Mark Terry

Thursday, September 30, 2010


September 30, 2010
I don't remember how old I was, but my brother was still in the house, so I was probably 8 or 9. (My brother is 7 years older). The Olympics were on and he made a comment: "I'd give my eyeteeth to be in the Olympics." (That particular expression is an oldie, but part of the Terry Family lexicon).

I'm fairly sure if my brother were to read this, he'd say something along the lines of, "Guess not."

Because I'm sure we both agree, if you want to accomplish something major, whether it's to be in the Olympics, or to write novels, or compose symphonies, to paint pictures, to finish marathons, etc.... you have to give up something. Maybe a lot. Unless you're a genius (and perhaps even then), what reaching the "best of" whatever endeavor you're in generally requires a tremendous amount of hard work (unless you become a TV "reality star," in which case dumb luck and society's stupidity plays a major role).

I saw a video somewhere in which Olympic swimmer Dara Torres walked people through her day--up before 6:00 AM to hit the college pool to train by 6:00 and do 10,000 meters, then involved in weights and pilates-type exercises, etc. Aside from a nice and comfy warm bed, what did she give up? How about junk food? And given that she's been married something like 3 times, what would you think she also gave up?

Perhaps that's the price of obsession/passion, a fine line I won't discuss today.

In my run-up to being a novelist and full-time writer, I gave up tons of hours of doing nothing--watching TV, reading, working out... etc. It's hard to quantify and for the most part didn't seem like a sacrifice, although perhaps my wife might feel differently. It can't be easy being married to someone with an obsession. But when I compare my life now to all those years of cramming in writing at night and on weekends and during lunch hours, etc., well, wow!

Thoughts? What have you given up?


Blogger Spy Scribbler said...

OMG, have you seen this movie: Dogtooth? The eyeteeth play a pivotal role. It's one of those movies that's so f*cked up, it's awesome. It sticks with you.

I honestly don't feel like I've given up anything, really. I suppose I gave up a lot, but it felt more like choosing cooler things. Hey! I know! I gave up indoor plumbing! LOL. I have to put my shoes on and get dressed to go to the potty in the middle of the night. But I also get to admire the stars, so it's a good trade-off.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

The question doesn't ask for the trade-offs or what you get instead--and you're obviously a glass-half-full kind of gal.

I would say, despite what I apparently gave up--and on a grumpy day I might think a lot--that I have no regrets, that the sacrifices paid off for me in a major way, if not exactly in the way I thought they would.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

If you truly love doing something, although there is sacrifice, you probably aren't aware of it. I love your blog and look forward to many more posts. Thanks for sharing.

skype ellen_thorp

12:01 PM  

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