Tag Archives: change

A Runner’s Evolution

Today’s blog is borrowed from John Bingham’s No Need for Speed which I read recently. If you’re a beginning runner, especially if you worry about being slow, I definitely recommend Bingham’s books. I especially like this quote:

“As I set new goals, conquered new fears, and overcame new doubts, I became a new person. I was no longer the person who sat inside on cold mornings. I was not the person for whom comfort was the sole objective. I wasn’t the person who was controlled by the circumstances of my life…. What happens when we untie the ‘nots’ in our lives is that we can see beyond today and begin to imagine a different tomorrow. As you see the obvious changes in your body, you also begin to see the less obvious changes in your soul. When you untie the ‘nots,’ when you become fully engaged in the process of becoming a better athlete, you can’t help becoming a better person. You find, without realizing it, that you’re NOT afraid to change, learn and grow. You learn to look past all the things that you can’t be to those few that you can. As you learn to accept your limitations as an athlete, you’re less afraid to accept other limitations in your life. Your unique combination of talent and motivations, discipline and dedication, become the tools with which you build the person you most want to be.”

In my experience, new runners go through stages of evolution — that affect both the body and the mind. Pushing through old limitations, testing boundaries, and taking on new challenges. Standing shivering and expectant at the starting line waiting to find out what is possible on the journey to the finish. And knowing that the person who finishes the race, may not be the same person who started it.

What else has changed in your life since you started running?

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Our Agreements

I’ve just finished reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  It’s a simple little book that makes for quick reading and a lot of pondering and I’ll be discussing it with the members of my leadership tribe over the next few weeks.

Most interesting to me was the first chapter on how we humans are “domesticated” and taught stories, beliefs and values that become our unconscious reality as we grow into adults.  Ruiz calls these the “agreements” that rule our lives. We learn to be the people that others want us to be and “live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands.”  We judge ourselves and others against these expectations — often harshly — and we try to change ourselves and others to fit these expectations.   Ruiz argues for rejecting those agreements that don’t serve us and replacing them with new agreements so that we can be more free, starting with the four in the book.

The Four Agreements as summarized on the book jacket are:

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  • Don’t Take Things Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Ruiz argues that “there is a huge amount of freedom when you take nothing personally.”
  • Don’t Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid, misunderstanding, sadness and drama.
  • Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

I have work to do on each of these.  For the short term, I’m trying to be aware of my tendency to “go into my head” and judge myself and others.  I’ve been telling that voice to stop, just stop, and instead focus on being present and letting of assumptions and judgments. I’m consciously trying to write a different story in my mind when I start to take things personally or make an assumption about why someone has behaved in a certain way.  And when I’m not sure, I’m asking rather than guessing or assuming.  I’m hoping that with enough practice these will become new habits and new agreements for me.  And maybe I’ll be a little less domesticated!

Guest Musings

This week I thought I’d take a break from writing and just offer up a few quotes and snips  that I’ve gathered in the past few weeks that have gotten me thinking:

“At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.”   -Alan Alda

“To be sincerely loyal to yourself is to allow yourself the freedom to grow, change and challenge who you are and what you think at any given moment in time.  The only thing you ever are for sure is unsure, and this means you’re growing, and not stagnant or imprisoned by old ways of thinking.” – Marc and Angel Hack Life

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.  And as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela

“I doesn’t take as much as we think to step outside our comfort zone, it only takes a willingness.” – Mike Robbins

“Perfection, as it’s revered and pursued in our culture, is an unhealthy lie. A myth. A human construct. A marketing concept. In many cases, it’s a story told by people who want to manipulate your mindset and behavior to buy what they’re selling. And while it means different things to different people, the pursuit of it rarely leads to anything more positive than anxiety, insecurity, self-doubt and misery.” – Craig Harper

Do any of these resonate with you?   How so?

Three Words for 2013, Part Two

Recently I blogged about the three words I’ve chosen for 2013.  Today, a little more about the WHY behind those words…

One of my three words for is possibility. That’s because this year feels just brimming with possibility – new opportunities, new learning and new things to explore. A new leader at work, my new business, my upcoming leadership program, new friends, new colleagues, and new goals. I’m trying to step up to something bigger – and outside my comfort zone, maybe something I’ve not yet even discovered. Evolution is a long slow process, but it feels like there’s a big shift just over the horizon as I evolve and let go of old things that aren’t working and embrace the new. Though my coaching, I’m also helping others test the limits of what is possible for them – running a first marathon or racing for the first time. And that is incredibly cool to watch.

