Approximately a year ago I had a vision, but it wasn’t crystal clear. It was blurry. I was recovering from an injury and still bogged down with graduate school and internship hours and my thesis. A year ago time was not plentiful. I knew what I wanted to accomplish but I had no idea how I was going to do it. I also knew that before I could accomplish anything else in life I had to finish graduate school and my thesis as soon as possible. To accomplish one goal I had to temporarily sacrifice the others.
See, the thing I sometimes forget is that you can influence your future by working diligently every single day to do little things that will add up to one huge pay off in the end. We can do small things that will help us achieve our goals, even the goals that have fallen to bottom of the priority list. It’s all about finding your passion(s) and letting that guide you. During this time, about a year ago, I had forgotten that the little things I was doing as I was working toward my goal of finishing graduate school and my thesis would ultimately influence my future. Those 3 mile runs at 10 pm were influential, the days I ran when I didn’t want too were influential, and the days I dreamt about running fast 5ks again were lighting a fire inside me. Those little things are starting to add up.
Completing those academic goals was very empowering! When I finally finished my thesis in October and then began turning it into a manuscript to submit to an academic journal *let’s all hope it gets chosen* I had surpassed my own expectations of what was realistic. I had never dreamed that I’d be submitting a 3+ year long research project to an academic journal. I had never dreamed I’d be the kind of person to write a thesis or do a research project. And, many years ago I had not had the confidence in myself to believe I would ever earn that masters degree in sport psychology–and then I did. From that final moment when I sent that manuscript off to be reviewed I’ve been in a very happy and confident mood. Accomplishing all of that at the end of last year has positively influenced my running even though running was not always my priority during that time in my life. Simply explained, it gave me the confidence I needed to work toward the running goals I have.
For me, my passion has always been running and then that also grew into coaching. Going back to my youth, distance running has always been a part of me–sometimes more prominently than others. I’m more than half a lifetime into this sport, and as you can imagine I’ve experienced a lot of changes. Some were good, some were bad, some were sad, some took me really far (marathon distance), and some barely got me out the door each day. No matter what though, my love for this sport has never faded away, instead it has grown. That is why I am still out there pounding pavement, running up mountains, and finally training to run PRs again.
The reality I want to create is creating itself. I want to wake up everyday feeling excited that I live in a beautiful place where I can start a beautiful run from my doorstep–and the last few days I’ve been waking up early to meet some girls in town to run before work. I’m not a morning person but I am loving the feeling of starting the day off by chasing my goals that are now fueled by the accomplishment of other goals, and this is whole new level of motivation. In the past my runs would be the last thing I did each day. I typically ran after work (I am not a morning person) and after every other obligation I’ve had to fulfill that particular day, but I realized something a few months ago. I realized that by not running until the final moments of the day I was not allowing myself to focus on my goals or for my running to thrive on passion rather than the nagging need to run. Running became a chore, a burden, and an unpleasant experience several times a week. Before, I’d force myself out the door to run while feeling miserable because I’d had a long day and lost motivation somewhere along the way.
This year has been fantastic so far even though nothing extremely significant has happened. The little things, like running before work and excessive amounts of coffee, have made the first 10 days of 2019 really great! Every day in 2019 has begun with chasing down a goal. My motivation and my focus are more precise than they have been in a very long time, and finally those PRs I am craving seem like they will become a reality in the near future.