We all have had dreams throughout our lives. From being a child and wanting to be an astronaut to our teenage years when we dreamed about what freedom would feel like when we got a car. We dreamed about what life would be like after high school and that perfect job that we wanted to land. We dream about the perfect vacation or what that first home is going to look like. As we get older we dream about that ideal retirement. Those dreams often seemed unattainable and something to keep our mind busy as we worked through the challenges that each day put in front of us. But those dreams weren’t unattainable.
Right now we all see the Olympics on television. I remember being a kid and wanting to be that good at a sport where I could stand on a platform, hear the national anthem and have a gold medal around my neck. I didn’t invest in any of those sports, but the dream still remained: I wanted to accomplish a physical task and have a medal around my neck. While my path may not have been the Olympics, I found a physical challenge that could get me towards that goal.
I was kicking off my ski boots one day after lessons, and a friend came up to us and asked if we wanted to go from Seattle to Portland with them. Not knowing what that was, I thought it may have been a fun road trip. Well it was a road trip, but not in a car. After semi-committing to do it, I learned that it was a bicycle ride of over 200 miles over the course of two days. Mind you, my longest bike ride to that point in my life was likely around a mile and a half. Oh, did I mention I didn’t have a bike? This was something that seemed unattainable. How would I train? How would I do that many miles? When do you eat on a ride that long? My mind started to race with a million other questions. Little did I know it, I was doing the hard work that we all need to do when we face a big goal that seems to be unattainable: break it down into smaller pieces and tackle those obstacles one by one.
You see, small goals are easier to achieve. Each time I would think about the 200 mile ride I would get nervous and want to tell them I couldn’t do it. It seemed too big for me and I wasn’t ready, but I started to think about all of those questions my brain had running through it. As my mind raced some of these challenges became solutions. An organization we were involved with had a veteran’s cycling team. They would create a training plan over the course of six months, provide the bicycle for me to train with, and support us along the ride days. All I had to do was show up. Well, I could do that.
The first step is the hardest one, but taking one step towards your goal is better than staying home. Start with a dream or idea. I wanted that dream to become my goal and I wanted to achieve it. I needed to move towards it and be one step closer to it than I was the day before. I needed to start. That first step was better than taking no steps at all. So I committed to do it.
Where are you at now? Are you on the path to achieving your dream? If not, why not? What’s stopping you? What step can you take tomorrow to get you a bit closer to achieving it? How can you start?