Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Hundred Eighty

A few nights ago I laid in bed sleepless at 3am. Not a huge deal as it happens every now and again and when it does I usually succumb to the endless rabbit hole that is Reddit and YouTube.

Now, there is no way I could possibly Hansel and Gretel my bread crumbs back to how I exactly ended up on the 2014 World Darts Championship video  but that is neither here nor there. I had played darts quite a bit passing time on the car carriers traversing the Atlantic with a few lively Croatian characters but I had no idea the intricacies or ways of the sport.

To summarize: Each person starts with 501points and casts 3 darts per round. The highest possible score per dart is the "triple 20". So if you land three darts in the "trip20" it is labeled as "perfect darts" and a "perfect score" of 180 is announced very exuberantly (or should I say 'ONNNNEEE HUUNNDRED and EEEIIIGGHHTTYY') by the announcer, the crowd goes wild, the 180 score is deducted from 501, and the darter retrieves his darts for the next round (the winner is the first person to get to zero). There are more intricate rules for everything, I know, but for simplicity sake a "9 darter" is a perfect game and you end with a bulls-eye... After the first cast, the next player casts his darts, and so on...

The most prominent thing I noticed in these videos was not how incredibly and lively the world of darts is, but quite the opposite. If you notice the demeanor of the player casting these "perfect darts"... Everyone is going nuts around them - the announcer literally can't believe it's not butter - and people actually make "180" signs and dance around, etc. The darter succumbs to none of it. He stays poised and focused. I bet he doesn't even hear anything and immediately after he throws the darts he probably forgets about them. The only thing on his mind is the next dart. It is pretty impressive. Only after all 9 darts are cast perfectly does the guy rejoice and pump his fist in victory. It's kind of like a pitcher throwing a perfect game... everyone knows what is going on around them but the challenge is to stay focused on the task at hand. Act like you've been there before. Every decision or task has a purpose and every thing you do has to bring you closer to the end goal; because, if it doesn't get you closer, it will drag you further away. I am a firm believer that there is no room for complacency and no such thing as stagnancy. It is better or it is worse.

Another example is this newly developed football phenomenon of a "touchdown end zone dance". The dances are nothing more than a self centered cry for attention and a simple way for players to whore-out there brand (OK admittedly this blog is not much more than that either but I don't really want to get in to that right now). They are getting paid to do their job of getting in to the end zone and only when the other 10 people on the field, 53 other people on the team, 20 coaches, and maybe even someone on the other team makes a mistake, do they get in to the end zone for points. Even so, you didn't win the game yet... so get back to work. Stay focused. Check this amazing video out of what Barry Sanders does after every time he scored: What ever happened to handing the ball to the ref and acting like you did what you did with intention...  "Act like you've been there before." How ridiculous would it be if I spiked my cell phone every time I brought in a sale? (OK admittedly sometimes I think about it... depending on the situation but it is but a fleeting thought.).
Anyways. That's the goal and focus for 2016. I realized my previous years racing have been all over the place with random adventures here, maybe a 70mile run if I want there, and no real structure or plan. With some much needed guidance from the Breakthrough Performance Coaching team and Jeff Capobianco I am pumped for things to come in 2016 and am confident this is the year we get to the Big Island in October. Having a coach who not only knows how to but also has the patience to focus and refocus (and refocus) a guy like me who loves to race and do any random thing I can think of is a rarity and after only a few weeks under the BPC tutelage, I can really feel how this structure is going to break me through (shameless pun) to the next level and help me get to where I want to be by the end of the year.

I will end with another little mantra or phrase that unmistakably emanates from the BPC family and the upcoming 2016 season. It is a Greek word that doesn't directly translate to English but is more of a feeling or idea... ArĂȘte - roughly " excellence for the pure sake of excellence. Depending on what the word is describing, the meaning changes. It is excellence in the purest state of the potential to be excellent.

Coeur d'Alene... here I come. Full force, baby.

"It was commonly believed that the mind, body, and soul each had to be developed and prepared for a man to live a life of arete. This led to the thought that athletics had to be present in order to obtain arete. They did not need to consume one's life, merely exercise the body into the right condition for arete, just like the mind and soul would be exercised by other means." "Ancient Greek Athletics", By Stephen G. Miller. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004