Going the distance

By and

It took Tsunemi Kubodera more than two years to meet a goal he had made for himself. He was determined to be the first to photograph a giant squid in its natural habitat below the ocean’s surface, so Kubodera-as part of a team of Japanese scientists-spent two years of his life dedicated to this one aspiration.

As I watched the special on the Discovery Channel, completely intrigued by the process the scientists used to photograph the giant squid, I couldn’t help wondering what my life would be like if I made such a large goal and spent a long period of my life completing it.

Presidents’ Day weekend was rife with tales like Kubodera’s on TV, so I watched with interest how driven some people really are.

Jacque MacDonald had another amazing story that I happened upon. She spent nine years trying to find the man who murdered her 32-year-old daughter. One would think that after nine years of billboards, television shows and fliers, she would have tried to move on. Even her family thought she had an unhealthy obsession and that she needed to let go. But MacDonald was relentless. She told her family that none of them deserved to have a life until they found the murderer.

MacDonald stunned me. I couldn’t help but think that I would have given up by then, unable to deal with the constant reminder of the loss. These people made me think not only of the goals that I have made in my life, but also of the goals of people I know.

One of them is Sheena McFarland, who I must say is a brave and honest person for the goal that she has given herself.

Former editor in chief of The Daily Utah Chronicle and a writer for The Salt Lake Tribune, McFarland landed herself the coveted job of columnist. But she isn’t just your regular columnist-McFarland’s column chronicles the victories and struggles of a weight-loss goal she has made for herself: to weigh 160 pounds by her 25th birthday on Sept. 19.

To put it bluntly, she has balls to go public with a goal that most people give up on a week after New Year’s.

I am envious of these people’s willpower because I know that right now I don’t have as much as they do. I would have given up on the giant squid, gone to therapy for the loss of a daughter and I would never have had the guts to let the world know my plans for weight loss and have to be held accountable for them.

But that’s what’s great about the people I admire-Kubodera got his pictures of the squid, MacDonald’s daughter’s killer was brought to justice and McFarland is losing the weight, and I have no doubt that she will complete the challenge she has given herself.

I want to be more like these people-to set a large goal and come through in completing it. Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from the squid photographers and self-made detectives in this world. Desire comes in all forms; we just need to take hold of our goals and not let go until we complete them.