Archive for Goals
This could be “PN” or “PD” (post Nyad or post Diana) – it doesn’t really matter. I just want to continue reminding you that your dreams are yours. As one reader commented though, they don’t all have to be physical. Diana Nyad’s achievement was not so much about endurance swimming as it was about the human spirit and she knows that and has tried to get that message across to all of us with her “three messages” and “Find a Way”.
So look at your day and do something different to get you going in a different direction. “That’s easy” you say – well, it’s not so easy. We are creatures of habit and that’s a safety measure built into our survival mechanism. We have to make a conscious effort to change things up. So pick one small thing to change and then do it. From my own experience I recommend you have alternative “changes” – all of which are small. Why? Because one might not pan out and if you have other options to pick from then you are more likely to actually do something instead of staying in the same rut and then spending the rest of the day or night chastising yourself for not doing it. We create more energy and “action” by criticizing ourselves for failure instead of looking at the situation and “Finding a Way”.
I’ll give you an example from yesterday for me. I decided to change up what I did when I came home. I planned on coming home and going for a run before my coaching call instead of just going to the grocery store to get dinner, coming home, eating it while reading, doing the call etc.
But as I was driving home, the same old pattern took hold and although I debated with myself with all sorts of “excuses” (it’s too hot, I’ll do it later etc), I ended up going to the grocery store first. So I “failed”, right? Not at all. First, I had thought about the habit/pattern and decided to make a change – that was definitely a different action/reaction than before. I was not operating as an automaton.
Then I “debated” which action I was going to take and why. Sure, most of the “whys” were excuses, not reasons …but – the key here is that I was thinking about it. Then I chose to NOT beat up on myself for not doing that ONE thing I had planned. I immediately looked for a different “change” to make (it would have been better had I come up with that option/alternative in the morning so I had some to fall back on but I didn’t and I learned from it).
So what did I do? I went and got dinner. But instead of eating it reading and watching TV, I ate it while sitting at my computer (instead of the recliner) going through and cleaning out my email. Was this the best course of action. Probably not – people will say I wasn’t “present” for my meal because I was multi-tasking and others will say it was still a waste of time. I disagree. All I know is that I felt good because I had done something different and had consciously thought about it. It was such a tiny little thing that would not be noticed by others. But my subconscious being sure noticed it and in this case it felt good – most likely there was no bad reaction from within because it was such a tiny change. You can’t make major changes right away. You have to work your way up to things.
Today’s action – take a look at your daily life and routine and see what one tiny thing you can change that has to do with your dream. If you aren’t sure, yet, what your dream is, then just change something. See how it feels. Then keep going. Decide in the a.m. what you’re going to change. Then write in your gratitude journal (also can be called your success journal) about what happened. See how you feel and go from there.
Let us know what happened.
ONWARD – Find A Way!
But the next day, what happens? You think about it (or not) and probably go right back to your old way of living.
Today is the day to make a change. To make a decision. Today (if you didn’t do it yesterday) you write a commitment to yourself about what you vow to do to follow a dream. Even if you don’t think you have a dream, take today to dig deep and write down all the things you’d like to do and have wanted to do since you were a little kid. DO SOMETHING and DECIDE SOMETHING! Don’t wait for another great human interest story to get you all fired up – for a few hours or days. Do this now. Then use my Define and Conquer 2013 program to help you “Find a Way” (Diana Nyad 2 September 2013).
You cannot just sit on your butt and expect that your dream will be brought to you because you wished so hard. You have to do the work. But if you decide to follow it and you aim high and continually refocus and regroup, you WILL achieve your dream.
There will be naysayers out there that will say Diana Nyad had it easy this year because the weather was good and there were no sharks and no jellyfish. Easy? Try enduring all she’s endured for the last 3 years with a near death experience last year, the disappointment and discouragement and the picking herself back up and looking at all possibilities and all avenues to find a way to combat those threats. I believe that Mother Nature said “ok, I know you’ve prepared and persevered so we will not throw much more in your way.” But ladies and gentlemen – she still had to do the swim. She still had to swim in the ocean for 110 miles, 53 hours never touching anything solid, not being able to rest her body and not sleep at all. And she’s 64. So don’t anyone say she had it easy.
You really can find a way. I will be on you about this all week until I feel you have either decided to do something or have really gone back into your habit hole (not rabbit but habit).
Let us know what you have decided to do!
Watch Diana walk onto the beach and deliver three messages for us:
Here’s her three messages:
“I have three messages,” said the breathless Nyad.”One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”
Diana Nyad is very close to achieving her dream and I am not only in awe of her and her accomplishment but have also learned a lot about life from following her for the past 4 years. Here’s just a few of those things (feel free to add whatever lessons you’ve learned – post in the comments section):
- All strength comes from within – it starts within and although it may spread outward, it is always anchored within and you have to keep coming back there.
