Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Wall


2014 was a transformational year. I accomplished a lot of things I never though possible just 12 months ago. Most of these were personal challenges, lose weight, run some races, take a hike and a few others. I have covered most of these individual event already in this forum, but today I am reflecting on my wall tracker, seen above. For me, setting written goals is such a strong motivator. Sometime early in the year I decided I would dangle a carrot each month, and set some sort of goal for the month. Some were races, weight goals, individual mileage challenges,etc. 

Without a list of these in my face every day in my office, the tendency to straggle off the path would have been strong. None more string than my December goal, running a 10k. two weeks before the race, I fell training and hurt my ribs pretty badly. They may have been broken, maybe still are, but either way the ribs hurt bad. I could not train, could not breath, could not laugh or cough without a good deal of pain. Yes, I probably should have gone to a doctor. The final set piece for my 2014 tracker seemed to be slipping through my hand, and I felt like I had no control. I felt like everything I did all year was wasted, and I felt like quitting. This was upsetting,I have had such a great year, I did not want to end on a down note. This race was supposed to be my strongest run, and best race pace of my year. By the time the race came the personal record time I planned was definitely off the list, I was worried I would even be able to run at all. By race day, I said screw it, I am running, as long and as hard as I physically can run. If I have to walk or crawl, I am finishing this damn race. I ran my race, and did the best I could. The last two miles of the 6.2 mile race were excruciating, I could not breath without sharp pain, but I did not walk, I did not quit. I finished the 10K in 59:32, under one hour. The time is disappointing, but considering my condition it was great to beat an hour. It was nice to have a friend run with me, he could has left me behind early, but he stayed along for the run. 

What I need to consider is even in the face of some pain, and a much slower time than I wanted, the distance and time I did run were totally unthinkable just 8 months ago. To run around 9:30 min/mile with an injury is crazy to me. Injured December me, would have dusted April healthy me by several minutes per mile. This isn't to pump my running up, I have friends that would blow by my best pace times, but this helps me put end of my 2014 in perspective.

The point here is all week leading up to the December race, my brain was saying "don't run, you can't run, you're hurt, just quit." But each day I thought that, I came to work and saw the blank next to the December goal on my wall. I rested and tended to my rib injury as much as possible, and by the day before I knew I could do it, but all because I kept my goal visible. I will take a minute to reflect and be happy for 2014, but as the sage Eddie Vedder says "it makes much more sense to live in the present tense." I will wipe the 2014 goal tracker off the wall soon, and move on. My 2015 goals are being formed now, and will be up on the wall before new years eve.

If you want to make a change, start now, find your wall, start challenging yourself, and write your goals down. Your goals can be anything, write more, run more, laugh more, volunteer more. Look at them every day, and accept if you are off course, and celebrate if you exceed. You will surprise yourself what you can accomplish if you just take the leap

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