It is Not Where You Start; It’s Not Even Where You Finish

My friend and I had a monumental personal accomplishment this weekend:  we completed the first annual Indiana Women’s Trail Run.  A quarter marathon (or 10k or almost 7 miles) hiking through Eagle Creek Park.

 

Most women there ran it; we walked it.  I am absolutely fine with this.  It was not about a time or place – it was about doing it.  And we did.

 

What makes this so monumental is that three months ago, she had a hip replaced and I could not walk up a flight of stairs without being winded.

 

And we did it!  We have the medal and Facebook pictures to prove it.

 

Looking at me most people would never have guessed what state I was in three months ago.  I am a very petite person; all of 5 foot tall and maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet.  I look like I am in great shape.  I eat fairly healthy and do a lot of labor activity around my house.

 

But my cardio – it was in the crapper.  I was embarrassed at my poor state of health.  I will never run marathons, I know this.  I do not have the desire to do so and if I ever got a crazy notion to do so my knees would immediately remind me that they protest by swelling up like cantaloupes.

 

I knew I would need to start working on my cardio so I joined my friend walking on the Monon.  We started on Saturdays and then started walking throughout the week.  Each week I felt stronger.  I knew I was improving and treating my body the way I should – getting it healthy.

 

I realized when we were walking Saturday morning on the trail that it was completely irrelevant where I started.  I could be in the worst shape or decent shape; it just didn’t matter.  Crossing that finish line wasn’t really the biggest achievement. 

 

It was the journey that I took.  Making a commitment, following through, giving myself positive motivation and praise for every mile that I walked and every mile I added on.  It was on the weekends and weeknights that the real change happened.

 

While we set a goal to finish the run, we did so much more.  We felt fantastic after and on the ride back started talking about our next event.  This run might have been the end point, but once we got there, it no longer was; it was just a stepping stone.

 

You might be struggling with your job or career right now.  You might be thinking you are too old, do not have the right qualifications, it may take too long to get certified or have not finalized a plan on how to get to where you dream of going.

 

My advice to you today: stop looking at where you are and focusing solely on the end point.  What you have done in the past, good or bad, is in the past.  Today is a brand new day; an opportunity to start fresh; the day to lace up your sneakers and just take a walk.

 

Start setting small goals, make them a bit of a stretch but achievable.  This gives you drive and the opportunity to give yourself praise for each step you take.

 

You do not have to know the whole road.  Here’s a little secret – the road is going to change anyway.  Have an end game in mind but be flexible as to how it will come about.  During the trail run we came across a huge mud pit with a small lake in the middle (ok, just a little exaggeration).  We were nearing the end and there was no way I was going to have my friend try to navigate that mess; and honestly I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of trampling through that either. 

 

I found an alternative.  There was a little hidden path right next to the mess.  We averted 90% of the mud and muck while staying on course and track.  If you only focus on the “I have to do these things in this order” then you will miss the little hidden paths that keep the mud out of your toes.

 

If it is your dream or your goal than take full ownership and responsibility; this means do not let anyone else dictate your steps time table or accomplishments.  You may have to tune others out and perhaps not share this vision with others so they do not poo—poo it; do what you have to do.  It is not about them anyway, this is about you.

 

Throughout your journey there will be days you are frustrated, want to give up or just take a little break.  Don’t.  Keep going.  Remember, yesterday doesn’t matter.  One weekend we walked over 20 miles.  I was so proud of myself that weekend.  Monday, I told myself that was great, but it was in the past; what was I going to do this week?

 

Lastly, do enlist your support system.  Those friends that love you unconditionally, support any crazy notion you have and offer support, not judgment.  Those are the ones you will draw strength from and the ones that will help you celebrate.  You need your support system, no matter who they are.  My dogs are part of mine.  They get laps at home to help keep me focused, motivated and routine.  Oh, and they cheer me on.

 

Of course, they may be doing it for the puppy treats.

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe

Sometimes it is my best friend’s job in life to tell me to breathe. 

Today is one of those days.  For some reason things culminated this morning.  It started with my smallest dog eating two baby bunnies right in front of me while I was trying to save the nest. 

I do not do well with bad things happening in nature and especially to baby nature so this was horrific for me.  Let’s just say I would have never made it on the farm. 

The rest of the nest is fine, I have relocated and I believe momma bunny has found them and they are still alive and doing fine.  Whew.