- It’s not about age, gender or any other distinguishing or separating feature – it’s about dream, drive, determination, dedication, destination, development, and gathering the forces around you. The human spirit is so resilient once we wipe away all our limiting beliefs.
- You’re never too old. If there is anything that Diana Nyad has taught us is that you are never too old to accomplish feats that many feel are impossible even for younger folks. There are many other older people that have achieved such accomplishments but Diana has made it a crusade to reach out to the older generation to give them hope and to tell them NOT to give up no matter what. You really are only as old as you think.
- Don’t give up – The actual quote, I believe, was “When you are going through hell, keep on going. Never, never, never give up” when Winston Churchill said it. I ask people this all the time – what if Columbus had given up and given in to the fears that he would fall off the face of the earth if it really was flat? Another quote: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
These people have said it so much better than I could ever. I just know that you will remember when you gave up and have the “what if” syndrome forever. Don’t succumb to that syndrome. If it’s important to you, it doesn’t matter if it’s important to anyone else – it’s yours and yours to do. The Universe doesn’t just give out ideas for the heck of it. You got this idea and dream for a reason! Now achieve it! And remember Thomas Edison’s quote too: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
- Follow your dream – Don’t bury your dreams. keep them alive and find a way to make them work. “Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.” Marcia Wieder. How many of us have dreams and then say “nah, I could never do that”? And then you file the dream away. Diana had that dream for 35 years. It may have been buried since she didn’t swim during that time but it was in there buried in the soil of her soul, being nurtured like the rose. And finally it has bloomed. Make sure your dream is nurtured and never forgotten.
- Think of others – give of yourself and you’ll get so much more back. Gratitude, as I’ve said many times before, is the most powerful force in the universe. When you reach out to others, especially in times of your own struggle, the Universe will reach back and provide you with more strength to rejuvenate your energy banks.
- Have a plan – know what you’re up against and make appropriate plans as well as having contingency plans. Don’t consider failure as failure. As Thomas Edison said about all his attempts to create the light bulb – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison
- Be prepared – Goes along with contingency item – but need to be prepared – do your research so you know what you might be up against. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot … and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan. If you’ve tried and “failed” go over every step of that attempt and find out what you should have planned for. Then make changes in your plans and preparation in accordance with that.
- When you think you don’t have anymore, you probably do – just dig deep. Remember all those quotes from above and the ones that say that if you just keep going when you’re about to quit, success will be right over the top of that hill. Diana is having to dig really deep to cover these last “few” miles – they are not “few” at all as anyone with any experience in endurance sports can tell you. But she is trying to go deeper within than anyone ever has in order to complete her dream. This is so important to her and she will find her strength. You can and should also pull strength from others on your team or from the universe.
- Have a team and a coach – you can’t operate in a vaccum. you have to have a team and preferably a coach. Surround yourself with people of the same attitude and spirit. There are multiple teams working with you when you are trying to achieve something great – intimate team (probably you and your coach), close team (your support), research teams or work teams that serve one function per team (such as creating the prosthetic mask for Diana, the other jellyfish research that was done news, the team that created her special suit so that it met requirements), the world supporting you – it’s important to get the word out. There can be many different groups of teams – any successful organization has many teams. Always surround yourself with people who have the same values as you do.
- Don’t let people tell you differently – don’t let people tell you you can’t do something or that you shouldn’t do something. Remember Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote: “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
- Don’t be defeated before you start. If it’s a dream, it’s your dream and it was given to you to accomplish. Don’t think of all the obstacles or the reasons you can’t do something. As someone wrote about Diana – she’s the “anti-excuse”. There is no excuse other than giving in to your fear and you do not want to do that. Confront your fears and realize that your dreams are priority over your fear and over anything else that threatens to get in the way.
- Things will get tough but you just get tougher – know this ahead of time. Here’s another great quote for you: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Have a solution based attitude – not a problem based attitude. If you keep looking at something as a problem, you won’t be able to find a solution because you have to be looking for a solution. That is vital. Switch your mindset once you identify an obstacle.
- Don’t let anything stand in your way – If you find something that seems to be an obstacle, find a way around or over or even under it.
- Get support from others at large – there is great energy out there in the universe – let’s harness it – this goes along with the team concept but draw energy from the Universe. Ask for support and help. There are many people out there who want to help and want to do whatever they can for you. But you have to ask them.
There are many more lessons from Diana’s Extreme Dream. What lessons have you taken from this experience? Post in the comments section below.
Do you know what EFT is? I didn’t for the longest time but I will tell you that it’s probably THE most important technique I’ve ever learned. And although I had tried it (actually that should read “dabbled in it”), I didn’t think I knew how to use it effectively. I did know that it was something that made me cry out of the clear blue sky one time when I was “tapping” along with a CD I had ordered on pain relief. THAT really hit home with me but I still didn’t get into it as deeply as I should have – probably out of fear of the unknown and fear that I wasn’t doing it right (so the answer is to not do it at all right? NOT).