Another is courage. For me, that’s a combination of several things, including being willing to take more risk and allow myself to be more vulnerable. My default is to think things through in detail and proceed carefully and cautiously so as to maximize the chances that I will succeed. In 2013, I’m trying to let that go a little. To trust in a way that lets me forge deeper connections with people. To have the courage to listen to my heart and not my head – go with my instincts and see where that will take me. To embrace mistakes and the risk of failure and hope that in doing so, I might exceed my own expectations. And at worst, things will be ok. Courage is here too because 2013 will require me to navigate a high ropes course. And I don’t even like ladders!

And my third word is play. Just because sometimes I need to quit being so damn serious and logical about everything.

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Photo by Greg

A Moment in the Sun

There are days when my running playlist inspires a blog and this was one of them.

It was a dreary day and hard to be out there and then John Fogerty’s song “Centerfield” came on. For a few minutes, the virtual sun came out, the snow melted and I was sprinting down the road — at least in my head.  I especially love that song this time of the year because it reminds me that the baseball season is just around the corner. Spring training is a little over a month away.  There’s the excitement… the new players to be assessed… the promise… the hope… Opening day… the crack of the bat and the cheers from the stands… it just doesn’t get old!

“We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field… Look at me, I can be centerfield…”

But that’s only part of the reason I love this song, and this blog isn’t really about baseball. I love the metaphors in this song.  For me, the lyrics are about hope, starting over, facing every day as a new day and being ready to shine.

“A moment in the sun…”

So many of my friends that have lost weight and taken up running have had positive changes in their lives that they attribute directly to their success at weight loss.   My friend Tiff got promoted and is just glowing from the self-confidence that she’s gained professionally and as a runner.  CJ has been featured in her local newspaper and is giving talks on weight loss using social media.  Melissa ran a marathon and has taken up a new career in art and writing. And there are so many more.  We’re all having “moments in the sun” that for many have been a long time in coming.  We’ve “spent our time in the Mudville Nine, watching it from the bench.”  And now here we are enjoying our own time in “centerfield” and loving the fun and new adventures that we’ve brought into our own lives.

Let’s give this game a ride… Because as Fogerty sings:  “You know the time is now.

 

Inspiration for 2013

A few quotes to start off the year from C. Joybell C.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” 

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” 
 
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow.
The only way that we can grow is if we change.
The only way that we can change is if we learn.
The only way we can learn is if we are exposed.
And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.
Do it. Throw yourself.” 

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” 
 
“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” 
 
Here’s to new beginnings — unwritten books, bigger ponds and the beauty of flight — and all the growth and learning that you can stand in 2013 — and then a little more! 

The Why Behind Your Want

Are you making a New Year resolution?  Or simply wanting to do something differently in the coming year?  You know that if you’re going to be successful, you need to maintain your motivation day after day, and week after week. That takes commitment. It’s not going to be enough to say “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to start exercising” or “I want to launch my new business” unless you really get in touch with the WHY behind your want.  What’s the motivation that will keep you going when the going gets tough, you have a bad day, or your “resolution” fails? We’ve all got different motivations… and getting in touch with them is key to making lasting lifestyle change.

Here’s what motivates me:

Power: When I’m taking care of myself, I feel strong, powerful, and capable of doing just about anything. I can quiet the negative voices in my head that try to sabotage me. I bring a positive outlook to life, rather than complaining or feeling like a victim. I feel more aware and alive – controlling my destiny and not just reacting to what happens. From this place of power, I can choose to continue to grow and to learn.

Goals:  Having a goal that I’m working toward helps keep everything else in perspective. I am less bothered by the “little things” – annoyances that might creep into my day — when I am taking care of the things that are important to me. When I have short and long-term goals, I always have something new to discover or a reason to celebrate. I have my head up — looking out toward the horizon rather than at all the little bumps in the asphalt.

Health: Health is a huge motivator, especially as we add years. I know that because I have lost weight and gotten fit I am healthier than I was a decade ago.  That’s more than just a feeling; it is supported by objective data from the doctor’s office. I am hopeful that good health today will add quality of life in future years.

Inspiration: It feels great when other people tell me that I have motivated them to exercise or lose weight. I realize that I can be a positive force for good and that others can learn from what I am doing for myself.

Seeing Results: I love it when the scale “rewards” my efforts. Even though it’s still the same “me” in the mirror, my brain reports that I look better when I’m headed in the right direction.

Energy and Speed: I have much more energy when I’m on track and don’t just drag myself through the day. I also know that on average, each pound lost means 2 seconds off my per mile race pace. I love setting PRs in my races and I love the satisfaction of getting faster even as I get older.

Your list most likely isn’t the same as mine, it’s unique to you.  But having it – and writing it down somewhere that you can see it and remind yourself — will be helpful to you as you set on your journey of making meaningful changes in your life.

So… what motivates YOU?  What are the whys behind your wants?