep, that is right, this is me. What am I talking about you might ask? Well, read on.
Condemned to be an average person?
Last summer, I went to an Ironman as a supporter of one of my dear friend, Kathy. For those who don’t know what is an ironman, please spend a few minutes reading this.
The night before the main event, we had dinner with many of soon to be ironman friends. She was accompanied by her own friend who did this more than a dozen times. This is insane. How can this be even possible? It takes so many sacrifices to accomplish a single Ironman. I can’t imagine for a dozen.
During the diner, a question came to my mind: what could be the driving forces behind such a challenging physical exercise? What motivations drive them? I was pretty sure everyone had to have one in order to be motivated. How can that be otherwise? I went ahead and asked the question openly. Surprisingly, the answers I got were all around the same theme. In a few words, when you do such thing as an Ironman, you have to be driven by a desire to fight some sort of inside daemons. Some might be fighting child abuse, others might try to compensate for the lack of self-esteem. Whatever the cause, following this dinner I could better understand why they can be such powerful motivation factors.
Elite people are burning fuels made of things that are not part of me in any way or any form.
I don’t have daemons big enough to push me to do an Ironman. I don’t have anything inside of me that can push me even close to this. So, I will never do an Ironman. I will never do half an Ironman or even a triathlon. And this is why I feel that I’m probably condemned to be an average person. Good thing for me, my childhood is a pretty ordinary one. I was a happy child living in an ordinary family without big issues.
But there is more than motivation factors. The other thing that stood out during my conversation with these athletes is that It takes some degree of selfishness to be part of an elite like being an Ironman or in any other elite field for that matter. I personally experienced it the day before the big event. I wanted to train myself with my friend during her training. Without openly saying so, her answer meant she would do better if she did it alone.
At first, I was disappointed by her answer. We could have had a great time together while doing the short run. We could have talked about training for an ironman. But, after thinking about this for a few moments, I realized she wanted to stay focused and for this, she had to be with herself. I know she really likes me and all that but she made a decision. She made a small sacrifice. She does this all the time in order to get where she is now.
Yet, I’m happy
When I look at my personal life, there are three things in which I invest myself: my professional career, photography and blogging1. That being said, I do train for a half marathon that I’ll be doing this spring in Ottawa, Canada. But this is not a passion per se, only a desire to keep me in good shape2. And I expect to perform at an average pace of 6 minutes per km.
Professionally, I can say that I’m proud of what I accomplished so far and where I stand now. I know that I could probably be managing people and having my team. But I’m not career-driven. I’m very appreciated by all my colleagues, I feel that I make a difference and it is ok.
On the hobby side of things, photography is and always has been a great source of creative expression for me. And looking at my performance in general on photography gaming sites like GuruShots (read my very popular blog post “GuruShots Tips, Tricks and Cheat Sheet”), I’m performing well above average. But, yet again, I’m not in the elite portion of the bunch. In general, I’m in the 25% of the best and for me, this is good enough. The efforts that I would need to invest are too demanding and require many sacrifices that I don’t want to do. My lack of selfishness puts the elite status out of reach for me, and this is ok with me. I’m happy with that. From my monthly reports that I get from Unsplash, I’m in the top 25% contributor. See the trend here?
Finally, blogging is another important area of investment in my personal life. This medium allows for a lot of creative expressions (please, read “Why This Blog”. It’s even a platform where I can expose my photography work. It does require quite some time for writing, editing and publishing on a regular basis. Is my blog the best of its kind? I don’t think so. But I do invest in tools to help me achieve my quality goals (don’t miss “My Blogger Workflow”). I’m proud of what I’m doing with all this. But I’m not in the elite game with this.
As an average person doing average things in my life, somehow I feel that’s not the typical average. I do feel proud of many of my past achievements even if they aren’t close to what elite people would achieve. I’m a happy average person I guess.
How do you feel about yourself and your personal achievements? Please, leave a comment and engage the discussion! It’s always welcomed!