EFT is Emotional Freedom Technique or “Tapping” – it’s a form of energy medicine based on the meridians in your body (so based on ancient medical principles – the best kind there is that I’ve ever encountered). If you want to know more about what EFT is you can check out Gary Craig’s website (the founder of EFT).
But this is about another person who’s changed my life. She is Kay Christopher – my EFT practitioner (I think that sounds weird to put “my” in front of that – like I could own someone but then again people say that Dr. so and so is “my” doctor so I guess it’s accepted..LOL).
I “met” Kay (on the phone) over 2 years ago kind of by accident. She used to be a therapist and I needed an evaluation before a surgical procedure I had so a friend recommended I ask her. This friend (who is also on my “Top 30″ list so stay tuned) had told me about Kay’s doing EFT but since she lived in Austin I didn’t really see how I could do any of that “stuff” on the phone. But I called Kay to find out if she could do the other evaluation. She told me ‘no’ she didn’t do that any more. But since I had her on the phone and was anxious about the surgery I thought “what the heck” maybe I’ll see what this “phone EFT” is. So I made an appointment with her.
There was no looking back after that. I was hooked. And I began changing. Almost every week, Kay guided me through all the changes that were to come in my life. I had no idea so many changes were coming. I knew I wasn’t happy and that my life was actually quite a mess. But it was a nebulous entity – I was so wrapped up in work and was working almost every hour of every day (still trying to cover for a doctor who had died in 2007 and also creating a new computer system for our organization etc). My health was not good. I had no relationships outside of work (you need time for that). All my life equaled was work and I knew that at 62 years old I did NOT want that anymore. And this was even before I met Dan.
EFT helped unblock the energy flow in my body (my description, not anything official). Although major changes happen each time you tap, there are so many layers of blockage that it’s like the proverbial onion that needs to be peeled back.
Kay worked with me every single week – patiently helping me uncover areas that I wanted to work on. So we’d tap and tap and tap and almost every week another change took place in me. She is such an expert at uncovering my problem areas and asking the correct questions to find out what I needed – probing questions which I didn’t always like but I trusted Kay enough to know that they were vital questions.
Would I have begun working with Dan last year without Kay – I’m not sure. It took courage for me to go to the gym and ask for help (it’s always been difficult for me to ask for help all my life – until I got into working with Kay) because I felt I wasn’t worth it or worth taking up his time. I would have been worried about the embarrassment of an old fart working out in front of all the other people there, etc.
Would I have started running again without Kay? I don’t know that either. I suspect I might not have for the same reasons. Fear – she has helped me conquer so much fear in so many areas of my life – many people keep telling me how much I’ve accomplished in my life – and I guess they are right but FEAR has held me back from achieving so much more.
Would I have had the courage to show up at Parvaneh’s events and then ask her if I could actually continue running with the folks of her caliber. NO, I would not have had that courage. I can say that flat out. Without tapping and Kay’s “unroofing” of my inner fears and conflicts I would NEVER have showed up at that first event. And if I had, I would never have gone back. For that alone I owe Kay so much. I cannot thank her sufficiently.
You may be saying to yourself – “well, that’s her job, after all Terrie you are paying her”. And yes, you’re right I am paying her. But you can pay alot of people and still not have them help you to such a great degree week after week after week. A lot of folks reach their limits in how they can help you but Kay has NEVER reached any limits (except maybe patience with me but she’s never mentioned it fortunately) – her experience and knowledge are boundless and I continue to be impressed weekly with her kindness, compassion as well as her brilliance.
Thank you Kay – without you I don’t know where I would be today but it would definitely be in a very bad place.
Well, it’s amazing but not only did I complete my first 50 mile event in 15 years but it did NOT take me the 17 hours I predicted – I actually did it in less time than the other two 50 milers I did. I can’t believe that. Not bad for an old lady huh? And it was a trail run too! So there to any of you who say you’re too old to do something. We can do what we really want to do. But like everything else I’ve been trying to explain since at least last fall (if not before), it’s all about the feeling and the desire. When you set a goal you really HAVE to WANT it and have to put all the emotion into that you possibly can. A goal without the emotional desire is not going to get you there. That’s why you have to take so much time to determine what your goal is and whose goal it really is – yours or someone else. I can tell you that this was MY goal! But once I had that goal I had to have a team to get me to reach it. There were a ton of people on that team – those that helped from afar with encouraging emails or text messages, my personal trainer, Dan, who helped me build the core muscles necessary to achieve this (and improve my balance enough so that my other goal was achieved too – I did NOT fall), the volunteers at the aid stations without whom I could not have gotten thru (not just because of the food/water but because of the encouragement they provided), the EMT who was at the start/finish who although I didn’t need him was always a reassuring presence, the race director, Parvaneh who put this event on (and who has afforded me so many opportunities to go beyond my original goal of running another marathon (the 2012 New York City Marathon) after 11 years off running and thinking I would never run again) and who is ALWAYS there for everyone – even after running 100 miles herself last weekend, Niki Lake and Government Canyon State Park who allowed us to race on their trails, the other runners who always had a supportive word and smile and had more faith in me than I did, and especially three wonderful people – Renee and Greg Gillespie and Parvaneh (yes, the same one I mentioned above) for these three people got me to the finish line. I would NOT have gotten there without them – that is one thing I’m sure of. Maybe I completed my other two 50 milers 15 years ago alone but I wasn’t as smart back then as I am now. I have learned to accept help even if I am not smart enough to ask for it (I would never have been brave enough to ask for them to pace me but they came up with that on their own and I am so eternally grateful – I only wish I could let them know just HOW much they meant to me).
