Saturday, December 23, 2006

Begin with the end in mind!

When I spoke at my dad's funeral, I told a story that went something like this:

There is a book written by Stephen Covey called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In this book there is one "habit" that I just love. It says that you should "Begin with the end in mind." I'm 100% sure that my father NEVER read this book, and in fact never heard of Stephen Covey. What it says is to picture yourself at your own funeral and look around to see what people say about you. You should live each day, treat people, and generally live life as if it was all a test for that final day. With my father, he was just amazing with this habit and he NEVER even tried. Why? Because almost everything my father EVER did my entire life I could have talked about with pride on this day. Can you say that about yourself? Can you say that about your friends? Just think about. When I'm just day dreaming at an airport (I tend to spend lots of time in them), I think about this and do my best to live just like my dad. Not always easy.

So what does this have to do with Ironman and Ironwidow? JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. It is simple. It's time to sit down and "Begin with the end in mind." Picture yourself and the person you will support the next several months. Picture yourself screaming your head off as they run over the finish line. Made you smile didn't it? Now go and get the person that is doing the race and have them do the same thing. The road to the "end" is very different for YOU and the person actually doing the race. Very different.

I was very proud of my dad. He was a natural at the "journey." He was a natural at life. He was a natural at just about everything. So it is today that I start the journey. It is today that I start dreaming about the end. I just wish my dad could be there to say something about me. I will never get that chance again. I wrote a similar article on today using a similar picture. This picture reminds me so much of my dad. This is the Ironman route, but you can't see the end. The end is something that you have to work on each and every moment. I just hope that I make my dad proud. I hope he will look down on me as I cross that finish line and just smiles. No words, just a smile of pride. I wish this for each and every one of you as well.


azironman2007 said...

I like Saturday's post. I too am a Steven Covey Fan. My training for IMAZ has NOT been going well. The post was a good reminder for me in my athletic life, as well as personal. We would all do better if we began with the end in mind. Like your Dad.

Comm's said...

How about habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. Translation for triathletes- interval training and speed drills.

Vickie said...

You're right when you say the road for the person crossing the finish line and the one who supports them are two different paths. Over the past several years, I have been the supporter. This year, I am the one needing the support, so I hope it is there when I need it.

Anonymous said...

oh STU! I miss you and your enthusiasm, encouragement and evangelism for living life hard and well and true. Thanks for sharing your dad with us.