The WartHog and the Finish Line

Hmmm….. what’s the sunny-side-up way to put this? Well, over the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to really fall into the well (off the horse, into the gutter, pick the metaphor that works for you!), hang out in the well for a while to really become familiar with it, and finally, to pull myself back up and out to dry land.

Wow — I have a new appreciation for that physics law that “an object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest tends to stay on the sofa and watch television…” Isn’t that it? I had a week-long business trip to Washington DC, and let just a few days slip by without working out, and without really paying enough attention to my eating. AND KERPLUNKKKKKKK….. into the well….. Much to my great embarrassment, I believe that I have gained back just about whatever weight I had lost, and spent a few days feeling, well, very unhappy to find myself in the well.

And then, I discovered this video and it absolutely cracked me up. I LOVE this warthog – he is my new buddy and mascot. It captures one of the ways that I feel about this Quest. I am NOT going to let my ____________ (you can fill in the blank “desire for comfort” “victimhood” “tendency to seek sympathy” “discouragement”) get the better of me. This feisty Warthog captures the sense of TENACITY, and STUBBORNNESS, and maybe even PISSED-OFFNESS that frankly I want to muster, and that I DO feel in my gut.

My buddy the Warthog reminds me that when I encounter and obstacle… it’s just that, an obstacle. He reminds me to keep my eye on the vision that I’m really going after for myself. He reminds to get right back up on my feet and charge that damn obstacle!

But, that’s not the whole story. I was teaching a class of brilliant coaching students this weekend, and shared with them my experience of falling into the well. They asked me to take a look at what this would be like if I imagined CROSSING THE FINISH LINE. What does that represent? Who do I become when I view this endeavor from the standpoint of crossing the finish line? If I put myself there, what do I see?

Initially, I see the thrill of accomplishment — the exhilaration of being victorious at something that was a challenge. I feel exuberant and triumphant. I feel pride, and joy. It makes me realize how much I want this!

The next thing I see is YOU – faces of people supporting me (all along this journey and in many ways), and I feel deep gratitude for all of the people I love and who love me, and the many people that inspire me and encourage me. It reminds me of why I am doing this — in addition to my own health, I have a deep hunger to learn about how we overcome challenges on our journeys.

When I imagine the finish line I notice that I am, well, a bit of a mess — I see that I’m not the fastest, and I see that I’m weary and maybe a bit bruised. And what I notice about that that catches my attention is the sense of full acceptance and compassion I have of of my fallibility. Amidst the strength that I see is vulnerability — I see my human-ness and human-mess and it feels raw and real and rich.

I notice when I envision the finish line that I have a great sense of honoring myself — of making the choice to take very good care of my body and my heart on multiple levels. While I feel shy to write this down, what I notice is a peace of mind that comes from loving myself. A quiet but steady voice that says “of course I am worth taking good care of…” From this vision of the finish line, my choice is toward acceptance, love, ease, and gratitude. I know that I long to have that experience for a larger portion of the time than has been the case in the past, and I know that it is possible.

~ by Art on March 29, 2009.

9 Responses to “The WartHog and the Finish Line”

  1. Hi Art

    it’s very powerful to acknowledge the down cycles as well as the ups and to see them for what they are and continue on
    I love your tenacity and love reading about your experiences!
    rooting for you all the way!

    • Thank you Jeanne! Yes, it is up and down and up and down, but with some learning at every step…



  2. Hi Art, I want you to know that there is also the possibility that while you have gained weight, that weight could be muscle. I’m choosing to see your weight gain as potential fat loss and an increase in muscle size and strengh. It’s funny how the weight is not even there as you cross the finish line, just you and the line…. such joy and the euphoric feeling of accomplishment!

    I am truly awed by your human-ness-mess. Thank you for your vulnerability and trust, and I can’t wait to meet you in person.

    Loving you loving the challenge – Warthog style.


    • Hi Doug,

      How nice to get your note! I appreciate it. I like the vision you painted.

      I too look forward to meeting you in person – good things to come!



  3. Hey Art,
    Please know that we will all be cheering for you on your path to the Finish Line. I will look fwd to reading up-dates on your journey (meaning you better up-date your blog often! 🙂

    • Hi Sibel!

      Thanks for your words of encouragement…. glad to know that you’re on my tail!



  4. Hello dear one:

    What a fantastic post. .. the image of you, crossing that finish line in whatever condition you are in, celebrating and loving yourself is potent. is your clear commitment towards more love, acceptance and ease. You are such a remarkable man and I love you with my whole heart.

  5. Although much better looking, I believe you possess the same tenacity and spirit as the warthog. My guess is that you’ll run into that lion again somewhere along the way. You’ll be on the lookout however… more buff and quicker on your feet (and more hair). So brave of you to post this. Hope you’re feel’n the love!

    • Hi Joanie,

      I’m so glad that you find me better looking ; ). Even more than that, I dooo aspire to Mr. Warthog’s level of tenacity and spirit. Thanks so much for your comment.



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