Here’s a few things that I learned on Saturday:
- I am very blessed for everything worked the way it was supposed to for me – the weather was perfect – it was just the right temp, not so much humidity, I didn’t fall, the rain kept the sun from beating down and reducing my energy, but it didn’t rain so much as to mess with my glasses except twice, the terrain was tolerable since I went with the group initially and then it was daylight, the wonderful race director allowed me to complete my last 10 miles on the pavement (Sunday’s course) which meant I didn’t have to negotiate the trail in the dark again, and as I said I had the support of everyone the entire day. I am sure there are other ways I was blessed but just don’t remember them right now. Other significant blessings and “perfect” conditions for me were that I was migraine free (unusual in the last month and with the weather Saturday), my knees held out, my blister didn’t show up til the last 5 miles and I was able to tolerate it – thank goodness for wool socks – Lord knows I stepped in enough puddles in the middle of the road (ask Parvaneh as my curse words broke the dark silence of the night).
- Being prepared is important but being able to be flexible is more important. I was prepared for the course because I had run it last week but what I wasn’t prepared for was that I had run it in the reverse direction. Now this might have been a bigger problem had I run over it a ton of times and gotten to know every nook and cranny but I hadn’t. So when I realized we were going in the opposite direction I was actually relieved because as I had been running it last week I thought that the other direction would be better because it wasn’t such an uphill climb. And I got my wish but that’s not the point. The point is that I was able to be flexible and rejoice in the difference. I had my headlamp and had spent a long time trying to find the best one and it sucked – bottom line – just plain sucked. But thanks to advice of my heroes again I also had flashlights that allowed me to traverse the route better. Prepare as best you can but also prepare for change and for the unexpected (such as mud and problems with glasses due to the rain). You’ll be much better off.
- It’s beneficial when you hurt in several places at once. It allows you to vary your focus – ha ha – seriously. If you only hurt in one place, then all your attention is on that one pain and it becomes magnified. When you have lots of aches and pains your attention is diverted and you become distracted (that’s what my life savers, aka pacers, tried to – distract me).
- You have to accept help even when you don’t ask for it – swallow your pride and allow people to help you – you’ll get farther. This is probably the hardest lesson I learned because it’s very hard for me to believe that other people who are much more experienced than me would want to help this old slow poke. But I was in such a state that I readily took any help I could get even though I felt badly that I was slowing them down and I know it was agonizing for them – they never really showed it so I was even more grateful.
- When you can’t think well let others think for you and don’t resist. For someone as independent as myself, allowing others to direct me was a novel event but one I did not resist. Whenever Renee told me “what are you planning to do at the aid station” that’s immediately what my mind went to, not “who does she think she is telling me what to do” – LOL – that thought NEVER ever crossed my mind. In fact it was funny. Early on she told me to just think from aid station to aid station and later she said something about we were almost done with this loop – to which I replied “no, we still have to get to the other water stop” – when she balked, I said “you told me to just get from one aid station to the next” and that’s what I was doing – see even after 30 years in the Navy as a cantankerous redhead I can still take orders – and follow them – something I was never very good at in the Navy and got me in a lot of trouble. Ha Ha.
- Keep your goal in the front of your mind at all times and have the reasons you want to achieve it right there. Think of positive things and remember that if you don’t do it this time, then you won’t step forward closer to your next goal (thank you for that one, Parvaneh, it’s brilliant). One goal I had was to stay upright. I concentrated on that heavily during the first loop or two but then I seemed to forget it and that was pretty cool In the last several loops I forgot about the roots and I find that almost miraculous. I was very grateful but surprised when I remembered it. That’s because my goals changed as the day went on. You start with a very large goal and then you break it down – as I mentioned above – getting from aid station to aid station and then even later it’s just going forward. It was funny, there was an incline in the 40-45 mile loop and I bent over to stretch and as I came upright I realized I shouldn’t have done that on an incline. It made me laugh and has nothing to do with goals but it brought a laugh and a smile to my face – a rarity at that point in the day. The point here is that you must create big goals and then baby goals and go for the baby goals to achieve the big goal. And pick something tangible that you can reach for. I focused for awhile on my “nemesis” – should have gotten a picture – and that helped me get through that loop until I found something else to focus on.
