Do you love a challenge? Years ago I wouldn’t have said I did, but it turns out I do. I like figuring out the best course of action. I love to plan and I have a pretty keen knack for identifying the path of least resistance to better serve a positive outcome. So then, why you may ask, would I get it into my head that a forty day running challenge would be a good idea? That’s a darn good question! My only answer is because it is a challenge, and one that I felt wouldn’t kill me so why not give it a go?
The challenge was to run a mile a day for forty days. That’s it. I didn’t have to do more but I did have to do it every day in order to consider it a streak. I have exercised daily before. I’ve probably even done a week long activity surge but every day for over a month? No, that has not happened and mostly because Netflix exists in the same room as my recliner.
I won’t lie. It was hard. The physical aspect of it has shown me places I didn’t know had muscles before, but it is the emotional part that is fascinating to me right now. In order to get my butt to that run I had to make sure I had time in my schedule to change, run, shower, change again, get to work or get back to work, do all the things of daily living and all the laundry. There was a lot of changing going on. When I first considered it I hadn’t taken all of this into consideration.
I also hadn’t taken into consideration how much discipline it would take to not flake out on the people in my group that I created on Facebook. I mean, I created the group, I can’t flake.
Normally discipline was a word I considered too strong and to be punitive. Like there was some judgment being handed down if one didn’t have enough discipline. I know where it comes from too. A very firm punishment style in my childhood and a higher bar I hold for myself that can feel very punishing too sometimes.
However, during this challenge of getting to the run every day I realized that discipline is necessary if we want to accomplish anything. The discipline I practiced has paid off in so many other areas. I saw that happening in less than two weeks of doing my daily run. We know when we are doing less than we are capable of and perhaps discipline is the missing ingredient.
The discipline I am speaking of has a vibration of celebration to it. When I lace up to go, often I am not thinking of running at all. I am blocking it out and thinking of how it will feel to finish and to know I did something only I can do for me. No one can do my exercise for me and no one can do your growing for you. They just can’t. People can help but wherever we are and wherever we hope to be is on us.
I’ve known this and even said that to clients, and myself, but this challenge has brought to me a whole new level of belief in self of capability, application and grit. It has also lost the excuse factor for me. There is time in the schedule to do all that changing, in more than clothing, and to attend to the other aspects of life. There is satisfaction in knowing I put my health and releasing energy as a priority and there is a lot of laundry, but I love doing laundry so that is a plus too!
What are you putting off trying or engaging in because the limiting belief systems in your head say that it isn’t possible or that it would be too difficult? Maybe it would take discipline. Maybe you will have to turn down invitations and refocus on what you want in life if you undertake it and maybe you will find that you had it within you the whole time!
Some people have said to me it wasn’t safe to do this challenge because we need a rest day but I was thinking that the human body doesn’t; the excuse factory does. The human body used to work much harder than we ask it to on a daily basis. It knows it’s capable. It is the brain that limits. Good thing I don’t run with my brain anymore and rather listen to my soul and my body to make the determination.
Discipline; give it a go.