I don’t think tears of joy, or tears of pain. Actually, no idea. All I know is I finished my first marathon. It wasn’t pretty but I got it done. Glad to have ticked this one off the bucket list. ️What I was more grateful for was the journey and the lessons I learnt along the way. A journey that stretched a lot further than 42.2km!
My 5 Marathon Life Lessons:
- Coach. Get yourself a coach. As a personal trainer and coach, I have often fallen to the common trap of thinking I could look after myself. How wrong was I. I was fortunate to be surrounded with 8 of the best every day and one of them was wise enough to tap me on the shoulder and tell me to get a coach. So, this time made the effort to invest in a Personal Trainer to coach me to stay on track with my marathon goal. Identifying the right coach for me meant connecting to someone who understood me. Could stay calm when I was stressed about injury or performance, who knew when to pump me up and when to back off and give me space. Thanks Coach.
- The value of community. Having like-minded people around you to support every step of the way, keep you accountable to waking up those early mornings and someone to share the memories with. I realized my commitment wasn’t just to my own goals, but also turning up to support my fellow runners and community. I knew that by turning up I was supporting them, and that by not turning up I was also letting them down. Surround yourself with at least 5 people who are going to support you in your goal. Share your goals, your wins, your struggles and strategies to overcome the challenges along the way. Then celebrate together when it's all done!
- Purpose. For me, doing the marathon was keeping me accountable to role modelling what I believe is important as a leader in the health and fitness industry. I thank my team and community for that, for without them I could easily not bother and once more achieving the goals gives it so much more meaning. What’s your purpose? Ask yourself why are you doing the marathon. Is it to tick off a bucket list item? Is it to prove to yourself you have the ability to stick to a disciplined training program? Is it a stepping stone to something bigger? Your purpose or your “why” will get your through those tougher moments and form commitments that will be far more resilient to challenges that behavioral motivation is susceptible to be knocked over by.
- Small Fish. Find someone better than you. For real growth in any area do it with someone better than you. I was fortunate enough to have someone faster and fitter keeping me on my toes during my run to set the pace that my body could take me to, but my mind may have second guessed. While this stretched me mentally, it forced me to step up and push myself. The same can be said for any part of life. Find people better than you. Drop your ego and learn from them. Listen to them, learn and grow into a better you. Be the small fish in a big pond.
- Find your rock. Find your constant. Sometimes that’s your partner or a loved one. Sometimes its yourself, a particular routine or ritual that supports you emotionally to be at your best. Once you’ve found it, commit to making time for it. Lock that wellness routine into the schedule. Make a commitment to thanking your partner or loved one how much their support means to you. Tell yourself well done and give yourself what you need to stay emotionally fulfilled and supported over the long haul. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint!