Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hacking Me: Hell Yeah!

I'm a hacker by nature. I can look at just about anything and start thinking about how I could make it better, or use it for some other purpose. I guess it is natural that I turned out to be an engineer. Even though I am an electrical engineer and do software development now in my day job now, I still have an interest in the mechanical stuff too. I have lots of ideas for projects, though I rarely have time to apply the ideas.

Take my major project for example, I have a completely stripped 1970 Mach 1 in my garage that I am doing major rust repair on. Major being probably half the metal on the car unibody shell itself will be replaced before I am done. If I ever get done... no time... no money... etc!

Then there's my new bike Venom... can I just go out and buy a bike? Nooooo, I gotta buy a frame, parts, and put it all together myself! (update coming soon)

One of my favorite web sites is Lifehacker. Recently they had an article that I really liked about how we say 'yes' to things that we really don't want to do. I know I am really bad about that. Check out the article here. Basically we need to get better about not saying 'yes' unless we can say 'hell yeah!' This has really started me to rethink about my venture into triahtlon. I have never been able to definitely say why I want to do triathlon. Is the next race a 'hell yeah'? No, not usually. So why? Why do it?

Then I read Donna's view on the same article... maybe that hits it closer, I just have not been hungry for it.

Enter Lifehacker again with a post about mind mapping. Wait, what? Mind mapping? Now THAT got me thinking! Maybe the brain is hackable too. At least taking the time to see how something ticks is the first part of modifying it. :) I ended up not liking the software from the post, but it at least got me thinking and that is good. What are my goals? What are my reasons? What makes me tick?

Then something finally came to me... it isn't so much the race itself that flips the 'on' switch in my brain... it's things like seeing improvements in my body, feeling my clothes get looser, feeling that sense of accomplishment when I do finish a race, seeing my distances get longer in my training logs, and seeing my times drop for old distances. Maybe that is why I have not fully enjoyed most of the races I have entered, I always felt pressure that I wasn't quite 'ready'. Maybe I was just looking for the wrong feeling.

So, moving forward I need to focus on the things that give me the good feelings and avoid the negative pressure feelings about 'must get ready for race'. Life is the race, nothing else really matters. Don't laugh but this reminds me of one of my daughter's favorite Hannah Montana songs: The Climb.

Now I am thinking about the athlete I want to be... not just a runner, not just a triathlete, not just a weightlifter, not just a cyclist... but a hacked creation all my own. HELL YEAH! (a much more Darren-like song!)

What's your 'hell yeah'?


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