- Pain is temporary – both physical and mental. This is something that’s hard to hold on to because it still doesn’t make you feel very good when you’re experiencing it but know that something will come along to make it better – such as my heros – Renee and Greg showed up at the perfect time for my mental stability. They got me through the primary hump and then of course Parvaneh “took me home” – what a trooper she was – Miss Speed Demon was willing to slow down and drag me along for all that time. Amazing trio who did everything in their power to help me through any pains I was having and I’m so grateful (I realize I must have said that about 400 times already and I’m probably not done yet either ).
- Keep pushing past the “downs” – you will get to another ‘up’. But the caveat here is that it’s not always easy unless you have help. And you need to be willing to accept help. I grew up learning to be independent and being told that you shouldn’t rely on others to help you get things done etc. How wrong that teaching was. I have learned since Thanksgiving and especially since Christmas that you can lean on others and they don’t even feel it because you are part of their experience and you are a part of theirs. They know you’ll be there for them when they need it. On loop 3 (I think) when I was traversing miles 19-20 I was so “sure” I wasn’t going to make it. But then out of the clear blue sky totally unexpected was Renee – my angel in disguise. She helped me down my “nemesis” and all seemed well from that point on. My despair and hopeless feeling was passed because I had someone else in my life to help me over the rough patches. How great a feeling is that. And it’s not abuse when someone does it willingly and without being asked – it makes it so much more special. I have to tell you that I felt like the President or a Queen or something when I found out she was going to pace me and intended to do so. I had misinterpreted her facebook message to just mean that she’d be there to see me and yet she meant she was going to help me. What a beautiful glow that realization gave me. I felt special. And for awhile I felt I could do anything. And I did! But not alone – and you know what – that didn’t diminish its value at all – in fact, I think it made it even more special!
- If you have to focus on the “bad”, pick one bad thing and ignore the others. I found my “nemesis” as I called it early in the loop – a downhill with nice big rocks but they scared the you know what out of me and then even more so when they got slippery. So I focused on that primarily and forgot about the other obstacles – the other rocks and roots. Amazingly as the loops went by I forgot about the roots – good thing I missed them. Of course that was due to another great pointer from Renee – pick up my toes. I tried to remember that whenever I could.
The most important life lesson from this event, however, can be summed up in one word – KINDNESS – this whole day was really about kindness. The kindness and caring of everyone about everyone else. Even though each person was pursuing a goal of their own, traversing their own treacherous terrain (not really that treacherous though) and had their own endurance challenges but everyone was there for each other. There was always a smile, a “great job”, “looking good”, “keep up the great work” and you knew they really meant the spirit of it because they wanted you to succeed almost as much as they wanted themselves to (I said “almost” so I’m not in that Pollyanna world completely, ya know). That’s what I’ve learned from this group in the past 6 weeks (and actually since Thanksgiving) – they are with you every step of the way and want you to succeed! You have no idea how important that is when you’re just trying to put one foot in front of the other. The Kindness of the race director, the volunteers, the EMT, the spectators and the other runners was what got me through more than anything else – not my legs, not my will but their KINDNESS. Do not ever forget how important kindness is in your daily life. Make that your primary goal and you can’t go wrong!
I have done two of them before – but……that was 15 years ago AND they were on asphalt – this is on a trail – trails have rocks and roots – R2 or “R Squared”.
Those are two major differences. But I can’t dwell on the past or the fact that things are markedly different now than then. The fact is that some things are better and some things are worse (example – I’m in better overall fitness now than I was 15 years ago but I haven’t trained as much for the ultra part of this run as I did 15 years ago).
I do KNOW that my body can handle the distance – maybe that’s an illusion but I don’t think so. It’s merely a matter of how long it’s going to take me to cover those 50 miles and the inconvenience I’ll be causing those who support the race. It’s liable to take me 17 hours to do this. I do not like the idea that other people will have to “hang around” to wait for me. But, they will probably never find anyone as grateful to them if they do and if I complete this run. They and all the other folks that have been supporting me and cheering me on are my real heroes and idols. I have never felt so supported and encouraged and accepted by anyone in my life as I have with this group of phenomenal people. I can’t find enough words even to describe what they mean to me.
Thus, I have to put my worries aside and just concentrate on the task at hand – actually it’s two tasks – one is to stay UPRIGHT which any of you who know me and my running sagas know is a challenge in itself because I can (and have) tripped over a bump in the asphalt. And of course the second goal is to complete the entire 50 miles.
