Running With the Right Attitude

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.”  -Steve Prefontaine

In my earlier years I confess to being a complainer, one of those people extremely hard to please. For such a person, life can be a real bitch; their cup is always half-empty, it’s always a bad day and as a result bad things always happen. Picture running with an attitude like that, a nightmare. The weather (biggest running pet peeve ) is never right, the shoe never fits well, someone’s always messing up their race, they’re never running well..things just never work out right. And the worst part is that they’re so busy looking at the negative things, they miss the most beautiful parts: the beauty of the changing seasons, the sheer joy of competition and success, good health and vitality and so many other blessings that runners enjoy.

Thank God the past is just that, past and gone forever. However, it serves as an important reference point, whereby I can assess the changes I’ve had to embrace in order to see my self-growth, particularly in my running. Whenever I’m asked what caused my shift in perspective, I point to my arrival here in the United States and the succeeding period of uncertainty I endured before my move to New York. There’s something to be said for not being in control of things – in truth, thinking we are in control is an illusion anyway – we are forced to tap into our natural strength and ability, traits we might never have explored otherwise. In any event, my aha moment came in realizing that living in the moment and maximizing my gift was not a blessing to be taken lightly. The rest, as they say, is history.

This week, before my marathon on Sunday, has gotten me to thinking of how important it is for any person facing a challenge, especially a runner, to do so with the right attitude and perspective. The ability to run is a gift. You owe it to yourself and the gift-giver to do your best with it. Running gives you freedom, direction and purpose; you can choose to do with that as you may, but it is yours to enjoy for as long as you can. Your ability to engender enthusiasm and embrace its benefits ensures that running becomes a lot easier, more enjoyable, and more of a blessing if you do it with grace, gratitude and a genuine desire to make a difference, whether personally or to the world at large. Either way, it will ultimately extend beyond you because you’re running with the right attitude.

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Hit the ground Running in 2015

imageWow… to think that a new year is here. Last year seems to have run away and along with it all our hopes and dreams of winning the lotto, shaking off the weight, visiting Rome, going on a safari, running an ultra (shh..some of my dreams) and all the other very ambitious goals we had set in what seems like yesterday of Jan 1, 2014. Have no fear though, this is a new year with an opportunity to do it all over again; not the same things obviously but to continue where we left off, to start what we never begun and to try again where we have failed.

We welcome 2015: we welcome the chance to live, to love, to run , to grow, to become the very best versions of ourselves. Each year we try and oftentimes we don’t succeed completely but I’m big on putting one’s best foot forward and if that was you last year, then kudos to you. If for some reason you fubbed up, then this is especially your year – your opportunity to make right by you. No pressure except what you outline for yourself. We’ve spoken before, rewind to last year, about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) and I feel that if we really stick to that model, we will accomplish more and so be happy with the results. Being overly ambitious can be seen as setting ourselves up for failure where we end up feeling dejected, stressed and unfulfilled; no good to ourselves or others.

A simple, objective and honest approach is to consider our health, happiness and that of those we care about, to try to enhance each of these in a pragmatic and focused manner. As per always, I encourage you to:

. List your SMART goals, place them where you can see them daily
. Seek God’s direction and guidance in setting and carrying them out
. Share your goals with a friend who can hold you accountable and viz a viz
. Do a journal so you can track your progress
. Be thankful, appreciative and conscious of cultivating the right attitude and perspective every day. I believe this counts for at least 75% of goal attainment

While it may sound cliché, above all, remind yourself of the gift you have been given of another year and do not take it lightly. Many did not make it and many others are in a sad place, you are loved and have been given the gift of life – make it count.

imageHAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ready, Set, Breathe, Go!

I’m ready! I’m in the best frame of mind; calm,  have the right attitude; winning,  and a super-excited Spirit.  I’m eating well today, hydrating, resting up, lightly working out my ankle and plan on relaxing with some movies later on and then turning in early.I’ve done my checklist, got my stuff together and I’m ready!

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I think I have a great plan: slow start for the first few miles, up the ante a bit from mile 8 thru 20 (medium-pace), power up the last 6.2. Gatorade stations are my best friends, I’m sipping at every station except at 4 mile intervals when I’ll have water & my power gels.  Also, I’m totally making use of the fruit stations at mile 20-23.   I’m all about breathing and taking it all in..the race of a lifetime with the most amazing views and awesome cheer crowd in the world.  I’m ready. New York City, here I come!!!

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