No topic I could come up with today could eclipse (pardon the pun), yesterday’s amazing science news. It took the cake. Elon Musk’s SpaceX company successfully launched a heavy-payload rocket. The test payload: a Tesla Roadster – product of another of Musk’s companies. At the wheel of the Tesla was “Starman”, a human analog wearing – incidentally – one of SpaceX’s space suits.


It was so extraordinary, on so many levels, that I still haven’t taken it all in. But when the two re-usable booster rockets touched back down simultaneously on their respective landing pads, I had no words!

I know the new Tesla has some astonishingly fast acceleration, but I’ll bet even Starman will be changing his shorts after today’s ride. Sorry Mom.

So I’m still in awe of this amazing string of accomplishments, beginning with the thing not blowing up the launch pad. But I think we can draw some inspiration from today’s monumental event. There is no significant accomplishment without significant effort. And THAT is really one of the big ideas behind this whole fitness challenge.

Effort. I don’t think what is important is simply our accomplishments. And neither do I think what is important is the raw effort we put into something. Physically, a big strong person and a small not-so-strong person lifting the same weight do the same work – the same raw effort. I think what is more important is how much effort we put into something relative to our ability.

Elon Musk is astonishingly clever whose work ethic, by all reports, would make ants or bees stop and take notice. He has earned his accomplishments.

I believe there is a sense of fulfillment when you work hard at things, when you put in a good effort, one which comes close to your maximum ability. As a teacher, I always try to recognize and affirm effort when I see it. It is the effort which matters. And learning to try and to continue trying – even in the face of fatigue, discouragement, and failure – is an attribute of a determined person.

So the rocket story really is one of determination. And while you may not be an Elon Musk, that’s perfectly okay. You have some abilities, and if you are committed to giving a full effort as often as you can, you will probably find that your determination to accomplish things will result in, well, accomplishing things.

Effort is work. Learning to throw a sustained effort into a long-term task usually takes training and some discipline to keep at it. But, effort does not go unrewarded. You grow as a person when you apply effort to a task.

We are a week into the challenge. Keep up your good effort.

And, Dave:  2160.