From Start to Finish
Many times throughout the years, moments of inspiration would motivate me to start a new project or idea, only weeks later to walk away a failure. The pattern would repeat itself as often as seasons change. Feeling defeated, negative thoughts would continually prod my mind like a relentless child tugging at my shirt. Picking my feet up and moving forward to the next moment of inspiration, the cycle continued.
In high school track and field, I often entered into long distance running, not because I was a great runner, but because it was the most avoided sport, which meant little competition. Participating in sports after graduating became much more difficult. In an attempt to start some sort of exercise regiment, I thought running may be a great way to get some exercise. So I ran.
I ran religiously—usually three to four times a year. About once a year, I would convince myself it would be a good idea to start running again. After about a year of inactivity, I would lace up and run a few kilometres. With the muscle pain lasting for days, my next run would be at least a week out… then grudgingly, I would lace up my shoes again for another run. A month in and four of five runs under my sneakers, I would begin to convince myself “I don’t have time to squeeze in a run” or “The weather is not cooperating today” or “My throat is a little sore…” The excuses would fly and before you know it, my exercise program was extinct.
The Day It All Changed
I had enough of letting my body determine what was good for me. My body has always sought out the easiest, most comfortable path—but not this time! In mid May, 2015, I began running and slowly conditioning my body to run with more frequency and endurance.
With seven runs in each June, July and August, it was time to run my first 10km, and on September 14th I ran the longest I had ever run!
Near the end of September, I stumbled across a podcast interview with a guy they call the Iron Cowboy. This podcast episode changed my life. James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence ran 50 ironman competitions, in 50 states, in 50 days!
An ironman competition consists of a 3.86km (2.4 mile) swim, a 180.25km (112 mile) bicycle ride and a marathon 42.2km (26.2 mile) run—a competition that typically lasts between 8-12 hours. AND the Iron Cowboy completed 50 ironmans in 50 states in days!!
I was inspired!!
That’s it… the next day (September 30th) I was going to run my second 10km run. During the hour long run I pondered all I had heard during the podcast with the Iron Cowboy. His daughter, 11 years old at the time, joined him for the last 5km of every marathon he completed for the duration of the 50 days!
“Surely,” I thought to myself, “If an 11-year-old girl can run 5km a day, I should be able to run 10km a day!” After a few moments of reconsidering my thoughts, I realized that it would be ridiculous to do 10km/day for 30 days without much training, so I shortened it to 5km/day.
October was ushered in with my first 5km and all went well. The month had its moments, but with perseverance, I determined to be a man of my word regardless of the pain I pushed through… and believe me, near the end, I could barely walk, let alone run 5km.
I wasn’t going to let excuses control me. I was going to finish what I started! I have enjoyed running since, still with it’s challenges—I push through.
Go From Start to Finish
Some days it seems as if throwing in the towel is the easiest thing we could do. It takes courage to continue when faced with a challenge. A challenge can too often be used as an excuse. We look at the size of the mountain and defeat ourselves before we even take a step. Ascending up a mountain takes stepping from one stone to another.
- An excuse never sees success.
- An excuse is river seeking the path of least resistance.
- An excuse will delay action and defeat hope.
- An excuse will stunt growth.
- An excuse is a coward lacking courage.
- An excuse comes in last place.
- An excuse is satisfied with the status quo.
- An excuse is repulsed by goals and growth.
- An excuse is the brother of lazy and the son of failure.
- An excuse comforts you while stealing your life.
- An excuse is your enemy.
You CAN succeed. Winning comes through trying, and trying, and trying again. Competition is not found in others, but in yourself. Remove the excuse. Compete against the challenge. Defeat the challenge.
Check out my video journal of my 5km per day in October 2015 here.Later this week, I will reveal my next project! A project that will challenge not only myself, but all those who join in. Stay tuned!