When the new year starts I enjoy hearing people’s new year’s resolutions. Since I’m usually juggling about a hundred projects, I love hearing what people are up to. I don’t necessarily make a new year’s resolution myself. Although one year I did resolve to unsubscribe from all of the junk mail I get in my email inbox every day. I do highly recommend that. While it’s completely annoying at the time, the end result is great.
Anyways! The past couple of years most of my goals (resolutions) for the year have revolved around exercise. After I completed my first half marathon in 2011 I kept coming up with new things that I wanted to try and so far it’s been easy to come up with a new exercise related goal. I try to spend time during at least one run at the very beginning of the new year where I let my mind wander to not only praise myself for how far I’ve come in the last year but to set my sights on something new.
This week I started reading My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock. In short, after losing her job Noelle is lost in life until she sees a quote in a coffee shop that inspires her.
“Do one thing every day that scares you” - Eleanor Roosevelt
This begins a one year journey where Noelle works to confront her fears.
In thinking about the new year and my personal goals, this spoke to me. The idea of fear and how it’s impacted my life. But another part of the book also put things into perspective.
“When I was little I was always trying new things.”
“While not always a success - dodgeball, I remember, being a particularly low point - I still tried. We didn’t have a choice. Back then we had teachers and parents making sure we challenged ourselves. Then I became an adult. The luxury of being an adult is you no longer have to do things that make you uncomfortable.”
I found this interesting and incredibly true. (especially because the dodgeball part also applies to me)
Who in your life is going to make you do things that are uncomfortable?
When I started running I trained using the Couch to 5K program. I remember the first time I had to run a continuous 2 miles on the treadmill. I came in to work and declared I wasn’t going to do it. I was too scared. It was so long ago now that I don’t remember how I convinced myself to actually do it. But I do remember the amazing feeling of accomplishment I was left with. That started something. Thinking back there were more times. My first race. My first 10 mile run. My first bike ride/transition to run while training for the triathlon. Different obstacle. Same fear of the unknown.
Clients, friends, family are asking me all the time, why do you what you do? For example, why would you run 13 miles? What gives you the desire to ride a bike for an hour and then get off and immediately go for a run? Are you crazy?!
Then it occurred to me. I am addicted to overcoming fear. I’ve been exposed to the incredible feeling that comes along with conquering something you are afraid of. And it’s addicting.
I’ve told others you can never replace the incredible feeling when you finish your first race. On my journey I’ve completed three half marathons, run 19 miles of a full marathon, completed a sprint length triathlon and achieved my goal of running a half marathon in under two hours. Each race has been different and none of them have been perfect. But my heart will always hold a special place for the times I completed my first half marathon and triathlon. That feeling.....overcoming fear, excitement, pride. After each of these races I’m ridiculously proud of myself, my fear has been completely replaced, and it’s a feeling I never want to quit having.
I’m thinking Eleanor has it right.
While I still haven’t completely set my goals for this year, I have a few things that are on the list for sure. I’m going to do another sprint triathlon this Sunday. I’ve got my running buddies all lined up so we can start training for the spring half marathon and I plan to do another half in the fall. I’ve already met so many milestones and I’m in such a happy place as far as a workout routine. I’ve decided I want a break from trying to “beat” my previous time and pushing myself really hard.
I’ve decided this year I’m going to try to enjoy each moment. I’m going to enjoy my running friends who keep me motivated along the way. I’m going to enjoy (and continue to appreciate) my loving husband who is supportive of me and my “crazy” adventures. And I’m going to enjoy my sweet little boy who gets bigger by the second and I can’t believe is going to be 4 in just a few short weeks!
Whatever your goal is for this year, your resolution or “crazy” idea, I hope it becomes yours. And like the times I have overcome a fear, that achievement finds a special place in your heart. My wish for you is that you won’t be scared and that you’ll enjoy the journey along the way. I’ve learned for myself that amazing things can be accomplished if you can put fear aside.