Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid runner. I started running when I was 12 years old, solely because I did not make the Girls Basketball team. In 7th grade you cannot be cool unless you are involved in something, and Cross Country did not require tryouts or coordination. At first it was a way to make friends and keep myself occupied after school – a “resume builder” so to speak. I didn’t expect to like running, nonetheless love it. Little did I know a 1.5 mile race once a week would lead to countless benefits, both physically and mentally, making every muscle ache and struggle worth it.
Fast forward 13 years and thousands of miles later, and you’re looking at a five time half marathon runner. While I may not be the fastest runner around, I have learned a thing or two about the sport that translates into everything I do.
- Set a goal and commit to doing whatever it takes to achieve it.
No matter how crazy your goal may seem, if you prepare through daily, consistent, and targeted effort you will succeed. While I was training for my first half marathon I threw out my back and could hardly walk for several weeks. I had to complete months of Physical Therapy, but the first thing I asked my doctor was “Can I still run?” A few months later I finished that race 3 minutes under my goal time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, all because I stuck to a targeted training plan!
In the working world, this translates into creating both short and long term goals, and planning out what you need to do each day to achieve them. Follow through on your plan and you will see results.
- When you think you can’t go any further, press in and go the extra mile.
While running, your best effort usually comes after you think you can’t take another step, but you push forward and catch a second wind. (My high school cross country coach would be proud). If you think about it, the same is true in every day situations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been packing up to go home after a long day of leaving voice mails and decide to make one more call. 9 times out of 10 that last call is where I have the most success. Sometimes it comes down to taking one extra minute to stop and consider the bigger picture, in order to gain the best results.
- Track your progress and get competitive!
The only way to get better is to understand where you are and where you want to be. If asked, I could tell you my time down to the second for each race I have run. This information has allowed me to drop my half marathon time from 2:27:13 to 2:10:37 over five races.
In business, tracking and understanding your stats is extremely important to achieve results. These numbers allow you to set new goals and compete against yourself. If you don’t have a clear direction of where you are going, you’ll never get there.
Ultimately, you have the talent and strength to finish any race. It all comes down to your ATTITUDE and MENTAL STRENGTH.
Running a race is 90% mental and 10% technique. If you’ve done the training, your legs can handle the distance. Your success comes down to zoning in on the end result and maintaining a good internal dialogue. The vast majority of my worst runs have been due to negative self-talk; i.e. telling myself that I’m tired, that I can’t do it, or agonizing over how much longer I have to run. After talking myself down I suddenly find my breathing becomes labored or I focus on my sore legs. With a little time and a lot of practice, you can change this internal dialogue into something positive. Instead of breaking yourself down, build yourself up! Whether you’re running a race or building a business, attitude is everything.