But I want to make this about the journey and not about the end result. And this is a lesson we all need to apply in life – if we depend on the end result to determine our joy then we might be sorely disappointed or unhappy. Let’s say that I don’t finish the full 50 miles but do 40. If everything was dependent on “finishing 50 miles” then it would be a total loss. However, if the joy and happiness I experience is dependent, not on the ultimate outcome, but on the journey so far and the journey I’ll step into tomorrow then two changes happen – 1) I can make it successful just by changing my mental attitude and 2) it will definitely be a success because I will be running (which I love), it’s a beautiful course (I’m so glad I went out and ran on it last weekend) and most of all the people there are wonderful and full of love and friendship. So how can it possibly be anything but a success? It can’t. If my training for the New York City Marathon last year had all been dependent on the final outcome of finishing the marathon, I would have “wasted” an entire year because the marathon didn’t happen. But it was anything but a waste because it was my journey back into running and training and applying discipline while building my body with the greatest personal trainer in the world and applying discipline that I wasn’t sure I still had. Most importantly, though, it got me out of the office finally – and I continue to struggle daily with not falling back into that “come early, stay late” mentality that plagued me for over 4 years.
And last but not least – tomorrow is a special day for at least three terrific folks – 1 will be doing her 350th marathon, another her 300th and a third person will be doing his 52nd marathon in a year (this man is so deserving of that because he’s such a gentleman). These accomplishments, in and of themselves, are worthy of my being there just to celebrate with them. So no matter what happens in my story, my world, there will be great things happening in this group on Saturday.
Learn to look at everything from different perspectives and discover the best way to approach them and your life will be so much happier.
I’ll see you on the other side of 50!
This could just as easily have been titled “No Limits” or “Limits are what we impose on ourselves” but I preferred all the Ps – see “prefer” is a P word too.
During this 7 day period I made an extra effort NOT to think about tomorrow or the day after or anything of that nature. I thought about “right now” and what I was going to do in the next moment in time. Later in the run I also thought about what I would do the rest of the day to see how I could recover enough to “possibly” enter the next day’s race. But if I had started thinking about day #7 on day 1 or 2 I would have completely psyched myself out and not even given myself a chance to try to achieve something that ended up meaning more to me than sitting around for several days during the holidays wondering about life in general and being unhappy that I wasn’t accomplishing anything.
I have a passion for running. I keep it pretty much to myself because I’m so slow and I’m not the image someone conjures up when they think of a “runner”. But it’s my passion for running and for continually striving for more (and different) in my life that made this such a powerful (another P word) 7 days. I was able to pursue my passion for running AND my passion to achieve more and more.
I had pain during the runs but it was all physical. I overcame any emotional pain that reared its ugly head because I had the tremendous support of EVERYONE on the course. It was as if we were one big happy family and wanted each other to succeed. The Physical pain was something that I just dealt with, hoping that it would pass or that it wouldn’t get worse and I could run (or walk) through it. I was not in any degree of pain as the majority of the people on the course who had been out there doing marathon after marathon for days and weeks by that point – Kevin was running all these marathons knowing that on the 4th of January he had to have surgery on his knee. Amazing man he is and I admired him so much for persisting and not complaining at all. He was just out there doing the miles. That inspired me so much. But I have to tell you that there was someone just about every step that inspired me. They were there helping me achieve a goal while they were pushing themselves to their limits with a smile and a cheer on their face. Hopefully you’re getting some idea of why I love all these wonderful people and consider them family even though I just met them. So, I learned that pain is a relative thing. And that you can push through it. Simply concentrate on something else and you’ll have it made. It might not be easy but if you put your focus where it should be – achieving your goal, then you’ll make it through the pain.
Problems are similar. They are a matter of perception and perspective. Once again, if you close your mind to the existence of a problem and only look for a solution then you’re several steps ahead of the game. Often times we focus on what’s happened (the problem) and get stuck there without extending ourselves out to what the possible solutions might be – there is ALWAYS a solution – we just have to be willing and able to expand our mind to find that solution. When you get old and set in your ways, that’s not always easy. During these 7 days I didn’t have many problems and if I did, they were overshadowed by my FOCUS on putting one foot in front of the other to make it to the finish each and every day. I focused not only on that but also on what was good and fun and what I was learning from my MP3 player (until the porta potty ate it of course). I took deliberate action to change my focus each time I started to think about a problem. I knew what I wanted and I was going after it. So often in life we drift along like a log in the ocean, letting the waves move us around willy nilly. We don’t realize that we have the ability to control our destiny with our thoughts and with our focus. If you look through a magnifying glass or a microscope, you see a very, very small portion of life – and you can only see it well when you focus the lens. That’s what we have to do in our lives. Find out what it is we want to look at (achieve) and then focus on getting to that point no matter what. Focus on the end result and you’ll find a way around any obstacles or roadblocks (such as pain or thoughts that you’re at your limit – mental rubbish). You’ll be able to get across the raging stream, climb (or circumnavigate) that mountain. You may have to revise your timeline and your plan but you do not necessarily have to revise your ultimate destination. A good example of this is what I think I wrote the other day about realizing that although my goal (one goal) is to be able to run back to back marathons, I tried last week but my body wasn’t ready. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever be able to do that. It just meant that I have to revise the timeline for that goal, not give up on it. That’s the other thing that people do – they give up instead of revising.
