I spend a lot of time talking about creating change, overcoming fears, and personal growth in general. Today, I have been working on my business plan. I participated in a conference call, watched some videos, and began drafting some business documents. These are all small actions I am taking to become self-employed. All the while the word “start” kept running through my head.
In the book, Running for Mortals, coauthor John Bingham says of himself, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” He also points out “that the only thing you have to do to be a runner is run.”
Last summer I decided I wanted to try running. I had always been the last one to finish laps around the track in high school, and thought of running as punishment more than cardiovascular exercise. But for some reason, I decided this would be my next exercise regimen.
Within days of making the mental decision, I ran across Bingham’s book (co-written with Jenny Hadfield) in the bargain book bin. (Since I’m always looking for signs, I took this as my green light to get started.) I bought the book and read it from cover to cover in just a few days, yet I was no more a runner than I had been before I bought the book.
One thing I have learned on my journey is that if I wait until I am ready to do something, I will never do it. I must take some small action to move myself closer to where I want to be, and one action after another will get me there. But I have to start.
So my next step took me to the shoe store to buy a pair of running shoes. I made a copy of a training program table from the back of the book and I put the next day’s date on the first block. The next morning, I went out and I walked. For the next three weeks I walked 30 to 40 minutes per day, 6 days a week. On day 22, something magical happened.
I became a runner.
I ran 8 1-minute intervals during a 32 minute walk, and within 2 months, I ran my first 5K. I wasn’t fast, but I did it. It was the same way with writing. When I began blogging, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I am beginning to get it that the only thing I have to do to be a writer is write. I also know I can replace anything I choose for runner or writer… as long as I do that thing.
On a side note, I am currently unable to walk as the result of an accident back in November. I will start physical therapy in a few weeks, when I can bear weight again. I am already planning my training schedule for my next 5K. And when I am able, I will start.