Nailed to a tree on one of the trails in Centennial Park is this sign, Shoot 4 the Moon, If you Miss you will Land Among the Stars. I travel on this trail at least once a week and every time I pass the sign I roll my eyes at the absurdity of it. The moon is only 385,000 km from earth while the nearest star ( also known as the Sun) is over 93 million km away. I doubt that I would overshoot by that much. Besides the moon’s gravitational pull is strong enough to affect our tides on earth, so I would have to really miss by a wide margin to avoid being pulled in. It would be more likely that I would undershoot and I don’t even want to think about the consequences of that. I shudder to think what would happen if NASA shot for the moon and missed.
Obviously this quote is not meant to be taken literally. It actually is intended to be motivational, encouraging people to Dream Big. Set your goals so high that even if things don’t work out you have still achieved something very amazing. As a runner this is exactly what I do.
When I train for a race I always have an “A” goal… a Shoot for the Moon Goal. I prepare for that goal by committing to training hard and doing all the right things such as hydrating, eating properly and getting enough sleep. On race day if all the conditions are favorable I will reach the Moon. But……you can only control what you can control and that is why I always have a “B” goal… the Landing Among the Stars goal. Sometimes things go awry. There are a lot of things that can go wrong.. inclement weather, injury, illness and about a hundred other things. My “B” goal is the result that will make me happy when conditions are not optimum.
Sometimes I even have a “C” goal which is to simply cross the Finish Line upright. That would be the equivalent of avoiding falling into a Black Hole if you shoot for the moon and miss.