authenticity 101

fitness

One Step at a Time


DetroitMarathon

Although I was never much of an athlete in high school, I did enjoy curling, as well as track and field. As an adult, I continued with the curling by didn’t start running again until a few years ago. I did some sporadic running and a few 5K races with a friend. But there was no consistency or real motivation.

While discussing my lack of physical fitness with a fellow coach during my coaching training, I was challenged to run after I mentioned it as a interest. Sign up for a marathon she says. I laugh and say no way. That’s ridiculous, I’ve never run more than 7K. I don’t have time to train. I don’t like it that much. However, as we continued with the conversation, I realized that actually, I did want a running goal that was outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to get fit and stop with the excuses. So I counter-offered with a half-marathon.

I ran my first half-marathon in 2009 in 2 hours, 22 minutes. On October 16th, 2011 in Detroit, I ran my second one in 2 hours, 9 minutes. I am finally comfortable calling myself a runner and I am probably in the best shape of my life at the age of 45.

The thing that I find fascinating about this is that I had lots of excuses for why I couldn’t do it when the challenge was presented to me. As a coach, I spend a lot of time telling other people that anything is possible, yet I really believed that this particular challenge was not possible for me. Then I realized that running is exactly the same challenge as every other situation in my life: it takes patience, perseverance, support from others and the willingness to do the work. There are no short cuts to achieving what we want. It’s a process, and a commitment to putting in the time and the effort to reach our goal. One step at a time.

There were plenty of mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed to run. There were times I skipped the runs and then realized the only person who would suffer was me, as I wouldn’t be ready for the race. I actually called my brother-in-law Trevor the month before to ask if he was backing out of the race so I could have an excuse to cancel too. Thankfully he said “let’s do this thing!” and we crossed the finish line together. It was a lot of fun in the end and I’m so thrilled that I persevered and did it.

Not everyone has to run a marathon or even a half-marathon in their life. There are multiple ways of stretching ourselves past what we think we are capable of. Whatever your goal is, whatever you aspire to do, start with the end in mind and take the first step. Each little step in the direction of your vision will get you closer to what you want to accomplish. Believe me, I have seen it over and over in my own life and in the life of my clients.

I challenge you to take the first step toward your particular goal today.