On Those Who Gave Up On Their Dreams / Working On My Physical Condition

August 08th, 2014


This text was fully written by humans.

  • In this article, I reflect on meeting two types of people who give up on their dreams: those who limit their opportunities for development and those who abandon learning altogether due to dissatisfaction with the system or a desire for stability.
  • The ability to navigate the scientific field goes beyond scientific skills, requiring managerial and social skills, which some gifted students may lack.
  • I also share my personal journey of breaking physical barriers, becoming more active, and successfully completing challenging physical activities like climbing Kilimanjaro and participating in the Dodentocht march, where I also helped and motivated others, forming lasting friendships.

On The Two Types of People Who Forget Their Dreams.

Helplessness, complete helplessness… I always feel this way when it comes to meeting someone who gives up on their dreams. Unfortunately, whenever I come to Warsaw and meet some of my friends from undergraduate studies, I get the impression that some people “get realistic” and give up what is important to them.

Actually, I met two groups of people. Some of them simply limit their opportunities for development, for example by not going abroad. They argue that they have started families, that they have aging parents, that they simply cannot leave for long because of these ties and duties. 

It is a pity because this is how they get used to the low living standards. And then, they consider, for example, low wages, long teaching hours, lack of equipment, beaurocracy, and other factors like this as normal.

But I am even more sorry to meet those who have always shown great talent and work ethic in college, and yet, now they give up learning altogether. Either because they don’t enjoy the whole system or because they are fed up with the uncertainty, follow their nesting instinct, and prefer to develop a stable family life. 

What Are The Main Reasons For Giving Up?

I have an irresistible impression that it is not the amount of work and uncertainty that are decisive here. Namely, the fact that from some point in a scientific career it is not only hard scientific skills that count, but also managerial skills, the ability to socialize, sell oneself, and so on. These are the skills that someone who was just a gifted student might never need. 

And then suddenly a hard clash with reality. I don’t know what to say every time I encounter a situation like this. In fact, almost all of the particularly good students of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw I dealt with, have already lost their way. I am sad, because I have the impression that with time, mainly those who can use elbows stay in science. 

But at the same time, I feel a kind of fullness — gratitude for the fact that in high school and college, apart from the joyful times, I also had hard times sometimes. Now, I don’t break so easily, and I consider failures to be normal and expected on the way up. And I can’t convince my friends in any way that it is worth the risk.

Building My Physical Condition.

This was the sad part. On the other hand, I am pleased to say that I am slowly breaking down the physical barriers in which I was stuck until recently. 

Before I had lost my job and my dream guy, I was a couch potato who worked out maybe an hour a week —- in a good week! Then I decided to become an athlete. I did work out every single day and a few months later, I stood at the top of Kilimanjaro. I also did a mountaineering course, and then consistently went for an jog almost every day. 

I also went for the famous 4daagse march, and to my own surprise, I was able to complete it with ease. And last weekend, three weeks after the event, I did a 100 km Death March known as Dodentocht, in Bornem, Belgium. I had poor timing in this march, finishing in just over 23 hours (against the 24-hour time limit).

Feeling Empowered and Making New Friends at Dodentocht.

But this was because I was sleepy after a long journey straight from Poland, and because I helped other people on the route and walked significantly below my pace. Especially two boys from Germany. From the 60th kilometer where I met them, they were both about to give up. I started talking to them intensely, telling them the Kilimanjaro story, and boring them with questions about the politics and economy of Germany that I had in general.

This chat was overly not interesting, but I wanted them NOT TO think about how many kilometers they have left, but rather to deal with independent topics. Then they thanked me for it. We entered Bornem together, and we drank a triumphal beer together as well.

Besides, in the middle of the tour, I met a boy whom I talked to just because he was walking very slowly. He answered me with a sad smile that it might be time to give up, because his feet can’t stand anymore. I only had one last Ketonal pill I got for the surgical removal of the eights. I gave him the pill and continued on my way. 

I passed him a few kilometers before the finish line. He seemed fresh and he was smiling. While looking at him, I was sure that he would make it to the end. He thanked me and I feel that without my little intervention he could really give up. And that was my real success: not only did I complete the march myself, but I also dragged three other people with me to the finish line. We are friends on Facebook and chat online until this day.

And thanks to this, I felt that I had made great progress and that I had a lot of energy. People on the route told me that in their eyes Dodentocht is more difficult than a marathon. That’s also why I feel proud that I did it, and with a reserve of strength. By the way, I definitely recommend marching and speed walking. Great sport — the only difficulty is keeping your feet in one piece.

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Please cite as:
Bielczyk, N. (August 08th, 2014) On Those Who Gave Up On Their Dreams / Working On My Physical Condition. Retrieved from: https://nataliabielczyk.com/working-on-my-physicality/

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