Mind over Matter….
Have you ever wanted to do something for so long but you never made the time for it? And it could be something many of your friends do without blinking an eye like, oh I don’t know…jogging a mile? Running a half marathon, for example?
I’ve been an active person all my life. In grade school, I could run a strong relay race and 100 meter dash but I could never win cross country. I was always one of the last kids to finish! Except for the childhood asthma, I was in pretty good shape. But that poor endurance haunted me for years.
Now in my forties I decided I can’t ignore the importance of good cardiovascular health any longer. Until recently I could barely only run 1.5 miles on a treadmill. And I didn’t do that often at all. My personal best at the time was last January- a crazy 2 mile beachside run in dead Australian heat with my cousin, Jeremy. I think I was trying to prove I could keep up with a 20 something year old too! (The things our ego influences us to do!)
I Just Did It….
The Arizona Myeloma Network annual fundraising race was coming up within 2 weeks. In addition to supporting my friend’s charity, I used this event to make this happen:
I told myself I’m going to run 5 kilometers. I was tired of putting this off.
I registered. There! I was committed. No turning back now.
I put it on my calendar.
I scheduled my training- outside and in the gym.
I looked at the calendar every day to remind myself I’m running 5K on April 12th.
I practiced meditative breathing while I ran. It’s a great way to control your breath and promote oxygenation of the brain and limbs, as well as the heart.
I practiced my regular meditation and visualized a successful event without injury.
I reminded myself I am human, not superhuman and being my first race ever, my goal was to run this without stopping, not necessarily to win. In other words, I was going to compete with myself.
I didn’t use a coach. I didn’t know much about the strategy of running long distance (for me, 5k is a “long” distance). So I paced the whole thing and let other runners pass me. The first half mile was the toughest but once the burn in the thighs wore off I was on auto pilot really engaged the meditative breathing.
I didn’t pay attention to the race categories because I just wanted to finish this 5K. So, had I had known the woman who crossed the finish line several yards ahead of me was placing third I would’ve booked it and passed her at the end of the last lap around the race track! I was just so focused and relieved I was completing a successful first run. I placed fourth out of 17 female runners in my category but I let missing third place bother me for a few days. Once I brought this all into perspective I realized I did win. And I did it to raise awareness for cancer something close to my heart. I accomplished something that years ago, I never thought I could do. I decided if I’m going to raise the bar, I will have to find another 5K soon. And I’m very competitive. But this could get addicting, and risky if I’m not careful about a longstanding knee instability. I’ve treated runners in my practice and now I have deeper appreciation for the magnitude of concentration and stamina involved in the sport!
So, one thing checked off my bucket list!
What’s YOUR Intention?
If there is something you always wish you could do, why not explore the possibility? Putting your mind to something while it still excites you is the first step in building a strategy. One of the biggest obstacles is taking the first step. For me, I had to commit by registering for the race. Then I worked backwards and trained (quickly though). Most of us won’t get moving on a project unless we have a solid deadline. So, set your date. Use my strategy listed above for some ideas, even if you’re not running a 5K. I found self- talk helps- just keep it all positive of course!
Mind over matter.