If you have a passion, pursue it! Love what you do and do what you love – I learned that during those 7 days too and have tried to apply them to my life every single day and I encourage you to also. Be persistent in your pursuit of that goal. You will be able to achieve it. Focus and put every thought and action toward that achievement in some way or another. Even those things in life that don’t seem to have anything to do with that achievement are related somehow because the Universe puts everything in your path that’s supposed to be there. You have created every opportunity and event in your life and its yours to do something positive with. Don’t waste a moment!
Enjoy today and know that you’re one step closer to your achievement – you just have to focus on it more.
I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy preparing for and holding the first class in Define & Conquer 2013 and once again, the Law of Attraction has brought me the greatest group of people! What a class we have. They are going to Shake Things Up in 2013!
That’s kind of pertinent to the title of this post - overcoming obstacles. One of the steps in planning your success achievement is to determine/define potential (or past) roadblocks/obstacles. “Why is this important?” you might ask. “Isn’t this focusing on negative things?” – to both these questions I would say “great questions”. Because it shows that you’re recognizing that the Law of Attraction brings you what you focus on. But as Abraham says is that to get the Law of Attraction to work for you in the way you want you really have to focus on the solutions not the problems. But often we don’t even recognize that there is a solution until we identify the problem. It’s similar also to Abraham talking about how when you know what you do NOT want, it’s very easy to know what you do want.
But that is not really where my focus was during those 7 days of running. Which, by the way extended so that I was able to do 2 marathons and 7 half-marathons in two weeks! That’s a really good accomplishment for me. When I was younger (alot younger) I once did 3 marathons in 14 days which I thought was pretty cool then but didn’t do all those half-marathons during the same time period). Even though I really wasn’t conscious of it, I was continually focusing on the solution – which was extremely simple at that moment in time – just keep moving forward – forward progress was what it was all about.
So, what obstacles did I run into? It was rather funny (even at the time) because I could recognize the Universe being very bored and playing a little game with me. Here’s what the dialogue between me and the Universe was like:
Terrie: “This isn’t so bad. I’ve made it through one day without problems.”
Universe: “Ok you – see how this feels”
Terrie: “Nuts (it really was another word but this is a family program) my upper back is hurting and it’s only 5 miles into the half-marathon”
Universe: “So you’re willing to put up with that huh – let’s see how you handle running without anything coming into your ears except the sound of your breathing and other people running by (ha ha – this will get her)”
Terrie: “I can’t believe it! My MP3 player fell in the portapotty. No way am I going to have to retrieve that. And I have 7 miles to go…arghh.. I’ve never run for that long without something in my ear – music or class or something. What am I going to do now?”
Universe: [After it's done laughing its butt off about the portapotty event] “Well, I see Terrie is more resilient than I thought.. I was sure that losing the MP3 player would stop her. Hmmm…let’s see what else I can come up with.”
Terrie: “OW! What the heck – my ankle is hurting when I step on it and I don’t know why. I didn’t twist it or anything. And I have so many miles to go”
Universe: “This is getting frustrating – I thought that the ankle pain would definitely get her to stop but it didn’t. What’s next I wonder……”
Terrie: “It’s so blasted cold, wind and wet. I’m soaked and my fingers hurt from being cold. Thsi is no fun anymore.”
Universe: “Darn, she didn’t like the weather issues but kept on going anyway. What is it with her? I’m just going to keep piling on and see if she has a breaking point”
Terrie: “I can hardly walk now that I’ve finished the marathon. I don’t know what I’ll be like tomorrow – not sure I can run again.”
Universe: “Shucks, I was sure when she was so sore after the marathon that she’d stop this foolishness and give in to me. But no, she’s back out there again today. Crap…oops”
Terrie: “My knee is really really hurting me. I may have to walk for some miles. But I’m not going to give up now. I’m almost done and all these folks (especially Parvaneh and Chris) have been so supportive of me. I can do this.”
And on and on it went. But you know what?
