And that’s just what they’ll do!
In my effort to train for a 10K race, I am learning new things every day. My latest fascination in the whole world of running is all the different shoes available. Yes, I realize that this is probably pretty obvious, but I just hadn’t given it much thought before. And any attempts at running I had previously made were rudely interrupted by bad shoe choices on my behalf.
My fantastic green running shoes are light as a feather and make my running lighter, easier, and more graceful (or so I would like to think:-)).
The fact is that the shoes make a HUGE difference. I love them! And I’ll keep on running as a result.
A self image, the way we look at ourself, is a powerful thing.
Whatever we believe ourself to be, with conviction, then that is what we are.
Sometimes, if it’s a strong, positive self image, it would work in our favour. But if it’s a limiting self image, one that maybe has been created over time without thinking about it’s negative impact, one that stops us from achieving something of importance to us – then it needs to be changed.
My self image when it comes to running, is that I don’t!
Specifically, I have always said “I’m not a runner”, and I may have done all sorts of sports in my life, but running has never, ever been on the agenda. Until now.
Now that I’ve decided to run a 10K race, it’s time to build a new self image, brick by brick.
It’s funny how it works though, the mind. Even as I had made the decision to enter the race, I kept saying to people that “I’m not a runner”. And I’ll tell you what, that’s not a helpful self image to have if you want to be able to complete a 10K race!
So it must be changed, this self image of mine. And the app that I’ve engaged to help me, helps me to do that too. The way the training programme on the app works is that it started me off running 30 seconds out of every 5 minutes on my 45-60 minute walk/run. And then it slowly builds. So now I run 1,5 minutes out of every 5 minutes.
I’m a 1,5 minute runner!
And it works, I am slowly building a new self image when it comes to running. I couldn’t start by saying “I’m a 10K runner” because I (my mind!) wouldn’t have believed it. But it’s worked to say “I’m a 30 second runner” (sure, I can do that, the mind thinks), and then “I’m a 1 minute runner” (if I can do 30 seconds, I can probably do 1 minute) and now “I’m a 1,5 minute runner” (Yes, why not, I am slowly getting more stamina, I can do 1,5 minutes now).
And the feeling is fantastic! Slowly and steadily I am building a new self image, and it’s working.
I’m a 1,5 minute runner! This is currently my running self image.
And next week I’ll be a 2 minute runner:-)
It works. Step by step by step, little by little. That’s how we build a new view of ourself. It’s really cool:-)
My app has guided me through a successful first running/training session!
It’s a beautiful morning and with the extra support of some good trance tracks (thank you Rich!), I had a very enjoyable fast walk (with some short running intervals) of about 40 minutes.
So what have I learned so far?
To be patient. Most training efforts fail because people are too much in a rush, want to overdo it, run a bit further, push themselves a bit harder – and then give up, because it feels too hard. We have to crawl before we can walk – or in this case walk before we can run:-)
My second (renewed) insight from this morning is that most people don’t complete what they start because there are too many temptations to stop or do something different before you get to the goals. And one of the biggest culprit here is of course our own mind, our mind who keeps reasoning with us – “should I, shouldn’t I, maybe I should…instead” – well, you know how it works.
The key to completion is to stop the mind from even having this discussion with you – take away the option of doing something different. And just do it.
And this is exactly how my app is working. It, or she (I’ve named her Sam!) will tell me exactly when to walk and when to run – “Run now! – and all of a sudden that is no longer up to me and so I do it. Brilliant!
I made a commitment to myself, together with a couple of friends, that this was going to be the year of Completion – and it sure is looking that way! I don’t want to stop now.
I’m not sure what possessed me, but I have decided to start running.
And typical for me, I can’t just start running, I have to enter a running race. Oh no, not yet, it’s not until 1 September, but the clock has started ticking. 159 days to go.
So it’s high time for me to create a new habit, the habit of running. Like everything else it needs some discipline to create a new habit – determination and staying power.
To help me in my endeavor, I have enlisted the help of an iPhone app, which has promised to take me from “couch potato to 10K in 13 weeks”. It sounds just right actually, something that will tell me exactly what to do and when:-). But that is of course only part of the solution.
I will stop talking about myself as a non-runner. I have only recently realized that that’s exactly what I do. So my first step is to create a new self image when it comes to running:
I’m a runner!
I’m a runner!
I’m a runner!
There, I’ve started. It’s a small step, but our self image tends to have self-correcting power, so it’s a crucial step.
There’s loads more to come, and I’m ready – bring it on!
It’s not just because of the lie-in, or the all day pyjama fashion, or playing on the Wii, or watching good films on TV, or even pigging out on chocolote – although all of that is good too.
No, the main reason I love New Year’s Day is this – it has a great sense of clean, fresh start about it. Somehow the start of a new calendar year makes us realise that we can start something, something we’ve put off, something that’s important to us. We can wipe the slate clean, we can change something, we can find the energy to turn things around.
I don’t believe in “New Year’s resolutions” though. They tend to become a threat and a slow or fast journey to failure (as we somehow know – or have decided – that most resolutions fail).They could work though – if we called them something different and if we used them differently – as a great possibility, as an encouragement. Although this is not about resolutions….let’s get back to the magic of New Year’s Day.
You could argue that the problem with all other days is that it’s not New Year’s Day – that we don’t have that same sense of hope and opportunity that 1 January brings.
So I say, let’s make every day New Year’s Day! Every day is a fresh, clean start. It’s never too late or too early to act on our dreams, our aspirations, our interests.
Take this day with you throughout the year. Make every day New Year’s Day – keep the clear outlook, the hope and the drive. Learn from yesterday, take from it what you can, learnings, insights – and move forward with curiosity and joy. Anything can happen. What do you want to happen? And how will you make it happen?
I will start by treating myself to a leisurely day, full of joy and relaxation, and opportunities to recharge. If there is anything I will start this New Year’s Day with, it’s the continuous learning that to achieve anything, you need to take time to take care of yourself. Just like they say about the oxygen masks on planes – “before helping anyone else, please secure your own mask”. So true, so true – whatever we want to achieve, for others, for the world, for ourselves – we need to look after the instrument that is us, so that we have something to give. So it’s oxygen mask on for me. Go ahead, you do it too:-)