Running on Empty

Goals are a part of life. For everything you do, there is someone telling you to set a goal.

I've set goals for the semester, for specific classes, for teams I've been on and for life in general. More often than not, these goals are never achieved, but for the time being, they keep me going.

Barry Bonds this past weekend fulfilled one of his goals — he hit home run No. 700 and joined the ranks of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Not only did he hit his 700th home run, he hit No. 701, too. Goal accomplished.

Sadly, unlike Bonds, I've never been great at reaching those goals. At the beginning of each cross country and track season in high school my coach would make my teammates and me fill out sheets that asked our short-term and long-term goals.

I could usually come up with a short-term goal, but it was those long-term goals that I had trouble with. Long-term goals are big commitments.

With a short-term goal, either you achieve it or you don't. You win the race, beat the other team, reach a personal best or you don't. It's pretty clear-cut.

The long-term is totally different. If you don't reach the goal one day, you've got to keep trying the next day. There's no end. It's always there, looming over your head.

One tactic many people use in their quest to achieve their goals is visualization. My cross country and track coach was a big fan of that, too.

Again, I'm not. Every so often before a meet he would have us lie down on the grass or floor and close our eyes. Then for the next 10 minutes we were supposed to be visualizing ourselves running the race.

I was lucky if I lasted a minute. Usually I got bored and gave up. I just couldn't do it, but then maybe that's why I had such a hard time reaching those goals I always set.

Despite my lack of luck in achieving goals, I keep on making them. I'll never completely give up.

Last week Assistant Sports Editor Tom Blair wrote about his dream of reaching the overhang between Gesu and the Parish Center. Not a bad goal, though I wouldn't even kid myself about it being something I could do.

Tom's a pretty tall kid, though; he's got a chance. You keep jumping and reaching, Tom. I believe in you.