I’m going to ignore for the moment the snow outside and reflect on the fact that the official start to spring is just around the corner – 2 weeks! This is a good time to commit to something new! This week, twenty-two years ago, I started running.
Because it’s almost spring, I am again preparing to come out of hibernation in a big way. I start coaching my beginner 5k groups in the next week and the week after that my volunteer role coaching Let Me Run. I will be telling everyone how I started like this – just one slow step at a time – how we all start like this.
It was 1996. I had attempted to run the 3.5-mile Corporate Challenge the year before and crashed and burned. I hadn’t trained at all so this wasn’t really a shocker. But I never wanted to feel like that again. So, on the first Monday in March, as the snow from that winter’s epic storm melted, I decided I was going to start running.
I bundled up because it was still cold – yes, I ran for the first time in a ski jacket! I remember walking out of my apartment building in Hackensack and looking up a big hill. I decided my warm-up would be walking up the hill. When I got to the top, I made a right and committed to just running to the next telephone pole. And that’s how it began. One step, one telephone pole, at a time. Running a little. Walking a little more. For a big circle around the block that added up to about 2 miles.
I did this run/walk method for several weeks and then one warm Saturday morning in mid-May just after my 31st birthday, I decided to go out and just run to see how long I could keep it up…over an hour! I then got in my car and drove the route I had just run and was thrilled to find I had run 5 miles! I was more than Corporate Challenge ready! I also wound up running my first 10k the next month (read about that here) and was well on my way to understanding all the benefits of being a runner that have kept me motivated to stick to it.
I didn’t work with a coach, or a beginner group, back then. While it was easy enough to figure out how to increase my endurance and conditioning as a former college-level athlete, I learned a lot of lessons by trial and error (like the importance of warming up, proper apparel, nutrition, stretching, cross-training, etc.). In coaching, it is my hope to cut down some of the learning curve for my clients.
I find this time of year is also when many of my life coaching clients recommit to their goals and when many others inquire about life coaching. By March, New Year’s resolutions have often fallen by the wayside. We can all use a little help. I continue to work with a coach (actually two currently: life/business coach and running coach). Coaches help us work through where we’re stuck and ask the right questions to help us see what we can’t see on our own. Whether walking or running or simply living, coaches help us take those first steps that can lead us to a miraculous shift and positive transformation.
Where would you like to transform your life right now? The road there starts with a single step. Just move.
This week in Marathon Training
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