Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perspective - The ability to view past, present, and future

Perspective is a very interesting word.  The dictionary defines it in several different ways, but the one I like the most is "the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship."  To me, it means where do we put our focus?  On what is "known" to us (meaning the past or the present)? Or on "the state" of our ideas (meaning the present and the future)?  Let me explain.

I spent a lot of time with my Grandpa Brown (a.k.a - Grandpa Next-door because he lived in the house next-door to us while I was growing up in south Provo).  I worked a lot of hours with him on the family farm, around the house, or up at the family's cabin.  He was a very quiet man.  He had a beautiful voice, but would only sing when he was in his shop "toolin" around - I don't ever remember hearing him sing the hymns at church, not sure why.  I loved sitting outside his shop listening to him sing.  He didn't say much, but when he did it was profound to me.  He taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I have not nor will I ever forget.  He is just as much a part of me as I hope I am a part of him. 

As he grew older, and especial after Grandma passed away, Grandpa spent a lot of time on his front porch swing.  He would just rock back and forth humming some tune.  He was always staring across the street.  I never saw him looking down to the ground like he was discouraged or depressed.  I never saw him staring up into the sky like he was cursing God for his loneliness.  Nope, he just stared across the street, gassing at the old steel factory behind the power poles that lined his front yard.

I always thought this was strange... until recently.  You see, when I am training, whether it is swimming, biking, or running it is best that you fix your "line of sight" from where you currently are to where you want to go.  This relates to us in our own daily struggles and experiences.  For example, take your hand and hold it up arm's length away from your face.  Now focus on your fingers and notice what happens to everything behind your hand?  It becomes blurry because you have focused purely on the "known" - your hand.  Now focus on something beyond your hand and notice what happens to your fingers?  Your fingers become blurry because you have focused on the future "state" of things.

For many of us when we look back at the past we tend to focus on the negative things that we did or the things left undone that should have been done.  Like I said, perspective is an interest word - one that is easier discussed than applied.  Where will you place your perspective? On the ugly foundries and power poles of the present? Or the beautiful mountains on the horizon?

From the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

I firmly believe that while Grandpa sat on his swing, he never once noticed the foundry or the power poles.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Establishment of "Tri Dad Try"

My name is Josh Brown.  I am 37 years old and a single father to 4 beautiful children.  I am also a triathlete.  I firmly believe that each of us have our own experiences throughout life to help us learn many different lessons.  I also believe that each lesson is unique and especial crafted for us to learn more about ourselves, more about trust, and especially more about love.
During the recent Day Break Olympic triathlon, I was about 3 miles into the 6 mile run.  I had no energy left.  My whole body was screaming that it was out of gas.  My mind was starting to listen.  Thoughts came to my mind to quit, just to give up.  Freeze frame for just one moment - I had already completed a mile swim (including a full-on panic attack in the first 200 yards of the swim), a 24 mile bike ride, and at this point, 3 miles of the 6 mile run.

With each new stride, my body screamed and my mind was listening.  I was seriously ready to give-up and quit right there on the course, then I heard my daughter Abbie's voice in my head.  "Just try dad, try."  As I fought back the thoughts to quit, the pain, and the tears; I was filled with a renewed power of hope.  I finished the race with that voice ring over and over again in my head - "Try Dad Try."

Finish Photo with Abbie
The hope and goal of this blog is to reach out to those that feel like I did during this race and at different times throughout any given day.  I hope to impart some wisdom from my own struggles and triumphant as a single father.  The blog is specifically created to help other single fathers that face the same daily challenges and struggles that I do.

If nothing else, the hope to be an avenue that one father's stand for success comes from continued real personal struggles and experiences when faced together... we can succeed.

"I am the Master of my fate.  I am the Captain of my soul." - last two lines of poem "Invictus"