Monday, January 21, 2008

Chasing Dreams and Risking Failure

Stranded in Nassau aboard a '65 Cape Horn Trawler called the Dream Chaser is not without some small degree of irony.

I fully understand my father's desire to fulfil a dream, to call his boat the Dream Chaser, but when I ask him exactly what that dream is, he is, for all intents and purposes, utterly inarticulate.  And I wonder, if asked to say what my dreams are, would I be any more articulate?  I've dedicated an entire Blog to qualifying for the Boston Marathon, hundreds and hundreds of entries, and yet if pressed, I am not sure that I could adequately articulate what qualifying for Boston means to my heart and soul.  And some times, just being and just doing is what it is all about.

The sky over Nassau is leaden and overcast, a small craft warning is in effect and rain spatters the boat and the dock with every gust of twenty knot wind. And after a while the whistling of the wind through cables, lines and halyards just becomes annoying, like fingers on a blackboard.  I worry endlessly about my Dad.  This mythic figure in my life become so frail it seems like a different person.  I help him get dressed and my feelings of frustration give way to a tenderness so unexpected that I have to choke down the lump in my throat.  And when he tell me as I pull on socks over his swollen feet that I would make a good father, I have to blink back tears.  I am scared for him.

Running marathons is a dream for most people, trying to qualify for Boston was mine.

But fulfilling a dream requires planning and forethought and following through with a plan of action that takes you in the direction of your goal.

I admire and enjoy the company of dreamers. I don't have much patience for daydreamers.

And even if your dreams exceed your talents and abilities and, in many cases, just plain luck, there is something exhilarating in making the attempt. Marshalling all your skills and abilities towards a goal or an ambition that you know will take you to the very limits of what is possible is to me the very essence of life. It is sucking the marow out of the bones of life. And chewing with satisfaction on the great knuckle bone of achievement.

I like doers, don't have much patience for talkers, and have great empathy for those who have tried and failed, having a lifetime of experience in that department myself.

The best dreams I think, carry a high risk of failure. And if you have done your best, there is no shame in falling a few feet short of the summit, a few minutes short of your time goal. Most of us finish off the podium in life. It is not always about coming in first, but in having lived well.

All you can ask is that you did and gave your best. That to me is acomplishment in itself, a test of who you are.

Chase a dream, the crazier the better. Do everything in your power to make it happen. Risk failure. Wild, crazy, disastrous, preposterous, glorious failure.

Just do more than talk about a dream. Actually chase one.  If I do it, I guess I get that from my Father.

More photos -


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy!

I'm afraid, we're made of the same material! At least the part about not just talking about dreams, but actually living them out, or die trying!

All the best from your danish friend going back to conqour Europe once again! This time from a VW California! I have to reinvent travelling all the time - or it would become a routine.



PS Next time I'll bring my runningshoes, because I don't run in Daytons, as you may or may not have noticed. :-) So sorry, I missed out on your running-classes!

9:08:00 PM  

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