I am a big believer in getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things and challenging yourself. But, to be honest, this usually involves things that I think would be fun for me personally, like going up in a hot air balloon or rock climbing. They would be nerve wracking for me but not paralyzing.
A few months ago, on a whim, I signed up for a 10km run (which is 6.21 miles). Running 10km was one of the most awful things I could ever imagine doing. In fact, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thought I would be literally crawling, bleeding, across the finish line.
As I was training for it, I found myself fantasizing about injuries. “Oh, sorry, yes, I would love to do that run but I have a cast on my leg, so… ya, no can do…”
Throughout my training (or lack thereof), I could not run farther than 5km. Actually the farthest I ever ran was 5.7km! And as I trained, I heard this little voice saying:
- You’re too old for this
- You’re too fat
- You’re too busy
- You’ve got more important things to do
- You’re not a runner
- You’re too out of shape
- Who do you think you are? You are not a runner!
On the days when I was tired, and feeling like my lungs and legs would simultaneously explode, I would take a shorter route. Afterwards I would feel guilty, like a failure, a cheater.
Here’s the thing: At the time, I didn’t see it for what it was – TRAINING. Even when I ran shorter distances, I was still training, still getting a little bit closer to my goal… Those shorter “put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other-and-don’t-vomit-dammit” runs were actually bringing me closer to my goal of running 10km.
So last Sunday was the Big Day. The Vancouver Sun Run. And guess what? I did it! I cannot even explain the feeling I had afterwards. I challenge myself all the time, but to be honest, most of the time it’s things I know I can do. But this run… I tell you I was not sure if I would still be standing afterwards.
Here I am at the 9km mark, only 1km to go!
That feeling of satisfaction was unbelievable. You can’t buy this feeling. It’s so precious and the only way you can get it is to earn it the hard way.
My friends, what I want to share with you today is that even if you can only work a little bit towards your goal, you will still get there one day!
Whatever your goal is, think about the end result… Keep that in your mind and hold onto it. Don’t let it go! Then do one little thing to move you closer. Maybe it’s only 15 minutes of writing. Maybe it’s only 15 minutes of running…
If you only have 5 minutes, try this: Sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and think about your goal. Just think about it. Imagine how you will feel when you get there. Imagine you’ve already done it. Really feel it. Congratulate yourself! Take another minute and just think about the steps you took to achieve your goal. Even if you only have 5 minutes, this is a great exercise that will actually bring you closer to your goal.
Stop beating yourself up for things that you haven’t finished. It’s simply not worth it. And it’s not going to get you where you want to go.
Give yourself credit for taking small steps towards your goal and remember, they all add up!