My focus and desire to complete these events overcame everything. And although my only solution at that time was to just “keep going” which is so simple, I was only able to “just keep going” because of what I really really wanted – which was to complete these events. When you have a burning desire (even if it’s something small like this that, although small, took alot of effort), your focus is on getting to the other side no matter what it takes. So no matter what mountain or stream or valley is in your way, you will get across to the other side because that is what you are meant to do – AND you are focused on achieving something, not avoiding something. Meaning – my focus was on achieving running these events for 7 days in a row (and as an aside completing a marathon before the year was up). My focus was NOT on the pain, the soreness, the absence of sound in my ears – those were all things I didn’t want and so they helped me hone in more on the thing I did want – to get to the end. I did NOT focus on lack or the Problem, I focused on the Solution – getting to the other side and constantly asked this question “what will it take to get to the other side?” In this case it was simply “forward motion/forward progress”.
Develop a plan for meeting obstacles with a different perspective now. Always keep your goal in mind and in sight and say “how can I get to my goal.” Remember, too, though that it’s always acceptable to revise and refine your goal if you think that perhaps you weren’t realistic about it when you developed it. For example, I realized that I was not realistic in thinking that I could run back to back marathons this past weekend given my stage of development. But I took it as far as I could before making that decision. I got up and went out there and tried. And at the half-marathon point I looked at the potential outcomes – both the good and the bad of my pushing further and decided that the cons of continuing to run outweighed the pros at that point and that although I wasn’t going to achieve that goal that day, it did NOT mean I would NEVER achieve it. It was just an unrealistic time frame and I needed to refine that time frame.
Enjoy your weekend and I hope you’re as successful in your Achievement Plans for 2013 as the folks in Define & Conquer 2013 are going to be!
Terrie (who has a new MP3 player by the way…LOL)
As I started my attempt at running a second marathon in 7 days yesterday, I wondered what the next 7-8 hours would bring. My first steps let me know it wasn’t going to be a great day at all – my shins were burning making me stop frequently (just like the old days). They eventually loosened up so I kept plodding along. I wondered how I could feel so cruddy after only 4 days off and why it was taking me so much energy to just think I could even finish the half-marathon to say nothing of actually doing the full marathon. I was amazed at the downward spiral my mind was taking. I was filled again with self-doubt and self-judgment/criticism – the bane of our existence. It was as if that special week in time was a figment of my imagination, a dream, even a fantasy…..How could I possibly have done 7 days in a row and done a full marathon after 5 halfs and now with this 4 days off I can’t seem to do anything? What was going on?
But then I realized it was about momentum!
I was able to do the other events because I had the momentum and just “kept going”. As I was running (a combination actually of running/walking yesterday) I drew the parallel between this sequence of events with my realization and life and pursuit of any dream/goal. It’s interesting how we can continue moving forth once we get started and even the uphills don’t seem so bad because we are already moving. But if we stop for a bit and then try to get started again, going uphill in life consumes a phenomenal amount of energy and it seems so much easier to just turn around and go backwards down the hill or just stay where you are, never venturing further up the hill. I remember the one thing I never wanted to do was get off my bike on a hill because for me it was virtually impossible to produce the amount of energy it took to just get started when you’re already on the hill. To keep on going no matter how slow while the wheels are spinning takes energy for sure but not as much as starting from scratch.
Maybe this is why so many people have trouble when they are “dieting” (it applies to the pursuit of any goal however). You do really well and then for some reason, something happens and you aren’t as “perfect” as you think you should be. At this point, it’s like stopping on a hill (the way most people look at diets or weight loss) and it’s probably a hill you didn’t want to be on to begin with anyway. Starting up the hill again (resuming your rigid control of your food intake) takes so much energy and seems like an insurmountable obstacle. Rather like me yesterday thinking “how on earth did I do all that last week – or did I really do it? How am I going to be able to run even 13 miles today?”. Looking at the accomplishment – the final result – was the insurmountable obstacle. I had to readjust my vision and focus (remember we talked about that in part 3) to concentrate only on the next step, the next mile, the next lap etc. That was the only way I was going to regain any momentum because the 4 days that my life returned to ‘normal’ had disrupted that amazing momentum that I’d had and relished in.
So what did I learn from that? You have to keep the momentum going no matter what it takes. The danger zone lies in stopping. We can’t ever stop moving – preferably moving forward in some way, shape or form, but at least moving in some manner. When you work toward your dreams, your goals, those things you want to pursue, examine your feelings and use your feelings to generate the passion that will produce the momentum for you. Take small steps, look only at the small chunks (my new favorite phrase is “chunk it down”) for they seem much less insurmountable than the big picture. Just keep going in some way shape or form.
And even more importantly you just HAVE to have a support team and a coach. Even if the “coach” is not an official coach, create one. Find someone you can work with or even just look up to. I keep reiterating that without Parvaneh (the most wonderful race director in the world) I would not have even thought I could accomplish any of this. And yesterday was no exception, she and the other folks continuously cheered me on.
In case you’re wondering, I did complete the full marathon and I’m pretty darn proud of it. The last 4-6 miles were very tough for me but then Parvaneh, Angela and Dagmar dragged me with them for the last mile and I made it.
Just keep moving forward!