Regardless of whether you are an elite athlete or a recreational walker or runner, keeping perspective about your personal health and fitness goals is essential.
How many athletes have you known, or heard about in the media who have sold the farm to achieve their goals? Many athletes have put off their careers, family, and life in general all to “make it.” The problem is that these moments of glory and fame, if they come, are fleeting. In the years to come, as the talent, motivation and opportunity are gone; nobody will remember what you did. Perhaps having had some perspective would have been better. Work on the career, have a family and then try to “make it.”
So for the recreational athlete, be careful about lofty goals, keep perspective on what makes you happy at home. Your family, friends, children, the dog. Have goals, but keep them attainable. Keep them within reason and have a ton of fun along the way.