Idealists End Up at the Right Airports

We’re just getting started on the concrete justification for chasing dreams and an idealized life around here. In fact, there’s a good chance that you’ve got a couple pessimistic bones in your body to begin with if you’re battling any logic that says doing that which makes you complete is a good idea. I’d like to speak to that pessimism.

You see, though I disagree with you, there is good reason to be pessimistic. If you’ve observed just about any amount of human action, you’ll be slapped across the face with the reality our innate ability to screw things up. We open businesses and fail. We try to look cool and we trip and fall. We’re the personification of imperfection. That’s were the whole Adam and Eve story starts, isn’t it?

Wouldn’t logic go on to say that sticking your neck out there to live the life you really want then is just about the closest way to guarantee a failure? It seems that way to me. We are destined to screw it up, after all, right?


Well, sort of. Before you pull out the Team Pessimism flag and start a Go FundMe page, hear me out. Idealism, perfection, or whatever you want to call reaching for the proverbial mountain top is almost always guaranteed, even in the most successful cases, to result in some disappointment. There are, however, some unique perks to such pursuits. These perks are the entire point of reaching for that mountain top in the first place.

For starters, there are things available only to people on max effort pursuits that cannot be made available to half committed pursuits (SEE: courage, heartbreak, success, and most importantly the lessons of failure). Secondly, there’s a concept most eloquently described by renown author and survivor of the Holocaust, Viktor Frankl, that encapsulates exactly what I’m talking about. Footage of the famous talk at a conference in Toronto describes it beautifully.

In his talk, Viktor makes reference to the both the idealistic pursuits of man and our knack for failure with a beautiful metaphor of learning to fly an airplane in a crosswind. When learning to fly, pilots learn that there is a maneuver called “crabbing” when dealing with a crosswind. This “crabbing” technique would demand that an airplane flying from West to a point in the East would need to overestimate its destination, aiming North to compensate for the crosswind in order to hit its desire destination. Failing to do so would result in landing south of your destination.

Frankl urges that this is synonymous with the human experience. This natural pull (or crosswind) built into human nature is going to leave us failing and undercutting our every move. We, then, must over estimate our abilities and demand idealism in our lives even if it means knowing we’ll likely fall short in order to get where we want to go. Knowing, then, the unfortunate nature of humanity’s short comings, wouldn’t choosing any other path than idealism be the real recipe for failure?


Logan Gelbrich


10/22/15 WOD


Even: 3 Keg Clean and Press (AHAP)

Odd: :30 Max KB Swing (AHAP)


**Athletes receive six scores (KB Swings)