During the month of December, Buddy will highlight, the Twelve Days of Fearlessness. Whether it is getting up the nerve to lace up your old ice skates with your five-year-old or conquering a halfpipe like your teenage days, fearlessness is not just situational for all- for some, it is a way of life.
Being fearless on your adventures doesn’t mean that you won’t face new obstacles and challenges along the way. In fact, if you’re doing anything worth doing, you’ll most certainly run into something you weren’t expecting. Planning is a big part of any adventure, and we’ll get to that in another post, but you will need something to get you through those moments of uncertainty. For me, it’s always been goals.
I set near-term, long-term, and unattainable goals constantly. They can be as small as a daily punch out list or as lofty as a 10-year plan (see: starting an Insurtech startup). Those goals are what keep me from turning around in the face of adversity. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember.
When I first started playing basketball in 6th grade, I road the pine all season. My goal was to score 1 single basket, to be in the book for the season. When I got my chance, a wide-open layup with the defense literally walking towards me (it’s what you do when you’re up by 20 points), I took my shot… and I blew it.
I was devastated, but my dad pulled me aside later and told me I didn’t set my goal high enough. There was no way to make progress on the goal since it had such a binary outcome. So postseason, I re-calibrated my goals to become a better ball handler and shoot 100 layups per day until next season. Some days I made my goal, some days I didn’t.
The next season I started point guard and averaged 8 points and 5 assists. Those new goals got me there and got me more opportunities to set even higher goals. I’m not in the NBA or anything, because my goal of being over 6 feet tall has yet to be realized at the age of 38, but fingers crossed.
About 15 years ago I set another goal, to snowboard. A friend I worked with was selling his board, so I bought it from him sight unseen if he promised to show me how to use it that weekend. We went to Wintergreen and I spent the entire day falling. It. Was. Miserable. My backside was bruised, my legs refused to support me the next day, but at least I was hydrated from eating all the snow. The only thing that kept getting me to stand back up on this new torture device I just bought myself was the goal of learning it. By the end of the day, I could almost ride my back edge to the base of the mountain. By next weekend, I had found and could trust my front edge. That’s when the fun kicked in.
Goals are so powerful that way. If you have one in your sights it can direct you through the pain, the fear, and through the struggle. You won’t always make your goal, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it.
My next goal is about snowboarding again, but this time it’s to get my 5yo son on one. He says he’s excited, but we’ll see after the first wipeout how he feels about the adventure.
And I’m not the only Buddy team member with goals this year, here is the team rundown:
Brittany: To qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Cezar: New deadlift and bench PR, run some 5ks, and get the canoe fixed up to start using it.
Chris: Do a few triathlons and bike races as well as get my daughter on some blue and black slopes in Colorado.
Charles: Race the Buck Fifty in Croatan in March, take a week-long backcountry trip, and get back on the rock! I’ve neglected climbing for the past two years.
James: Climb the Grand or the Matterhorn, mountain bike the Colorado trail, do a bunch of local 5ks, Sail a Shallop from Jamestown to Washington, and cycle the Natchez Trace.