Saturday, August 13, 2011

Whatever It Takes, Make It Happen!

"Sometimes I start my day by running 5 1/2 miles, not because I want to, but for the simple fact that nothing that comes my way can be as hard as what I started the day doing."

This quote comes from Mandy, a college friend who aspires to complete a half marathon and seems to be doing awesome with her training so far! She posted this quote on Facebook a few days ago, and I liked it so much that I decided to add it here. Now, Mandy is the mother of five children under the age of five, so I can't fully compare myself to her when it comes to time management, but between work and family obligations, I think we all know what it's like to ask ourselves that big question: How do I find time to exercise? Well, the answer is that if we keep waiting for the perfect time frame to open up, we're never going to get anything done, because life does happen, and we have to make time for the goals that are important to us. I tend to get very irritated when personal responsibilities interfere with my ideal workout routine, but we've all been there, and that's when we just use whatever time we can find to squeeze it in, even if it's only 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, etc...

What's my point? Oh, right. The point. :) Well, I really like Mandy's idea of running first thing in the morning. Getting out of bed early enough is definitely the hardest part, but I can understand the value of achieving something difficult before moving on to the rest of your day. The excitement of completing a great workout rolls over into everything else you do after that, which makes it worth considering. In general, though, if you're feeling less motivated to exercise, it sometimes helps to switch it to the exact opposite time that you usually head to the gym. Instead of going in the late morning or early afternoon, maybe you could try an evening workout and see if you feel any difference. It's always good to experiment with different times and figure out what works best for you.

Today was a very important and exciting milestone for me, because I managed to get up this morning and run 15.2 miles!!! I've never run that far before at one time, and with walk breaks and everything, it took three hours and nineteen minutes to finish. I really realized, more than ever, that once you hit a certain number of miles, the physical part of it kind of stops, and it becomes almost completely mental. In your heart, you know that your legs can take you six more miles, but when you're exhausted and sweaty, is that what you necessarily want to do? Right then and there, you just have to do whatever it takes to finish, whether it's by taking a five-minute walking break, putting a new song on your iPod, or simply looking ahead and concentrating on something in front of you...the cars driving by, the strip mall to your right, or the trees surrounding your path. You have the choice of stopping--after all, nobody is physically forcing you to do any of this--but you know what your goal is, you know what you set out to accomplish on this day, and after all the work that has already gone into it, you are determined to finish what you started...and somehow you will, if you just tell yourself you're going to do it.

This is what you do when something matters enough to you, because when it's all over, and you're thinking back on it later in the day, nothing feels better than knowing you stuck with it and got the job done. It's incredible what the mind and the body can do when they work together...and believe me, they have to be in sync with each other when you're reaching for something big. If you want something badly enough, you'll find a way to get it, because when you let that mentality take over, that's when you find the will to take on the physical aspects of it. I hope everyone gives themselves the opportunity to experience this, with whatever they are working toward in their lives, because there's nothing like it! Mandy has said "I love knowing that after I run, there isn't a thing that can break me", and right now, I can honestly say that I know exactly what she means!

Question of the Day: Have you ever had a workout, a job-related task, or any other type of goal/responsibility where you suddenly realized that if you didn't just do it, it wasn't going to happen? Do you remember something particularly powerful that went through your mind, or anything specific that you did to make it to the other side? If so, then please share it! :)

Hope everyone enjoys their Saturday and the rest of the weekend. My parents and sister are tailgating right now (hopefully the rain won't start up again) and going to the first pre-season Bears game of the year, while Baba and I will be enjoying it from the TV at home! Bear down, Chicago Bears!!!!!!!!!

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