Monday, February 1, 2010

Dig Deep and Persevere!

You know, I doubt any of these old boys were runners, but they sure were on to something..."If your head ain't in the game, you might as well not even try."

Success at anything is actually a state of mind. Success is an attitude that can deal with obstacles that come your way. Instead of barriers, success looks at those obstacles as challenges and figures out ways to navigate around them. Success is a journey not a field trip. Success understands that it takes time to reach a goal. Success understands that momentary disappointments are just that—momentary. Success is celebrating growth no matter how big or small. Success is commitment, resiliency, determination.

Being laid off from my publishing job of 13 years a year ago left me feeling less than successful, but some wonderful things came out of it. I know that sounds crazy, but it forced me to redefine myself. Sure I was mad, sad, and depressed for a short time, but feeling that way was so exhausting. I finally realized that I was given the best gift possible—the ability to go for what had only been a dream—turning my passion for running and fitness into a career. I would have never left the security of a job with benefits to pursue a dream, but when that job's been taken away, why not go for it! And so I did. Once my head was in the game and I had a vision and a goal to strive for, meaning returned to those 13 years. Stepping stones. It's not been easy and we've eaten our fair share of the no-name-brand mac-and-cheese and canned green beans, over the past few months, but it's been a wonderful adventure as well.

Running can be one big fat obstacle (challenge) too, even for the seasoned runner. Whether you're starting running for the first time in your life or you're coming back after 6-months of no running due to an injury, it can be a challenge. Your mindset can make or break your success at starting or restarting your running, or beginning that 5K or marathon training program. Don't focus on what you perceive to be your limitations. Instead, allow yourself to see what you can achieve while at the same time being realistic with your time-frame expectations. Rome wasn't built in a day.

We all have our limitations, but if you focus on those limitations instead of the possibilities, then you'll never get out the door. After being laid-up for a month after a surgery several years ago, I could have easily hung up the ole running shoes. But instead, I decided to train for a marathon. Training was slow going and my race time was far from a PR, but it is one of the most memorable races (Country Music Marathon '03) I have ever or will ever run. I've been hooked on country music ever since!
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Instead of settling with my limitations, I discovered many of those limitations were self-imposed. This realization would have never happened if I hadn't persevered. I now wear a bracelet that says, "Persevere." Whenever I have doubts, I give that bracelet a glance and it helps me refocus and push those doubts aside.

You can buy the most expensive running shoes on the market, you can hire the best running coaches and personal trainers around, you can purchase fancy state-of-the-art gym equipment, or join the most expensive fitness center, but if your head ain't in the game, it will be all for naught. Somehow, someway, you have to dig down deep and find the will, drive, and determination it's going to take to commit to that running or fitness program. Sure, surround yourself with positive and motivating people, but don't depend on them for your motivation. You should be your own biggest motivator.

Before you can motivate yourself, however, you need to understand what you're motivating. Defining your reasons for running or exercising can help you not only clarify your goals but give you a foundation for your motivation. Have you ever gone to a new restaurant and tried to order off the menu? For me, it's kind of hard. The menu is all a blur. I don't know where to look first. If I'm not careful, I'll may make a poor choice and not enjoy my meal. That's like beginning a running or fitness program. If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing and you don't have a well thought out plan, then you don't know where to start or even why you're doing it in the first place. And chances are you're probably not going to enjoy the experience. So, take some time to think about your reasons, then set some goals, then make your plan. Dig deep and succeed! I know you got it in you!

25 comments:

Lori Lynn said...

Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Yes, as you say, motivation must come from within.
I will be sure to share words from this post on VictoryisFinishing blog. Sorry to hear of your job lost, but looks like you are surely making lemonaide out of lemons! Train Safe, Brian

RunnerDude said...

Hi Lori Lynn! Thanks, but you guys inspire me each and every day!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Brian! Thanks man!

Anonymous said...

RunnerDude,
Check in on Monday, I'll make it our Monday Motivation post!
Brian
ViF - Victory is Finishing

Bob (Downtown Runner) said...

A little bit, no, a lot of great encouragement there. So well said!

Bloggers (and runners in general) would do well to follow your example in supporting and encouraging one another.

Thanks!

RunnerDude said...

Awesome! Will do, Brian!
Thanks!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Bob! Thanks man! Just checked out your photography site. AWESOME!

Bob (Downtown Runner) said...

Dude:

That's not my photo site. I wish it was. I'm not sure how that got on my profile. That's a blog I read and I aspire to his great photographic abilities but I'm NOWHERE that good.

I'll fix the problem with the profile.

Take care.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Bob! Too funny! I bet you take great photos too! LOL! Thanks for the clarification!

Kathy said...

this is so simple and yet so profound at the same time. I'm usually rather jealous reading your blogs, knowing you can order whatever you want and have any analysis or PT you need and out here in the boonies, I am without all that "stuff". And then, I go to a local 8.5K (or whatever, we're pretty lax about distances here :)) and find what running is all about. Here, barefoot running is by necessity, not a new fad. :)

Here are some pictures (not Bob's :)) of the 8.5K I referred to...
http://fondoyucateco.blogspot.com/2010/01/carrera-en-honor-la-virgen-de-la.html

Ness said...

I love your Bracelet :))) i am wearing a LIVESTONG it reminds me of Not giving up and staying strong... But PRESERVE is as wonderful!!

Adam said...

This is one of my favorite posts in a while. The mind is the most powerful muscle in your body.

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RunnerDude said...

Hey Kathy! Great pictures!! Think about being "RunnerDude's Runner of the Week" sometime. You definitely have a interesting story to share!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Ness! I got my bracelet at Endorphin Warrior http://www.endorphinwarrior.com/Warrior_Training_Bracelets_Jewelry_for_Runners_s/55.htm One of the best purchases I've ever made.

Kenley said...

I have to say, this is probably the BEST post that I have read on the blogoshpere man. You said it just right. When you get kicked out of one room, there are millions of other ones to explore. YOu just have to gather up the courage to walk down that dark hall to reach for another door knob. I look forward to hearing how your trainer certification is going. BTW, I will be in NC in a few weeks. How has the weather been? Have a good one.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Kenley! Thanks man!
Weather in NC? We'll we're in our second snow and the kids have been out of school for 3 days!! They're calling for more winter weather later this see. That's for the Piedmont anyways. What part of the state are you coming to?

NY Wolve said...

Great Post, and a compliation and distillation of many of my own thoughts about running and success and failure. You even use some of my own mantras -- "Rome wasn't built in a day" (title of a blog post of mine last year).

But at the end of the day it is up to us, to the individual to do it.

RunnerDude said...

Hey NY Wolve! Thanks man. Yep, I think we all have been in similar situations. I'd love to read your "Rome Wasn't Built In a Day" post. Gotta a link? Thanks man!

Kenley said...

Hey Runner Dude. I will be heading to Newport.

Cindy said...

Good point about limitations being self-imposed.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Cindy! Welcome to the blog!

Running Through Life said...

As always, you have such great advice. I love the bracelet. We all need to remind ourselves that perseverance is a vital key into any success.

StephanieC said...

this was a great post. im a newbie to running and right now i have stacks of motivation. which is a complete suprise to me. but im not sure where it came from or how ling it will last. this post made me think for a while and im sure that i will need to use some motivation techniques as i train for my first half marathon. so thanks for the words of wisdom.
gonna get me some jewellery too.