By anyone’s standard, I was an overweight young adult entering my first semester of university. The winds were changing though. I was growing hungry for looking and feeling better. Over the year and a half that followed, I managed to shed the excess through a strict diet and daily exercise. Losing nearly a quarter of my body weight was no easy task, and it had once seemed impossible. To this day, my student card remains in my wallet as evidence for non-believers and a personal reminder of how far I’ve come. When people hear this story for the first time, the question I am always asked to field is: “how did you do it?”
I am not here to tell you that I owe all of my success to running. The mental approach I took towards my weight loss then and towards improving as a runner now, however, is the same.
It is a fact of life that when it comes to achieving long-term goals, the habits that get you there are rarely easy to form. The first three weeks of my diet overhaul and out-and-back jogs nearly broke me. Initially, the idea of quitting grew stronger with every bite and every stride. Weighed against these negative feelings though, I was being rewarded by a greater and greater sense of pride with every healthy meal and workout I consecutively put behind me. I eventually came to the realization, “I’ve come this far already. There’s no turning back now.” Therein laid the key.
It has been many years since I’ve crossed over to the ‘healthy side’, but the lessons from that experience remain with me always. I learned small wins need to be celebrated when we’re chasing after a large and distant prize (e.g. completing a marathon). We must hold tightly to them and trust that the suffering from an intense workout will subside well before the ultimate goal is reached. There is a point along the journey when it will suddenly dawn on us that it has become easier to keep going than to stop. What once seemed impossible will then seem inevitable and that feeling will carry us through to the finish line.
The steps towards achievement are not created equal. The first can often be taken on a whim. The next few are true tests of resolve, with the familiar starting point still over our shoulder, and the end completely out of sight. Anything worth doing gets harder before it gets easier, but by appreciating the importance of every step, we will continue to astonish ourselves with all that is accomplished.
About Pace & Mind
Pace & Mind is a company dedicated to the runner who runs for their life. Who never gives up. Who overcomes. Who believes in the running community. Who is humble. Who dreams. Who escapes. Who gives back.
Visit our Coaching Programs to learn more about our services: coaching, group runs & routes, health and wellness tips and community events: http://www.paceandmind.com