Dreams. We all have them. Not the kind of dreams you wake up from, but the kind of vivid imagery that runs on quiet loops in the conscious recess' of our minds only to remind us of what could or could not be depending on how much we feed them.
Wants. They are constant, plentiful and desperate for our attention, always. Like a carrot and stick that drives the donkey in a multitude of directions, I believe following the right wants at the correct pace is the healthiest way to realize our dreams. Let me explain...
For the past fourteen years I’ve slowly begun to better understand how to give the right wants in my life the attention and grace they deserve in order to achieve and live my dreams. With a support network so vast that it now stretches across oceans, I believe the vulnerable fourteen year old Mark would be pleased to see the relationships we’ve built, wants we’ve pursued, and dreams we’ve unlocked. Are you listening to what your dreams are asking of you? It’s a path worth venturing down, as long as you’re willing to chase the right carrots.
When I was fourteen: I was overweight, a smoker, getting in heaps of trouble and generally hanging out with the wrong crew. I wanted to stop being bullied in school, I wanted to respect who I was but didn’t know how. It was my dream to lose the weight, become well liked and generally accepted by my peers at that vulnerable age.
When I was sixteen: I was spending lunch hours on the high school track covering five kilometres every day. I dropped my old friends and made kinder ones, improved my habits, healthily shed the weight and gained some self confidence in stride. I was enjoying running so much that I wanted to join a club and start racing. It was my dream to see where else running could take me.
When I was eighteen: I went to University and ran cross country for the U of C Dinos. I was getting an education, had a budding social life, a part-time job, and was running eighty kilometre weeks in pursuit of perfecting my athleticism. I wanted to be one of the best distance runners on the team along with so much more. It was my dream to win races on a National level. At least, that’s what I told myself before going to Sunday practice with the occasional hangover on those early crisp Fall mornings. I succumbed to injury from overtraining and exhaustion before the end of my first year that Winter.