Where do you go when you reach the goal? Do you reset the goal knowing you can do better? Do you re-evaluate the goal to focus on something else? What about the sacrifices you've made along the way? Do you go back and try to put right those things you brushed off in the name of getting to your goal?
One of the inherent problems I see with having a goal based on athleticism or some other type of competition that requires constant practice is that eventually you have to come to terms with where you're at, how you got there, and is it worth it to keep trying to go forward. You know that once you settle for what you've achieved its basically a slow downward spiral in terms of your ability. The question then becomes did your enjoyment come from the activity itself or was it the focused reaching of the goal that brought you happiness?
Obviously, if the activity brought you joy, then you can still keep going with that activity as long as you're ok with knowing that you're no longer at the top of your game. However, if its the challenge you relish, how hard is it to keep on going with the knowledge that you've reached the top and are sliding backwards. While I could pretend this is about any part of my life, its pretty obvious that I'm talking about riding and racing my bike.
I'd love to be one of those gifted individuals that has raw talent that can take them into the upper echelons of the sport, but I don't think that's the case. I feel like I've put a lot into reaching the level I'm at. I'm still nowhere near the top, but I feel like I've reached the level of rider that I originally set out to be. Now that I'm here, I know what it is going to take to keep me here. I also look back and see the things I've pushed aside in the name of getting to this point. The ever growing wake of sacrifices chugs slowly along behind me.
Do I keep adding to that sacrificial wake knowing I haven't reached my full potential (even though I've reached the original goal)? Or do I turn back and attend to those sacrifices and do what I can to repair those items. Would it feel like I've given up on my goal now that I know there's more to be had? If I turn back, do the items I've sacrificed to get here now seem like they were wasted without cause? So many questions beget more questions. It really just boils down to what makes me happy and can I still find happiness if I become less than what I know is possible in order to not have so many sacrifices. Where is the balance point?