Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Quote Day

Luck is what happens when
preparation meets opportunity.
~ Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD

In other words, you can't credit your good fortune to whichever way the wind blows.

It's hunting season here in the Middle of Nowhere. You will occasionally hear someone say, "What a lucky shot!" But really? Is there such a thing? I'm not a hunter, so I wouldn't know. (Remember, I'm the one who invites all the neighborhood deer to live in my woods during hunting season.) But I can hazard a guess that the lucky shot goes to the man or woman who peers deep into the leaves and branches, understands deer behavior, becomes one with the woods and happens to be toting a loaded gun.

Or consider a pilot landing a small aircraft. He or she may think that just-executed smooth landing has everything to do with luck. I'm a private pilot who has walked away from any number of landings thanking my lucky stars. But really? I was trained well, I practiced regularly and I was prepared for whatever might happen as the wheels hit the ground. Did the wind change direction suddenly? I can correct for that. Did I misjudge how far it was until the runway came up to meet the tires? I prepared for a bit harder landing.

It's easy to blame poor results on bad luck, as well. We in the weight loss and fitness game know better than that. Poor results – as in a weight gain, since that's what we're talking about here – mean we burned fewer calories than we consumed. Plain and simple, no luck about it. Burning fewer calories can mean we didn't exercise enough or we ate more than we'd planned or, perhaps, there's a medical problem which prevents us from burning those calories.

I'd love to think that's the box into which I fit, but my annual check-ups tell me I'm still within normal ranges. Darn it.

One thing's certain: Bad luck has nothing to do with the day of the week.

I'm going to watch out for black cats, though.

Note to Marla: Yes, there is such a word as "overdrinking." And I've also heard and used the word "overserved." It wasn't that I continued to order drinks beyond my capacity, it was the bartender's fault! Heh.


ws said...

I was thinking of you this morning when I read a column about Stanford's current quarterback who is the son of a star quarterback from West Virginia University. His last name is Luck and they keep writing all of these headlines like "Stanford Wins with Luck." A bizarre and convoluted connection to your post regarding luck, but a connection nonetheless. Perhaps even ironic. The WVU quarterback was Oliver Luck, by the way.

that's enough out of me...have a good day.

Marla said...

OMG, overserved! How incredibly non-blame-taking.

Yes, "luck" is an overused and misused word. A friend visiting my house told me I was "lucky" to live in such a nice area. No, luck had nothing to do with it -- I worked very hard to be here. I feel... appreciative to live here, perhaps I would say "blessed" if I was religious, but there was no luck involved!