2012 Fight for Air Walk, Nashville TN (I participated to start the healing process after losing my father to lung cancer.)

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.

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