March-ing On to Spring and a Confident and more-than-Capable You

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It is the Winter that just won’t quit. If you think you’re in the process of having a winter melt down, you’re not alone.  I’ve been cold and had a cold since the day of the NYC Marathon last November and can barely remember what a hot day feels like.  To bring it all home, I now boast a full-fledged break-out of the cold that hit me last weekend when I temporarily took leave of my senses and went running in the park in 14 degrees.  My only excuse is that I have had enough.. enough running on the treadmill, breathing recycled, stale air, staring at the walls, meditating etc… and so I thought, why not? Cold notwithstanding, I had a good 12 mile run.  It was fun being in the park after three long months and though my lungs had the initial struggle with cold air, I was well bundled up, not ideal for running but necessary for winter, and after the first couple miles, it felt pretty good out and I was able to enjoy a decent run.  That there were other like-minded crazies out there was hardly surprising, this city loves to run.  On the other hand, my body didn’t enjoy the shock too much, and I’ve fought a losing battle with the cold since then with this week seeing me only one time forcing a run at the gym.

That being said, we’re already coming to the end of the first week of March, where running becomes fun once more, and I have my first race in just over a week.  Yippee! Though I shouldn’t be so excited with the weather if past experience is anything to go by. However, optimist that I am, I will not dwell on that but focus instead on the prospect of Spring and the fun it brings.  Training for this race has been pretty much on schedule given it’s only a half marathon, since I haven’t been able to do longer runs with all the “great” weather we’ve had. Hopefully, this improves as Spring gets closer and we’re off to a running start then, because next month is my first marathon, and I need to get a few long runs in by the end of March.

One thing I can say, is that planning and looking ahead to nicer weather and prettier days keeps things in perspective and is a sure way to keep your confidence up and stay motivated, which is always a tough but necessary thing to do in Winter. It allows you to plough ahead, through the snow, on those crazy winter runs, stay in the gym and carry on with workouts and classes on those bitter cold days, and keeps you healthily aware of your food choices when you’re tempted to start succumbing to winter blues and comfort food.  It also prevents you from going stir crazy when your movements become restricted as you would have been working a schedule to get things up and running come Spring.  For my part, I’m pretty pumped with all this indoor activity I’ve been busy running around with for the past months and I’m revving to go – sick and all – truth is, just thinking about it makes me feel better already so don’t sweat it. We’ve come this far and there are only a few more weeks left.  Here in New York, we runners are very excited!

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Dress for Success in Confident, Goal-getter Running Gear this Year

exerciseDuly noted, our goals remain the one thing that stands between us and us being persons of our word.  It is not enough that we’ve made a list, written it down and stuck it somewhere; it remains our greatest challenge to realize those plans of ours.  How do we remain fitted in the zeal, confidence and enthusiasm, that surely had us in its grip on the onset of planning, during the succeeding months of reality which can oftentimes be brutally harsh and unyielding.  I posit that there are a few key ingredients to realizing a successful 2015.  While a big part of success in any area of life depends on planning and execution, another just as or some may argue even more important part, depends on our attitude and perspective.  In running and exercise, attitude really is everything.  It is the one thing that will keep you going when everything else and everyone says you can’t.  The course of history has been changed on the account of its movers’ and shakers’ attitudes.  Your health and lifes’ ambitions are no different nor are they any less important in terms of their ability to change your world and thus impact the larger world.

Dress for success with:

  • Preparedness; there is no goal killer like having a plan without preparation.  By definition it is what planning entails and so it is super important to not only dress the part but be mentally, physically and emotionally ready and able to carry out your plan.  If you’ve decided to join a gym for example, then getting gym oriented and learning about the services, classes, equipment etc. that are available will put you in a better position to plan your activities and time around what you decide to do thus affording you the opportunity to maximise your participation and the benefits which can be derived.  Talk with a personal trainer, an instructor or even sign up for a trial to see if it’s a good fit.  If it’s running, then start of with small goals and even a running group, get a couple of books and read up on beginning running techniques or even watch a couple of videos.
  • Confidence; a big part in carrying out any physical goal is how we perceive ourselves.  We are sometimes our worst critic, while this is not always bad, it is our worst attribute when directed at our perceived flaws and shortcomings.  It is important to be able to face yourself – take a long, hard look in the mirror – and like what you see.  It is because you love yourself, you want better for you. Don’t chaff at that.  Meet your eyes and tell yourself what you are going to achieve together..yes it’s a mind and body effort, one you must continually be engaged in encouraging and uplifting.  While it is important to get this affirmation from others as well,  it would mean nothing if you didn’t believe it first.
  • Passion; I’m sure you’ve heard it said that if you like something it’s easier done.  Discovering your passion, something you really enjoy, is a key part to realizing your potential and being successful.. whether it’s running, a cardio class, yoga, swimming, whatever you decide to love -sometimes it has to be a decision- do with passion, enthusiasm, commitment and diligences, you will reap the benefit.
  • Focus and Wisdom; it is better to stick with what you know and apply yourself to perfecting it than to be divided among competing interests where you can’t get anything right.  Let’s say for example co-ordination is a challenge, then skip the dance class for a spin or yoga class.  That being said, there’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself to try different things and acquiring different skills, on the contrary, more power to you.  In all things apply wisdom so you never end up biting off more than you can chew.

A Happy, Successful and Goal-Achieving new year is up to you.  Have so much fun!

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