I was reminded of this quote again sitting at the US National Whitewater Center this past Saturday. My wife and I spent the previous few hours engaging in a variety of outdoor activities as a part of our monthly date night. We were exhausted from the zip lines, climbing on ropes courses, and mountain biking. Probably the biggest mistake of the day was when I asked the mountain bike attendant what bike trail he recommended for active people who exercise regularly and are looking for a little challenge! About 800 feet into the trail, regret quickly set in.
After walking our bikes for most of the 3.5 mile trail, we decided to sit by the river and rest for a period of time before leaving for the day. To our surprise and delight, the US National Kayak Team was in the middle of a practice session on the river. I can’t recall ever seeing a US National Team from any sport practice or play live. It was pretty cool.
I was in awe of their skill level as they maneuvered their way down the river. It was impressive to see how they kept themselves positioned perfectly through the rapids and hit every spot on the water they intended to while turning on the dime through the rough rapids. It was really a spectacle.
I began to think about the amount of training and practice hours that each member of the team commits to in order to perform at that level. The trade-off produces incredible results. The price that those athletes, and many other athletes pay in order to achieve that level of success is almost unimaginable.
As John Maxwell asserts, “Everybody makes trades throughout life, whether they know it or not. The question is whether you are going to make good ones or bad ones.”
Olympic level and professional athletes in general trade a large portion of their life in order to master their sport. I’m sure from their point of view, it is a good one.
Have you considered what trade-offs you’ve made to get to where you are today? Are there trade-offs you need to make in order to reach a goal that you’ve yet to achieve? Have you made bad trade-offs that you need to reconsider?
What can you do now in order to upgrade your trade-offs?