But something else happened this morning that really hit me on a personal and professional level.

My best friend lives in another state and being a big ol’ corporate girl and single mother of two teenagers, she is an extremely busy woman.  Most of our communication comes throughout the day in texts.  I sent her a very brief message about this incident and her response was this:

Breathe

I kept repeating that word while I was working through the issue.

Breathe

I had to make myself take deep breaths when I started to get upset.

Breathe

I have done what I can and now I am waiting.

Breathe

I know in that one word what she is telling me.  Relax, take a deep breath in and release it.  Release it all.  Have you done your best?  Have you given everything you can in the upmost manner with the best of intentions?  (Yes)  Then breathe, let it go.  There is no longer anything you can do to affect the situation. 

With the simple act of taking a deep breath in and releasing it slowly you physically allow yourself to release the situation. 

Let it go.

Bad things happen.  Mean people suck. Life is a balance of the good and the not so good.  Without the not so good, how would we know how good the good really is?

Things happen that are out of your control.  Then there are times that you do have a measure of control and it is just not pleasant.  You will get through it.  You will learn something from it.  You will survive it.  You will have a better day.

All you can do is your best, with the best of intentions, and then let it go. 

Breathe

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist and Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

superpower noiseI have found that I have an incredible superpower – which I share with a LOT of people.  The ability to talk myself out of pretty much anything in a single bound.

 

It’s amazing really.

 

This power is big, loud and always present.

 

Want to try a new exercise routing *pow* “you don’t have the time; it is going to be too hard; seriously, you are over 40 who are you kidding; you’re a little too far gone to start now; really, doesn’t a nap sound better….”

 

Want to eat healthy *boom* “you know that triple chocolate cake looks really good I’m sure I has healthy stuff in it; a burger and fries would be so much cheaper and quicker; it’s more expensive to eat healthy; it takes too much time to fix all that stuff; chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….”

 

Want to take a chance on something new *bam* “you are just going to get rejected; you are going to get hurt again; why put yourself out there like that; it’s a lot safer not to; happiness shnappiness safety doesn’t hurt….”

 

If I believed everything I thought I would be 400 pounds and have a house full of cats.

 

Thank goodness I found the kryptonite to this superpower.  Everyone has it, but few recognize it or find it because it is small, quiet and isn’t nearly as splashy as the superpower.  It is also goes by different names:

 

Faith

Courage

Bravery

Fortitude

Guts

Daring

Spunk

Spirit

To Hell With It

 

Everyone has it in them.  The trick is activating this kryptonite.

 

When that flashy superpower starts kicking all you have to do to release the kryptonite is say two little words:

 

Shut up.

 

And it begins.  Then you strengthen it by talking back to that superpower and completely destroy it by taking action.

 

Shut up.  I am too young to feel this old.  I’ll get back to you after I’m done on the treadmill.

 

Shut up.  I love having energy and sleeping well.  You are going to have to wait while I finish making my healthy, fabulous dinner.

 

Shut up.  I love taking risks.  Yes, I have been hurt but man, I have also had some great times and better ones ahead.

 

Personally, I love my kryptonite.  In the last month it helped me kick a major pop habit, poor eating habits and a very lazy lifestyle.

 

Drinking water with a fresh lemon squeezed in it in the morning while on the treadmill, followed by small meals of fresh veggies, fruit and a protein centered dinner, mediating, being open, trying new things and putting myself out there has resulting in having more energy than I have in years, feeling younger than ever, a healthy glow, a fantastic attitude, some new opportunities and waking up feeling grateful for the adventure of a new day.

 

And it has only been a month.

 

That kryptonite is some pretty powerful stuff.

 

I still have a ways to go yet, there are still some habits I haven’t wanted to kick yet and some challenges that I am still pecking at one day at a time, but it I’ve just begun.

 

And it all began with two little words: shut up.

 

One bam, power or boom at a time – shut up.

 

With each defeat of the superpower the kryptonite gets stronger.

 

Where is your superpower kicking in today?  What are you thinking that you shouldn’t believe?  What do you really want?  Are you ready to take that first step?  A new job, a promotion, to ask that girl out, to clean up that extra bedroom, to start taking care of yourself, to be a better friend, to start a new hobby, to make sure those you love know you love them?

 

Then make today the day that you say shut up.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

www.CareerPolish.com