A few moments ago I went to the Spartan Race website, and registered to compete in the Spartan Super, a 12km+ obstacle course race in Red Deer, on September 6th, 2014. You see, I am determined to get back into really good shape, like I was last summer while training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The problem was, as soon as the 225km ride was over, I stopped training. Instantly.
I had a really busy fall, lots of perfect excuses for not continuing the rigorous exercise schedule that had become routine for the past 9 months. So by Christmas time I was totally out of shape again, and starting to feel sore, not sleeping as well, moving slower, and feeling a lot more like 31 than 25!
So I’ve realized how important it is for me to have extremely clear goals to work toward. They keep me focused, they help me to take action, and they help bring clarity to what it is I want to create in my life. Feeling really, really healthy, strong and awesome, is a pretty high priority, so I’m pretty excited that I now have two really great goals to help get me there; the MS Ride in June, and the Spartan Race in Sept. I have no idea what it’s going to require of me to be able to finish the Spartan Race, but I do know I’m going to do it. Thousands of other people have done it, so surely it’s achievable. But I’m beginning to think that getting from ‘here’ to ‘there’ is much more about mental training that it is about physical training.
I’ve started reading Chris Hadfield’s book, “An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth”, and in the story of how he goes from a 9 year old boy staring up at the night sky and dreaming of being an astronaut, to being the first Canadian to ever complete a space walk, he talks about how he spent 25 years “thinking like an astronaut” before he ever became one. He realized at an incredibly young age, that his life was nobody’s responsibility but his own. So even though there was no such thing as a “Canadian astronaut” at the time, he spent his childhood setting himself up to become one. Even though it was impossible! I love that. The book is so inspiring, and even though I may not have a crystal clear dream of what I want my career or by business to look like in 25 years, I do have some pretty exciting goals that I want to work toward right now, in all areas of my life. Chris is so right – if you want to become an astronaut, you have to start to think like one. Would an astronaut sleep in, or get up early and read a book? Would a Spartan sit on the couch and watch TV, or would he bust his ass and work out 4 days a week?
But Chris didn’t just martyr his way to space. A lot of people seem to believe that success is about sacrifice, suffering, more sacrifice, tolerating a life that may or may not offer fulfilment, and then cashing in when you finally one day hit the grand prize and all that hard work becomes “worth it”. But Chris talks about how vitally important it is to LOVE the “working toward” the goal part. He trained and worked as an astronaut for ELEVEN YEARS between his 2nd and his 3rd mission, with no guarantee that a 3rd mission would ever even happen. But he loved it, every day of it. So the space walk was just gravy!
This is hugely important for me, both in my physical training goals, and also as a reminder of how it important it is to love my work every day. Every project, every task, is all part of something meaningful and worthwhile. It’s all just a matter of perspective and choosing my thoughts. And right now, I’m choosing to think like a Spartan!
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