First they will ask you why you do it, then they will as you how you do it.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

This blogs not for you...

So you clicked on the link any way.

I warned you that it's not for you. This isn't written for anyone else but me.

Its the push I've been after. A nudge in the right direction. A note to hold myself accountable and on track.

Running and fitness have changed me, more than I thought possible. I was always someone who saw success as an external element.

Be it a promotion at work, financial reward or other peoples perceptions of me, I have always seen success as being in the hands of others. Only satisfied once I have their blessing and consent to appreciate it.

I noticed a while back that this was also creeping into my running. I was going to races and constantly comparing my performance against others. The more I got into the sport the more I found people better or more dedicated at it and so my "success" diminished. I wrote about and trained goal setting and the importance of challenging yourself, but wasn't practising what I was preaching.

That was my biggest mistake.

Earlier this year I paced my wife to her first half marathon finish at Liverpool, a feat she never thought she would accomplish. A non-running gym-bunny, she trained her arse off in the gym and on the road and accomplished a great thing that day, all with a smile on her face.

And just this month, a friend and I completed the 40 mile Grim-Reaper Ultramarathon. He had done ZERO training after a bout of injuries, but he rocked up at the start line and later that day we walked away with medals. There were some tough parts and I could write a whole piece on it, but the truth is we got each other round the course. Again, he accomplished a great thing and did it smiling (at the end).

I loved helping them to reaching new levels. In the same way that I love training people, there is an amazing intrinsic reward from helping people to achieve something. The most important thing when looking at what people want to achieve is asking "why".

Why do you want to run further, faster, in a fancy dress costume? 

The important part isn't "What is your goal?" but "Why is that your goal?"

And that was my problem. I found myself with a load of goals I didn't want. Running was my comfort zone and so I kept my goals in that narrow zone, but it wasn't giving me the smile at the end. The goals didn't excite me.

I was ready to sign up for my first 100-miler, when I wasn't even sure I wanted to do it.

I was looking at goals of beating all my PB's and I didn't really know why I'd want to. 

I have nothing but admiration for people who do run that far and I am waiting for the little voice in my head to tell me it's time; and it will, but it's not now. I have a yearning to do something different. Very different.

Strength training has really opened my eyes to the
 achievements in other fields (excuse the face).

Combining advice from two friends I came to realise that goals should be scary things. Things you're not sure you can complete. 

And so I have started setting myself a series of fitness challenges. 12 in total.

12 things that I have never done before, or never been as good as I would like to be.

Some are brand new and terrifying. Others are old demons which I need to battle again.

I know these are the right goals, because they make me smile or scared. The idea of training for them and completing them gives me a tingling feeling in the pit of my stomach. They are big scary things for me which are outside my comfort zone.

I started by saying that this blog wasn't for you. If you've read it and recognise yourself in these points feel free to get in touch. I'm always happy to discuss goal setting and training. 

But a note to the author when you read this back in a few months time as you are about to face some ridiculous challenge.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Remember what you have accomplished, but recognise it's not the end of the story. Just a chance to start a new chapter.

All of the training kit shown in this post is supplied by ink'n'burn. By ordering from them using the code dantoldme at the checkout you can get a 15% discount and a credit on your second order.

If you are interested in training techniques, weight management, group training, nutrition or starting a new physical challenge get in touch via my website.

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