Keep Your Head in the Game!
Just recently, I completed my first marathon! I have been on cloud 9 ever since then! I thought I would blog about this journey simply because I have learned several life lessons that can be applied to almost any situation or circumstance. I hope you will be inspired and gain some valuable tools that will assist you in getting through your next challenge successfully.
Thirty minutes before it was time to make it to the start line, the butterflies in my stomach were going bananas! I was saying to myself that I really needed to tame these little darlings. So, I rolled my shoulders backwards and forwards several times to loosen up. I bounced-walked around the hotel lobby for a few minutes, then I instantly felt better. So…what was going through my head? I’ll tell ya! I was thinking that since I had prepared six months ago or so to take this trip (marathon) anyway, I may as well enjoy the journey since it was going to be a 26.2 mile one at that!
My friends and I were almost at the start line towards the rear of the crowd of over 9,100 marathoners and half-marathoners. Then we were off to a good pace! The first 10 miles our pace was very calculated. We had run the half-marathon last year, so the terrain was not that big of a surprise to us. The weather was perfect, cool and breezy! The hills seemed to come at us every so many yards because they were never-ending (ugggh), yet we kept moving.
As I continued on with my pace, there was a split in the crowd. The half-marathoners went one direction, while the marathoners continued straight away. All of a sudden, the density of the crowd had dissipated into a few and far between runners. This is the part of the race when everything you've learned and developed in training really kicks in. I had to find that place in my head where I was going to remain focused, joyful, determined and resolute. I had to keep my head in the game! As I continued running from that standpoint, it was all about completing the journey. The children, well-wishers, family, friends, the bands were all a part of this wonderful journey. They were the encouragers, cheering for you, high-fiving you, giving you that vote of confidence that you CAN do it! This was great, because it made the run more fun, less painful, and quite entertaining.
The finish line is now two miles out. Just as I had trained on my weekly runs, I kicked it into gear, revved up my engine, and headed for the finish line as though someone was chasing me (lol)! I can honestly say that I finished strong! I finished victoriously! I finished in one piece! I was a winner because I FINISHED!
Here are few of the lessons that I learned on this marathon journey:
1. Preparation is the name of the game! Whatever it is that you want to accomplish,you will need to have a game plan. Someone once said that a dream without a plan is just a wish! You will need to state in specific terms what you want to do. You will need to take ownership of your plan and get your head in the game!
2. Commitment matters! A game plan without execution is useless! You can have all of the right ideas, all of the right information, and the perfect outline to accomplish something great, but if you never follow through with it, hit or miss at it, and being indecisive, you will rarely experience the result that you are looking for. You have to be committed to being committed! You have to keep your head in the game!
3. Discipline is necessary! Remember that the body does whatever the mind tells it to do. The mind processes every thought, feeling, nuance, impulse, and desire.Your body will follow suit. If you want to execute your game plan with precision, then you will need to be disciplined. You cannot allow your feelings or moods to determine your stick-to-it-ness! You have to keep your head in the game!
4. Rest! I am using this word loosely because I want you to understand clearly what I mean. Every time you expend energy physically, it takes a toll on your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a good idea to give the mind and body a chance to restore itself before it becomes too depleted. When you have done quite a bit of mental work in coming up with a plan for success, and you are executing it with tenacity, it is a good idea to give yourself time to process everything, to replenish, to revive yourself. Even in running, you need rest days, easy running weeks, hard running weeks. Just keep in mind "build and restore". But always keep your head in the game!
5. Celebrate! To me, this is paramount to any level of success you will attain. You do not have to wait until you have completed your game plan in order to celebrate! You may celebrate along the way. It is good for you. Every time you have made even the smallest accomplishment, you should reward yourself for a job well done! Surround yourself with people who will celebrate you, celebrate with you, and celebrate your accomplishments. This is essential and very beneficial to your psyche. Block all negativity including negative people. Because you’re keeping your head in the game!
6. Complete what you started! Although this sounds a lot like commitment and discipline, I want to put another twist to it. Do Not Quit! No matter what adversities or sudden changes you may face, do not let it shake your confidence! Sometimes you have to re-group. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. You must remain resolute! If you can see yourself at the beginning where you want to be in the end, you will inspire and motivate yourself! Create that image of success for yourself in your mind, carrry out your plan in action, and see yourself there! When obstacles come, they may be challenging to handle, but you will get through it if you keep your head in the game! Finish strong!!
Well….that’s ALL for now! 2012 is on its way! Let’s make it happen! Get your head in the game, and see yourself walking victoriously in light of your accomplishment!
Make this your best day ever!