Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A New Goal

                  Last Night's Route

I have always enjoyed running and/or walking for exercise, since I was young.  I have often wondered why people spend hundreds of dollars for gym memberships, personal trainers, and expensive equipment.  I am not being critical of that, but it has been my experience that running, jogging, and even walking long distances can yield the same health benefits, at no cost.  I suppose there are benefits to having access to better equipment, motivational coaches, and indoor climate, but we can’t all afford that.  And even if we could, one would have to ask if it’s worth it.  These support systems can be helpful, but in the end, the desire to take care of yourself has to come from within. 


In recent years I have used free smart phone applications to help me.  Several days (especially on weekends) I have walked 10-15 miles and in 2012 I think I averaged between three and four miles of walking per day.  In 2011, I completed seven out of nine weeks of a “Couch to 5K” program.  Then I was the coordinator of 30-plus volunteers at a national weather conference.  I was putting in 14-hour days for over a week.  I literally had no time to find a way to complete the program.  Not only that, I was staying in a hotel in the downtown portion of a large city with high crime rates.  So I stopped the program and went back to walking. 


Since then, I have walked quite a bit at times, but not with the consistency I have had in the past.  There are so many barriers to outdoor running and walking.  It takes a lot of time.  Rainy days make it difficult.  As I age, cold weather makes it very difficult.  Sometimes extreme heat makes it difficult.  Then there are the issues of being unavailable due to work hours and a pretty long commute.  I have hobbies, neighbors, and friends I like to spend time with.  I like to be available to chase storms or take lightning pictures. Tonight I will be at a meeting of a weather organization I am involved in.  Even though my sons are older, I still value any time I can get with them.  I have had times where I dated.  That is not a time issue currently, but it has been at times.  I always have projects to work on at home.  The list goes on and on.  At some point though, we have to make time in our lives for things. 


I “feel” the drive to do this now.  But as I was walking and jogging last night, one word kept coming to mind: “consistency”.  How many people get fired up for a few days or weeks, only to slip back into inactivity?  A former pastor of mine once described me as one of the most consistent people he knew.  I don’t know about that, but it is something I feel a renewed desire to implement more fully in my life.  Warmer weather is arriving, and I am getting the “fever” again.  One thing that helps is setting written goals.  Last night I decided on a new goal.  Today I am putting it in writing.  I want to run a 5K race.  I have never been in an “official” race, before.  I started thinking, that’s really only 3.1 miles.  My initial goal is to actually run and jog the whole way.  But even if I end up walking, I will have completed something new.  In that spirit, I looked up quotes on consistency.  I will try to think about these as I pursue my goal.


“For the novice runner, I’d say to give yourself at least two months of consistently running at a conversational pace before deciding whether you want to stick with it.  Consistency is the most important aspect of training at this point.” – Frank Shorter


“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives.  It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins


“Success is neither magical nor mysterious.  Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” – Jim Rohn


“The secret of success is consistency of purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli


“Getting an audience is hard.  Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” – Bruce Springsteen


“You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others.  That’s the mark of a true professional.” – Joe Paterno


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