Have you ever worked really hard for something? I mean really hard? Pushed your boundaries and limits? Stood toe to toe with some big fears or limiting beliefs? Made sacrifices? Said “not now” to dozens of things to keep your eye on the prize? Got REALLY focused because you wanted to explore what was possible?
Then hit the brakes? Pulled the plug? Hung up your hat? Called it quits?
That happened to me on Monday.
For the last 7 months I had been training for my first triathlon – an Olympic Distance Tri - .93 miles of swimming in a lake….25 miles on a bicycle and a 6.2 mile run.
So why a Tri? Why that distance and not an “easier” entrée to the sport with a short sprint distance perhaps? Here’s why…..my body turned 45 this year (in my mind and heart I still feel 26 – what about you?) and over the last 2 ½ years as I’ve made conscious choices about my lifestyle, eliminating diet soda, artificial sweeteners and processed foods, and eating primarily a plant based, nearly completely organic diet, while releasing over 60 pounds I became keenly aware that my body has a strong desire to be healthy and fit – like seriously craves physical activity and much like my mind which I keep tuned up with perpetual personal development – my body wanted the same.
I had also been thinking about demanding more of myself. Focus, discipline, and commitment.
So in December I signed up for the Chelanman. Sent a message to two of my closest friends and stared at the confirmation on my computer….wondering how on earth I was going to make it happen.
Oh….and have I mentioned I do not swim well – in fact I sink…..and am deathly afraid of drowning and dying?
Slowly I put together a training plan that would work for me – looked for resources to support what I did, enlisted the support of colleagues and friends and publicly asked for accountability….I’d never done that before.
And within days of sharing – I noticed something……everyone around me said, “How great!” “Good for you.” No one said, “Are you nuts?” Or my all-time favorite, “You know you could die.”
I increased my walking to running, learned about my gait, tried a new shoe, went back to my favorite brand, listened to and read ANYTHING Beth Baker, Founder of Running Evolution put together – began to understand the psychology of running and was getting 15-20 miles/a week on my shoes.
Spent two days in a Total Immersion swim class – dealing as much with the head game of being in the water as the actual practical application of TI swimming – and actually saw improvement.
Began early morning swims in a cold community pool with a bunch of ladies who were well into their 70s who with seeming minimal effort glided through the water, who after a few weeks would ask me how it was going and would say, “good for you dear….I certainly couldn’t do that….” And yet they were the ones who would swim, non-stop for an hour – while I had to pull over every 15 minutes sucking wind and calming the panic attack that was rising up when water would get in my nose or fill my goggles.
I don’t own a bike, so borrowed one from my bestie. Had gotten my longest ride in, last week at 20 miles.
As the date of July 18 quietly kept marching toward me I was feeling good - scared, but good..
Then I took a tumble over Memorial Day weekend – little set back on the training front – but kept moving forward – though slightly more slowly – then 5 days ago, on what would have been my last long run I slipped and fell…..hard…..it was one of those epic, windmill arms, feet going in opposite directions, almost catch yourself and then down you go moments.
I knew as I lay on the path this past Sunday– staring at the clouds drifting overhead, that my knee – was not happy – and in my heart – the thing I had been training for…the Tri that had been marching toward me – was going to march on alright.....but I wouldn't be in the parade.
Sitting with ice on my knee – watching movies – I kept working on the power of positive thinking – I could will this away – it was just a little bump – tomorrow it would be fine…..nope.
According to the nice lady doctor on Monday morning, a strained meniscus with a possible partial tear.
I spent a good amount of time journaling through this week and kept coming back to the journey of entrepreneurship, and here’s where I see the parallels:
Set BIG goals in your business – don’t set them based on what you think you can do – set them based on what you DESIRE to accomplish. You might need to break them down a bit. I do know you’ll achieve greater results than if you play it safe.
Invest in yourself and get professional support. Your budget should include line items for professional and personal development. Stay at the top of your game in your industry. Hire a coach to keep you moving forward, to be a sober second thought and sometimes a swift kick in the pants.
Share you goals with the world! Don’t keep them a secret, people want you to succeed, and they can’t support you if you don’t tell them what you are setting out to accomplish!
It’s ok to slow down. Running toward your goal at the expense of everything else isn’t wise.
Know when to call it quits. Sometimes the program, the product or the launch aren’t ready to be brought into the world. Changing the target date doesn’t mean failure, it indicates wisdom in your vision for your business. Not now – does not mean not ever.
So continue on my friends! Whatever you are working on personally or professionally know that it is right there for you to achieve. If you have to adjust your timeline and timing – it’s no big thing. Remember, a rocket on its journey to the moon doesn’t get there in a straight line, it’s a series of tiny adjustments the entire way that gets it to the goal.
Thank you to each of you who checked in along the way to see how I was doing, and a BIG heartfelt thanks to some special souls who coached, encouraged, laughed with and kicked me in the pants these last few months:
Deanna Nikolas – you’re the best friend a girl could ask for … 40+ years of friendship and still going strong.
Jack Smith – you and your crazy idea of a TI swimming class on a weekend in January absolutely freaked me out – and I NEVER would have gone alone. You taught me a lot about the headspace of athletics, and how beers and burgers always taste better after a workout.
Drew Ragan – Working out with you and your team at IMPACT made me aware of fitness in a way I never thought I would.
Beth Baker – through your work with Running Evolution you gave me little milestones to mark my progress, helped me understand the primal thing that happens when we run and how to get that under control. I still can’t say running is “fun” for me yet…..but I know I’ll keep going because of you. There is no doubt in my mind your goal of teaching one million women to run will be achieved.
Sara Dean – The tips on wetsuits and how to get into them was invaluable! Though – trying them on when its 90 degrees and having a subsequent panic attack because I was stuck – rivaled my undergarment story I shared with you from 20 years ago! You are a brilliant business woman and it is easy to see why your clients achieve so much success through your work at Sync Fitness.
Until I can get on the road again.....Mr. Hounderton is keeping close watch of my sneaks....