Monday, March 26, 2012

First Step

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was a pretty wise old dude. Sometimes we can get so hung up on how far we want to go or set such ambitious goals for ourselves that we forget that what we need to do right now is take that first step.

If you have never run in your life before and you want to run a marathon, then go outside and jog for a few minutes and then walk a few more minutes. That's the first step. Later this week, jog a bit further.

If you have never sailed in your life before but you have a wild ambition to sail single-handed around the world, then you had better take a sailing lesson. That's the first step. Later this summer, you can sail to the other side of the bay.

If I want to qualify to be a Half Fanatic by racing in some ridiculous number of half-marathons in some insanely short period, I had better actually run that half-marathon in a couple of weeks time that I registered for in a (probably drunken) moment of enthusiasm way back in the winter. That would be a good first step.

If I am ever going to sail my Laser 100 days in a year, then I had better start sailing more in the colder months of the year, and going out on my own one day this week would be a good first step.

My one-year-old grandson Owen knows this. He is a wise little chap.

One of his favorite words for a while has been "steps." He stands at the bottom of the stairs and looks up them, and you can see that he is just imagining how one day soon he is going to surprise us all by climbing up the stairs  (or horrify us if he does it in a rare moment when no adult is watching him.) But, so far, I haven't seem him negotiate unaided any step that's higher than half an inch.

We took him to a playground last week. His older siblings went off to play on monkey bars and the biggest slides they could find. Owen looked at these metal steps. He put his foot on the first step.

He looked up to the top of the steps.

Then he pulled himself up and put both feet on the first step and gave us a big grin.

He took the first step. He's on his way to the top.

What "first step" are you going to to take on your "thousand mile journey"?


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain - I have just signed on for my first half marathon - I'm up to 4.5 miles - but a way to go! Fortunately our sailing season starts on Sunday, so I will be out on my RS Vareo... I'm sure that will help...!

Tillerman said...

Welcome to the knitting sailor! It's always good to hear from a new commenter - especially a fellow blogger. But you have me jealous. Love the RS Vareo. Sailed it a lot in Minorca. We just don't have any racing fleets of them in the US, so no point in buying one for me.

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