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The Purpose of Pursuing Fist Pumps

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Every once in a while I push pause for a day and share more personal insights on things. Things like life and careers and such.

I’m doing the same today. Partly because it’s a unique time to be alive, but also because a few things are close to clicking. And, as you’ve likely heard me say a few times, writing helps me wrap my head around things.

So here goes.

Over the years, I’ve often found myself chasing things.

Before I cut back on cycling, I chased Strava KOMs. When I started a side project, I was chasing a little extra income. In college, I chased girls. When I ran track, I chased PRs.

In a lot of ways, I hated chasing things. Most of the time, it was frustrating. On 95% of rides, I didn’t snag a KOM. Nearly all of my side projects flopped. Most girls didn’t give me the time of day.

And Then…
But the 5% of rides I did hit my goal? When someone clicked “register” and paid me their hard-earned money? When I second date did turn into a third?

Man, that’s the good stuff.

Over the years, I’ve found that in virtually all of these situations my instinctive reaction is the same: I give a little (or large) fist pump.

Enter Disc Golf
I grew up playing golf, but stopped when the time and cost got in the way. I played a ton of ultimate frisbee in college, but stopped once I graduated (and got a little older). I’d always heard about this combination of the two – disc golf – but had never given it a try.

Slowly over the last few years, I started to play. Then at Christmas my wife got me a disc golf basket for the backyard.

It’s hard to say exactly when the hook was set, but I remember being out in the yard before the snow melted and tossing some discs from 60-70′ away when my red mid-range arced beautifully through the air, rattled the chains, and landed softly in the basket.

And you know what I did? Yep, fist pumped.

Since Then
So I made myself a goal. I wanted to shoot even par on a course near our house.

I really hadn’t kept score much before this year, but I knew that on a good day I might par one or two holes. So this was a stretch. Before long, I got three pars in a row (and a fist pump). Then five (and a fist pump). Then I got my first birdie (and a massive fist pump).

A few months later, it happened.

And I probably don’t have to tell you how big the fist pump was when my disc hit the chains on the ninth hole.

A Boost
Listen, it’s been a tough few months. A weird few months.

But as I look back I’ve realized that all those little fist pumps have added up. It’s helped me have something to remember, to get excited about, and something to achieve.

It won’t solve everything, but if you’re struggling a bit you may want to try something similar.

Set yourself a goal, find a sport, try something…especially if that something holds the prospect of a fist pump at the end.

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school, click here to grab a 15 minute slot on my calendar and let's chat.

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FYI: I'm presenting "Write a Blog Post in 15 Minutes" during Insight Online on May 26.