Spring is almost here. The weather is starting to break in Chicago and I’m more than ready to get out and get my outside fitness groove back on.
I’m what you call a fitness junkie. I love to talk about it, read it, try new things, and have it as part of my routine.
But there is one thing I had never done before last year.
This one thing did more for me than I ever thought it could do and believe me, I had my doubts.
But one year later, it’s something I will try and do every year for the rest of my life.
What is it? A Fitness Goal.
Now, I’m not talking about a certain number of workouts a week. (although important – do that!)
I’m talking a good old fashioned physical goal to do something you’ve never done before.[tweetthis]What is a Fitness Goal? It’s a fitness experience that will push you beyond your limits.[/tweetthis]
I’ve always been an athlete. I absolutely love any sport and the competition that naturally comes with it.
But I’ve also played it safe. I know my limits and have never really tried anything new.
Until last year.
I decided to do a Sprint Triathlon. Mind you, this is NOT an Ironman but the 100 level in triathlons. (remedial for the professional triathlete)
But it would push me to do something that didn’t have a ball required in the activity.
The year started off by running my 1st 5K (3.1 miles). I’ve always been allergic to running unless it involved sports or I was running for my life. But it was part of a bigger fitness goal: the sprint triathlon.
My wife had done two the previous two years and I was SO incredibly proud of not only her accomplishment but the level of training she had committed to in order to accomplish this goal.
So, last year I committed to doing this fitness goal knowing it would absolutely push me. And what I found out were these…
1. The Challenge
If you’re anything like me, you need a challenge. You’ve accomplished a lot but possibly hesitant to push yourself to the next level. (especially the older we get – the excuses just get that much more convincing)
For me, the challenge was a sprint triathlon because of the endurance required and the pushing myself beyond what I knew I had ever done before.
I had always done something safe. Something I knew I could not only complete but excel. And THIS was definitely out of my comfort zone. (like out there and take a left)
And exactly why I needed this to be my fitness goal.
I had watched my wife train and knew this would be a great challenge for me.
Some of us just simply need a challenge to go after in our lives right now. Why not push our body with this need for a challenge?
2. The Motivation
Once you accept the challenge, you acquire the the one thing you will need to actually pull it off. Motivation.
For example, once I knew the date of my triathlon, I became VERY motivated to begin my training process to pull off what I just committed myself to doing in a few months.
And I needed motivation because I was NOT a strong swimmer. I had never biked the required distance. And I definitely had not run 3.1 miles simply for the sake of running.
Do you see a motivational pattern?!
And here’s the kicker: they were all one right after each other when I had never completed just one! The Big Mo of motivation HAD to be present in order for me to actually pull off this fitness goal.
And you know what? The more I began to train, the more my motivation kicked in. And it was needed on days the weather was rough or my body was sore.
Another thing about motivation. It was deeper this time because of the challenge I had accepted. I had made it known this is what I was going to do and I did NOT want to go back on my commitment to pull off this fitness goal.
One added bonus that came out of the training. I used my time wisely by choosing not to just listen to music but intentionally planned and chose to listen to audio books while riding and running.
Can you say mobile classroom?
Sometimes my motivation wasn’t physical but knew I could finish an audio book or start another one with today’s training. Gotta love that extra bonus!
Big Mo came in with a huge payoff. I was ready for my race physically and had grown mentally (at no additional charge, of course!)
3. The Reward
For those of you have accepted a challenge, and rode the motivation until the end know exactly what I mean with the reward.
I worked SO hard for my 1st triathlon. That morning I was nervous and just wanted to finish strong.
I struggled through the swimming portion (which was my weakest of the three areas) but lived to tell and made up the time on the bike.
I could actually enjoy the challenge because I was prepared. I remember a couple of moments that were surreal that I would think “I’m actually doing this and going to pull this fitness goal off!”
My last mile was exhilarating. I could hear the crowd as I made my last turn and sprinted with everything I had left in the tank.
Then my moment came of crossing the finish line and seeing my family SO excited for me.
We need these moments. But they never come unless we accept the challenge and feel the motivation.
Do you need that feeling of a personal reward of something you’ve accomplished that pushed you past what you thought you could do? (but knew you should do)
There are many possible Fitness Goals you could do this year. I hope your mind was working through some ideas as you read this post.
Some of you knew right away because you’ve been putting off the challenge like I did in past years.
But no longer. This is your year. Are you going to run your first race? Or do it again since it’s been so many years and prove to yourself you can still do it?!
Or are you going to improve on previous accomplishments (ie: 10K this year instead of the 5K last year)
Do you need the challenge of a Triathlon or a Spartan Team Obstacle Race?
Chances are something came to mind. Follow that inkling of an idea. Do some research.
In the End….
I HAD to consciously choose to do the following 5 action items:
- choose the challenge
- put the date on the calendar
- train like mad
- show up and put up
I’m calling you out. If you’re a high performer, you like the challenge to be better for your sake not compared to everyone else.
So, it’s YOUR time. Are you willing to leave your comfort to push yourself this year with a fitness goal? Did this challenge, motivate, and inspire you to do something out of your comfort zone?
I would love to hear about the following three things:
- your fitness goal
- when is it
- when you accomplish it (pictures encouraged)
Let’s make something of this year. Of course I have to repeat and improve on my Sprint Triathlon. Then I’m on to a 10K then half marathon this year. Bring it on, baby!
I want you to have this moment below…
What is going to be your Fitness Goal this year?