For the past several weeks, I’ve been training for a half-marathon.
Disclamer: I am NOT a runner.
I’ve run a slew of 5Ks in the past (mostly by force), and yes, at one point, I was a pretty serious figure skater. But I have never been a runner.
In January and February, though, I knew that I had to keep running a few miles per week in order to be ready to start half-marathon training in March. I ran on ice. I ran in snow. I ran 4 miles in Boston in SEVEN degree weather. The four people outiside looked at me like I was nuts.
When my half-marathon training began in March, it was still snowing outside. It was cold. It was grey. The wind? MOTHER OF BRUTAL. I never saw a single soul on the sidewalk. My neighborhood was a ghost town.
In April it was wet. On a six-mile run in Montréal, I spent most of my run (unsuccessfully) avoiding lake-sized puddles. A few days later, I gave up running after 2 miles because I was just so damn cold. I went home and took a nap instead.
Let’s just say that I haven’t exactly followed the training plan to a T.
In other words, I’m not perfect.
Sometimes I skip runs because the couch is terribly comfortable.
Sometimes I convince myself that I should move the run to the next day because I really need to wash my shorts.
But despite the slip-ups, I haven’t given up.
And last Sunday?
Last Sunday I ran NINE MILES! NINE.
Normally, I don’t even like DRIVING nine miles.
BUT I RAN NINE MILES.
Like, with my legs.
Look at me go!
But wait! Here’s where I get to the point. This is the part where I tell you how my sporadically imperfect training is the key to your life’s success.
Yesterday, I went for a “short” 4 mile run.
And guess what: IT WAS GORGEOUS OUTSIDE!
Do you know what that means, my dear?
When it’s nice outside, TROVES OF PEOPLE EMERGE FROM THEIR HOMES. People I hadn’t seen ever before in life suddenly are out and about.
Middle aged women were speed walking EVERYWHERE. Probably inspired to get in shape or lose the winter weight.
And here in lies the problem.
I can tell IMMEDIATELY that these women are not going to succeed at their weight loss or fitness goals.
I’m not trying to be negative or condescending. I want these women to succeed. I’d love nothing more than for them to reach their goals. Given the opportunity, I’d help them out!
But they’re not going to succeed.
Because they are only inspired to get outside and walk when it’s 75 and sunny.
Because they waited for perfect conditions to start their training programs.
Because when it was cold and the sidewalks were covered in ice, they were no where to be found.
Success is available to those who get going when the going gets tough.
Success happens when everyone else gives up.
Success is for those who make it through the dip.
As Seth Godin writes in his book, The Dip,
“The people who set out to make it through the Dip– the people who invest the time and the energy and the effort to power through the Dip– those are the ones who become the best in the world.”
Am I training to become the best half-marathon runner in the world?
Well, if you define “the world” as me. As in, I am training to become the best half-marathon runner that I have ever been.
(The bar is set fairly low, thank God).
But here’s what’s exciting:
I’M GOING TO SUCCEED.
Because I overcame The Dip.
Have you hit a road block?
Congrats! You are now in place to make a choice.
Do you want to become the best in the world?
If not, quit! That’s totally fine.
If you do want to succeed, however, this is your chance. If you persevere, you will be lightyears ahead of everyone else. This is the moment of do or die.
This is your winter.
Are you going to keep running? Or will you hide out inside until the weather gets nice?
I have to say that this post actually rubbed me the wrong way and I normally LOVE your posts! I am very active and I have been my whole life. My mother on the other hand is not. She has always carried an extra 30 pounds around her belly. The difference between us is huge. The thing is, she is one of those people who will actually go out and run on the sunny days. I know it is not enough for her to make a huge difference for her belly but the short term effect of feeling great after that run is awesome. I love seeing that she is trying and making efforts. If she were to read this post, she would just feel dejected and sad. It sounds like you are saying that if she is not able to commit as much as you have, what is the point and why bother. I hate that idea. Whenever I am on a run and I see people who are clearly not out there everyday, all I think is good for them! Weight loss is hard. Even a sunny warm spring day is not enough to get most people off the couch. I think that if it gets some people off the couch, then that is awesome!
I have run three marathons. I have also had long stretches in my life where I felt like being lazy. Sometimes the sunny day runs are what got me out there in the first place!
Going through a dip right now myself in finishing up this mmoire, sometimes it can be really hard to see the end goal (so doing the little things leading up to it get put off and put off). What are your suggestions for getting through the dip ?
First of all: Congrats on running 3 marathons! AMAZING.
Second of all: I suggest that you not share this with your mom!
This blog isn't for everyone. I have a pretty in-your-face and no bullshit approach to life, which I understand rubs some people the wrong way. This might not be the right blog for them.
Third of all: I agree with you!
It's necessary to do some things just for the fun of it! I, for example, love to take pictures, but I have no goals around taking pictures. It's just FUN. I do it when I feel inspired.
However, I'm not going to become a great photographer by doing this.
If you have a goal, working towards them only when you feel inspired is not going to get you there.
My dearest Kelsy,
– Set and end date.
– Break it down into the smallest parts.
– Do one thing every day, even when you don't feel like it. Make it smaller if you feel totally unmotivated.
– Remember WHY you're doing this. If the goal itself isn't good enough, plan on giving yourself a reward at the end. A weekend getaway, massage, or luxurious dinner all inspire me to work harder 🙂
– Take breaks and refuel!
Hope that helps!
Sure does, sweets. Will keep punching through. Can't wait to see you in August 🙂
agreed! Even though running isn't my thing I do apply this to everything else in my life that I really want. And most recently it's been tied to business success. Many, many metaphorical icy roads have been run to begin gaining traction, seeing an impact and results. And even though I may have finished my first half-marathon (stellar week selling digital products for the first time ever) I know that this is only the beginning. I will need to keep training, improving and reaching for that goal again.
Oh man. SO TRUE! In business and in life, our commitment levels totally determine our level of success. I can't run due to foot injuries, and I've let that keep me from achieving my fitness goals for a couple of years no. No more excuses – I've been cycling and attending spin class for a month now and can almost fit back into my bathing suit so I can start swimming. YES.
I also find that committing to personal goals helps me achieve business goals, and vice versa. I'm in the middle of a huge launch of my Rebellious Business Planning program and I'm committed to helping at least 15 people in the first intake of the program. So excited! I have a ton of work to do but it's going to be so worth it. Just like going to the gym.