goals

DON’T QUIT

The 2016 Rio Olympics finished yesterday with a boom! I loved the Closing Ceremonies, especially the handing out of medals for the Men’s Marathons. I got up at 5:00am just to watch the Men’s Marathon and rooted for all the runners. It was a great race! When it comes to many of the events, I wasn’t USA biased, I just loved watching great athletes performing their craft in ways I could only dream about.

I have enjoyed many of them, including Usain Bolt’s dominance on the track, Tori Bowie’s vivacious spark also on the track, the Brazilian Men’s Beach Volleyball team’s march to Gold Medal and Gwen Jorgensen never say die spirit in the Women’s Triathlon. I even loved watching the weight lifting, handball games and equestrian competitions.

The greatness of these athletes has inspired me and pushed me to do the small accomplishments I set for myself. What is the greatest thing about every competitor and every Olympic event is the will to succeed. They all have a fire burning deep inside that tells them “don’t quit.”

Don’t Quit.

I have been saying these two seemingly small words to myself over and over again these past few days. These words only have eight letters, but they are two of the biggest words in the English language. These words are what lies between us and our goals. Many times in my life I have given up, quit, lost faith in myself and my dreams. But not this time. It may be harder, more painful and take me longer than I ever thought, but I will succeed!

Let’s not forget the Paralympics are coming up in September. That is where some of the most inspirational among us are.

We have it in ourselves to go after what we want…..we need to hone into what exactly that is, figure out a plan to get it and then execute that plan. Let’s do this. And don’t quit.

Cheers!

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THRIVING AT THE GIANTS RACE

After race crowd in AT&T

After race crowd in AT&T

When that lightbulb goes off in our heads, we don’t plan it; we have no idea where we will be or what we’ll be doing, it just happens. I’m sure when the great prophets in history received their revelations they didn’t happen in convenient or comfortable places, they happened in the most difficult times.

Mine happened today in a porto-potty. That’s right, as I was re-adjusting my running belt and making sure there was no toilet paper stuck to my shoes, I suddenly thought of something so profound, that it made things so clear to me for the first time in a very long time.

As I stepped out of that smelly and dank capsule and suddenly realized and KNEW that I no longer want to just “exist”. I’m tired of thinking how my life will be once I’m thin, or have more money, or have a better job or……..you fill in the blank.

It’s time to enjoy my life AT IT IS. Not “enjoy it as soon as I have this” or “enjoy it as soon as it’s the weekend” or “enjoy it if only this or that happened”. Even if there doesn’t seem to be anything positive, I will find something positive and if I can’t at all, then I will make changes until I can.

Sure, this is easy writing down (actually it isn’t and it wasn’t easy thinking about today), and it won’t be easy putting into practice. There are some changes I must make in my life RIGHT NOW. Not tomorrow, not in an hour from now, not next week, but right this very second I will change certain things.

One of the changes I must make RIGHT NOW is to stop putting myself down. Even small things like “I didn’t run fast” or “I don’t look good in that picture.” WHO CARES??? I need to that I can run or I should focus on the features of myself I do like. I must steer clear of being negative about others. I must stop trying to correct people. I’ve been working on this, but sometimes I get a stubborn streak and if someone annoys me, I feel the urge to want to show them up in some way. I don’t know why I do this, but I do. I will work on ending this, and if not ending this, than being more aware of when and why I do this. I know it annoys others and it isn’t doing anything to make me feel better either.

There are a few other things, but I’ll write about those in a day or two. This is a lot to work on right now.

There’s a song by Switchfoot that I really like called “Thrive”. I love listening to it when I run because it really gives me inspiration. Like the singer, I want to Thrive. I know it’s also used in ads by a certain hospital system, but it really says what I want to do. I want to do more than merely live.

Lou Seal is on the medal

Lou Seal is on the medal

THE GIANTS RACE

My 5K went well today. I had planned on running the Half Marathon but couldn’t do it because of my knee injury. The Giants race organizers were so helpful and kind switching me over to the 5K. At first I felt bad for not running the 13.1 race, but after getting into the mood of the pre-race and seeing all the excited and happy running Giants fans, it was hard to feel bad about anything.

It had been cold during the morning, but then the sun broke through and turned into a beautiful day. The 5K didn’t start until 10:50am and got there way too early. I went and grabbed a cup of Philz coffee and some water while I waited.

I ran a nice, slow easy pace. I hadn’t run for a month, so, my pacing wasn’t up to what it was previously. I also wanted to go slow to make sure my knee was feeling all right. It felt fine through the first two miles. Surprisingly in a good way, my knee felt fine through most of the race. It wasn’t until the start of the Mile 3 when I started feeling some pain and that didn’t last too long. When it started to hurt, I stopped running and walked for a couple minutes. In fact, the race was over before I thought it would be, making me feel pretty hopeful that I should be running regularly again soon.

Now I have to focus on two things to get back into running properly: 1) lose weight to take some pressure off my knees and 2) go to the YMCA three times a week to do weight training/ core work and stretch out my IT Bands.

The race was organized pretty well. It wasn’t the best organized race I’ve been to, but it certainly wasn’t the worst (I’m looking at you Mermaid). Race announcers/motivators, whatever they call them, should on the whole, do a better job in telling walkers to stay on the right and leave the left side of the course for runners. There were many spots on the course where it was quite narrow and with walkers going three in a row (why oh why do they do that???) it was hard motivating around them.

The starting corrals had the longest wait times in between starting. I think we waiting in #3 10 minutes to start after #2 did.

Strollers have long the bane of races. I’ve gotten used to single strollers, but double strollers? Come on, stay at the back of the race. I’m sorry if you’re a fast runner but your double wide stroller clogs up the course.

After the end of the race, there wasn’t any direction towards the food giveaways. I missed it entirely and have to beg an usher to let me back on the field, which he did. Thank you for that.

It was a great day to spend with my big Giants family. Now let’s sweep Detroit tonight!

A Change of Goals

We’re always being told we can do whatever we want, we’re constantly being shown great motivational pictures telling us not to give up on our dreams. And I do believe that nearly any goal is possible if we work hard enough, no one ever bothers reading us the fine print in these bold statements.

There is always a cost. To reach one goal, we may have to give up another, or many others.

This became too apparent for me a few weeks ago when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to purchase the racing bike I so wanted this year. That’s not exactly true. I could buy it, if I gave up going to Giants games, forget about my New York vacation (AND seeing my NY Rangers) next year, and completely abandon having decent coffee in my life. But I’m not willing to do that. 

So, my goals for the next year have changed. I still want to pursue triathlons; they hold an appeal to me that nothing else does. But I live in the most expensive city in the US and I don’t make enough to save for a racing bike. It’s a depressing fact and I’ve been battling with it for a while…..

To keep me from being completely down, however, I’ve revised my goals and challenges. I’ve decided to run a full marathon. I ran one over 20 years ago, so it will be like running one for the first time. I’m nervous, scared and not sure, but I can run, I can afford the gear and it’s something I know. 

I’ll still keep my YMCA gym membership. I’ll still swim and spin; I love them too much to stop and eventually I will get my racing bike, just now in the near future.