Thursday, May 20, 2021

Insanity or Inspiration

When I was a young kid my Dad took me to see a foreign film called Aguirre, The Wrath of God. It is
about a Spanish expedition in South America searching for gold. Their power hungry leader, Aguirre, ruthlessly endangers his army and plunges them deep into the jungle. In the final scene he is the sole survivor floating down the Amazon river on a raft and speaking about the great cities he will build and the powerful kingdom he will establish there. He was moments from death and powerless yet was totally convinced that he was still going to conquer and rule the Incans. 

Sorry for the spoiler, but that scene has always stuck with me. It has caused me to question if there is a fine line between obsessive insanity and persistent inspiration. Many of the greatest battles we face are mental and psychological ones. I have always been fascinated by the concept of people doing what others said was impossible. Sometimes those achievers are labeled as being crazy Some examples of this are:

Sir Edmund Hillary climbing to the top of Mount Everest

Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile

George Hood maintaining a plank position for over 8 hours

Luke Aikins jumping out of a plane without a parachute and safely landing in a net

I previously shared a post about James Lawrence, a.k.a. The Iron Cowboy. Several years ago he completed 50 triathlons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. Since that time he has undertaken a bigger challenge of doing 100 consecutive triathlons. As of today, he has completed 80 triathlons over the last 80 days and intends to keep this up over the next 20 days until he hits 100. That's a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and then a 26.2 mile run for 100 days in a row!

Surprisingly, doing amazing things doesn't always bring you admirers. I know James has taken some flack from some who criticize him saying these are not actual sanctioned races but just putting in the mileage. Even people from the Iron Man organization have gotten on him over this which is mind blowing since he is only bringing more publicity to the sport. What he is doing is an insane physical feat and because of that, it is an even bigger mental accomplishment. I'm not a triathlete, but I've got a ton of respect for what he's done. 

Most of us are never going to attempt a world record or do an extreme physical accomplishment like those listed above, but we still need the proper mind set, determination, and commitment to do anything worthwhile. 

Remember, when you are persistently working towards your goals you can accomplish what others say is impossible or even more important, what you once considered to be impossible. There may be a fine line between insanity and inspiration, but time will tell the critics which side you were on.

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