Greg and I have committed to compete in the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. The Dopey Challenge involves running a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon the first week of January. At five months out, we have had a few rough weeks on the training road. We basically did not run the month of July due to heat, travel, and a busy schedule. I offer these reasons not as excuses, but as explanations. As I write them they feel like excuses. I write them as prologue to discussing our current choice. We are at a decision point. We can quit, or we can keep going. I want to stare that choice in the eyes. I want to share that choice with others. I often think training is discussed as an easy choice to make; a “buy this program,” a “use this machine,” or a “six weeks to perfection” kind of thing. The choice to train is not easy, and we have not chosen training the month of July.
Greg is my training partner. His birthday was August 8. The Dopey begins on January 4th. We are choosing to look at his birthday as a fresh start. A rocket to propel us to the New Year. Rather than feeling disappointed, disgusted, and defeated, we have decided to get healthy. A birthday can be an opportunity to revive, recommit, retool, reset.
Having been at the point of committing/recommitting many times the last few years, there must not be a limit to the number of times you can pick yourself up and brush yourself off and start all over again. Falling short, even numerous times, does not mean you can not find success when you finally put your mind and body to it. Forgiving yourself for not meeting a training goal must be seen as a springboard to living differently. We can always chose our best selves, despite what we have chosen in the past.
What makes this recommitment different?
We will take steps that have worked for us in the past.
We know strength training is central to effective training in general. After eating and drinking the right things, strength training is the most important thing you can do. I love yoga. Greg has seen good results in the gym. We have both had good results by keeping track of what we eat and drink. We have both had good results by working with trainers and teams. Combining strength training and miles, the support of one another, with mindful eating and drinking, consistently, is a new step we will take.
We will work our training into our lives rather than working our lives into our training.
Working our life around training, rather than working training around our life will help us achieve our goal. Prior to now, we have had a training plan that does not truly build in events, trips, and friends visiting in a realistic way. Intentionally prioritizing our training, matching it to our lives, and following through with the plan is critical. Trying to fit training in between the cracks and crevasses of life has not worked for us.
We will hold each other accountable.
Having someone or a group, whether it be a trainer or team, to hold our feet to the fire has worked for Greg and I in the past. Translating accountablility into our day-to-day training planning and implementation is the current challenge. We will create the plan together. We will discuss it. We will do it. We will analyze results and make changes if we need to.
We will be mindful of what we eat and drink.
We know mindful eating and drinking makes a difference to meeting our training goals. Part of this is tracking calories. Part of this is planning and eating healthy meals. Part of this controlling portion size. Part of this is moderating alcohol consumption. Turning mindful eating and drinking into action is something we will have to do if we are to arrive at the Dopey ready to run.
We will celebrate progress consistently.
I don’t think we have done a good job of really acknowledging progress we have made when we have made it. Maybe that is because we have not made the kind of progress we would have liked, but even small victories can propel larger victories. Motivation results from seeing positive results. Eventually, sustainability can result from motivation.
Will we quit? No. We will take these steps. They will work. If they don’t, we will take other steps. We will keep going. Keep going. Keep going.