Today’s post comes from food-lover, health enthusiast, and soon to be marathoner, Cara Gandy. This is a girl who knows how to motivate (convinced me to do the Tough Mudder New England), as well as stay motivated. Today, Cara talks about fitness, but soon I will convince her to share some of her recipes that she diligently makes for her healthy meal rotations. Now, check out Cara’s down-to-earth perspective on setting goals -big or small- and reaching them. What is my goal for today? fit in a 30 minute work out and make this Tabbouleh salad recipe.
You’ve heard it before. Your friend is becoming a super ultra marathon freak or, your cousin is training for an iron man. What makes some people superior athletes while the rest of us struggle to put on our gym clothes consistently? Could it be genetics?
Motivation; I nod my head and say yes I have it but, when my alarm goes off the next morning it makes more sense to just roll over because I stayed up too late and need my sleep. When 5 o’clock hits and I’m out of work I’m so hungry I couldn’t possibly drive out of my way to hit up the gym. I may have thought up every possible excuse to not go but really, do I feel any happier at the end of the day?
At the beginning of the summer I made the decision to train for a marathon. Some people have asked me if I’m crazy and the first response from many is “I could never do that”. While that may be the case for people with physical disabilities, I like to believe it’s attainable for most people if that’s what they want. I started to examine why I might be crazy but more importantly, why I made the decision to do this in the first place. I never had any special physical skills, never broke any records and continue to think I’m just an average Jane.
It all started because I like to have mini competitions with myself. My rule- I only bet when I know I can finish. For example, I found myself standing on a scary treadmill one day. I knew I couldn’t run for 30 minutes straight so I made a deal with myself to run for 2 min and walk for 1 until my time was up. It felt so good that I made another bet with myself the next day to do the same but increase my run time by 1 minute for the first few cycles and last few cycles. I eventually built myself up to run the entire 30 minutes on a treadmill, SUCCESS!
My point here is that the size of your goal is incredibly important to your physical achievement. Pick something that’s big but JUST out of reach. This is so important because you always want to be able to complete your goal but make it just hard enough that you have to work at it. Once you accomplish it, you’ll find yourself saying “well if I did that, I can do ___”. Soon, you’ll be amazed just how far you have come!
Finally, reward yourself for getting the job done. For me, I want to put the 26.2 sticker on my car window. For you, think about what incentive you might want to create for yourself. And above all, HAVE FUN!
Thank you, Ayla for offering me the opportunity to guest write on your amazing blog!