There is magic in beginnings. It’s a week before Learn to Run, 10km and Half Marathon training groups begin. And I get to be a part of the story of people’s beginning, which is a great privilege and an inspiration as well. There’s something pretty amazing in the story you haven’t written yet.
The cool thing about the beginning is that the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. And that thought is more powerful than you probably think it is. Every morning when you get up you get to write your story. And it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, or last week. It’s a new story and you are writing it.
In the beginning, everything is a personal best
It doesn’t matter if you’re returning from training after a break, or it’s the first time you’ve started. If you haven’t run before, everything is pretty new. And if you have, it feels new. There’s a promise in the beginning and the promise talks to you.
You are always proving how amazing you are
When you do things that you didn’t think you could, you prove to yourself that you can do other things that you didn’t think you could. And it starts to take over other parts of your life as well. All of a sudden, so many more things seem possible.
The beginning IS amazing. But what happens after that is even more important.
You know what giving up looks like, you get to find out what happens if you keep going
The mistake of all or nothing thinking is buying into the idea that success or failure have end-points. But there is no end-point. Your health and fitness are not about finishing a program. It’s your entire life. So it doesn’t matter where you are, your only focus is to keep going. Keep going no matter what.
Goals give you a framework for progress and a path forward
There might not be an end-point, but there are markers a long the way that are going to give you the drive to keep going, when it doesn’t seem easy and effortless. Goals should be specific, measurable and realistic. Don’t make goals with an idea of your ideal week where everything goes exactly to plan. Make goals based on your average week. You want to feel like you are kicking those goals, not barely struggling to hang on.
To start with work on goals for:
- Four weeks
- 2 Months
- 6 Months
- 2 Years
And review those goals every four weeks.
Celebrate your achievements
Notice those small wins. Celebrate them. Did you do all of your sessions for the week? It’s not something, it’s the beginning of a big something. Don’t downplay it.
Make decisions based on your goals, not how you are feeling
It’s easy to decide not to go out for that early morning training run, if you go by how you are feeling. I usually feel like staying in bed where it’s warm at 5am. But a goal will get me out the door.
Challenge yourself to get out of your own way
Your biggest hurdle is usually yourself. That inner monologue that tells you that you aren’t good enough or strong enough or worthwhile enough. That inner voice will convince you that you are just lazy. That you are never going to be able to run. It will convince you that it’s not who you are.
But you decide.
It’s ok to hear that voice. Everyone has one. But just ignore it and do what you are going to do anyway.
The biggest fear anyone has is that the inner voice was always right about them. But it isn’t. So don’t let it get under your skin like it belongs there. It’ doesn’t. And you’ve got work to do.
How we learn is key to moving forward
One of the most important things for learning is feedback. And although for most of us we don’t think we need it as much for running and fitness. But it’s exactly where we need it the most. Without there is no context for what we are doing. No way of knowing if we are doing things well or doing things poorly. And in a vacuum it is very easy to get discouraged, focus on the wrong things and miss our opportunities.
And even more than that, taking what we know and teaching others is also really important to being able to internalise our own learning. This is why we have group coaching in Learn to Run and our 10km and Half Marathon Training groups, because support and mentorship will change the way you think about yourself.
Find your tribe and you’ll always have a reason to keep going
All the best things in life are based on people connecting to one another and connecting to a sense of belonging. Once you find your tribe, all sorts of things that didn’t make sense before start to fall into place.
Your tribe will teach you that the reason you could never fix yourself, is because you were never broken. Your tribe will believe in you, before you believe in yourself. They will show you that you are capable of so much more than you think you are. And on a bad day, the tribe will show you more consideration and understanding than you have ever dared show yourself.
The tribe will take you wherever you want to go. All you have to do is show up.