Each morning as the sun slowly rises and the grass begins to collect the morning dew, we enter the battlefield. Armed with our weapons of choice, separately we prepare for this encounter in our own ways. As I choose to rest and store up energy throughout the night, he decides to countdown the minutes until our predetermined skirmish. As I rest my eyes, he stares me down with an intense look of intimidation and readiness.
I enter the battlefield armed with the potential to become stronger and faster. Although he holds the key to kick-start the ignition and turn that potential into a reality, we must face-off each morning, trying to accomplish different tasks. As the time approaches, with his tenacity and determination, he strikes the first blow by blaring a noise so startling that it threatens to awaken me from my dark slumber. Often times it proves ineffective as I strike back with one of two strategic moves:
Defensive Jab: with a quick strike through the darkness, I manage to quiet his relentless noise. Although this is a strategic move that will grant me 10 more minutes of sleep, it is not a game changer. He will strike back when the time is right.
Knockout Uppercut: with a calculated and decisive maneuver, I'm able to end his bothersome noise for good. As he lays there silenced and defeated, I am able to return to sleep as he continues to count the minutes, but unable to make a sound.
If a defensive jab is delivered, he will counter attack 10 minutes later. At this point, he is delivering an ultimatum: "You may have silenced me, but I absorbed your attack and am here, standing strong." At this point, I can respond with a second defensive jab or face defeat and arise from my state of sleep. If I choose to deliver a follow-up defensive jab, this "dance" may be repeated as many times as necessary at 10-minute intervals until I face defeat or deliver a knockout uppercut.
Although a knockout uppercut may be thrown and I appear to have won the battle, as they say, I may still be in jeopardy of losing the war. Additional sleep may have been won, but an opportunity to become faster and stronger has been lost. A glimmer of hope lingers that tasks scheduled for that morning can be completed later in the day, but based on past history, it does not appear likely. Neither of us will walk out of the ring victorious with our head held high. He has failed to remove me from my sleep coma and I have failed to allow him to give me the opportunity to become a better runner.