Yesterday I ran my first-ever 5k road race. In the grand scheme of things, running a 5k race is far from a major accomplishment. But in the grand scheme of my things it was.
“I suck at running.” That’s what I told myself for years, and it served as the perfect rationale for why I shouldn’t even bother trying. Over a year ago I had purchased some expensive shoes and some high-tech clothing designed to keep me dry. What I couldn’t purchase was the motivation to really try.
I went out a few times. My legs hurt. I would often speak to God, asking for the strength and stamina to get to the next telephone pole. Yes, I guess I really wasn’t good at running and now I had some current data to base my conclusion upon.
A couple of months ago I revisited running. This time I brought a better attitude on the road with me. I’d been reflecting upon life and noticed a pattern where I’d enthusiastically jump into a new hobby or activity and then slowly watch the excitement fade away. The dust-covered guitars hanging on the wall were daily reminders. It was time to lace up the Asics and decide once and for all if running was something I could commit to or if it was just another example of a well-intentioned good idea dying a slow and painless death.
So I started running. This time, though, I didn’t get discouraged with running between mailboxes and having to stop to catch my breath. I stuck with it. Each time out was a little better, which made me look forward to the next time out, each run a little longer than the last.
It’s been said the most important part of goal setting is who you become in the process. It’s the new habits, the focus, and the discipline developed along the way. I found myself eating better, getting more rest, and getting up much earlier. I’m usually out of the house by 4:30 AM these days, my high-tech clothing accessorized with a reflective vest and an LED headlamp flashlight illuminating the road in front of me. On a clear fall morning the dark sky is the backdrop to the glow of the moon and constellations I’ve long since forgotten the names of. An amazing start to the brand new day.
It’s not just about running. It’s who I have become in the process.
Going through life with the habits, focus, and discipline you need in order to start living your life the way you’d been longing to is quite empowering. The momentum of accomplishment after running 7 miles before most of the neighborhood has woken up carries over into the rest of the day.
Momentum plays such an important part of everyday life. Ever notice how good days tend to get better while bad days usually get worse?
What is it you can do to generate the positive momentum in your life to take you from where you are to where you want to be? What are the habits, focus, and disciplines you need to embrace in order to bring the ultimate version of you to life? Small changes often yield the greatest results.
Think about it.
Then make it happen.
It’s a great day to be you!