Mid-winter, disheartened at being unable to partake in any meaningful adventure due to weather, I settled upon short outdoor activities close to home. Little did I anticipate the direction it would take me nor the motivation it would yield.

So, what inspired you?

You have a goal, a carrot on a stick. Maybe it is actually a chocolate bar, not a carrot? Hey, we are human. Either way, it is pulling you in like a magnet. 

Chances are you are overwhelmed, feeling like the small steps will never achieve your dreams.

Were you inspired by someone else? A friend, maybe even a celebrity on Instagram or TikTok. *insert your poison here. 

Reality check, you are not in competition with anybody. Therefore it is unhelpful to measure your progress or success against others. Adopt a new yardstick, personal growth. 

Wait. Do not unfollow anyone just yet. We all need inspiration and advice, or even someone to keep us in check, especially when pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. 

Time to put the plan into action. But, before we do, is there something else you should [read could] be doing? Think of your goal as a game of snakes and ladders; Procrastination is a slippery habit. 

If I have learned one thing, it is to zoom out. When the training session falls short of the mark, look at how you have done for the week or month. Sometimes after a setback, it is beneficial to remind ourselves that we have come further than we ever dreamed a year ago.

The journey to effortless marathons is a journey of a thousand miles, and you know how those journeys begin.

Momentum is the key, and to quote Dr Martin Luther King, “if you can’t fly, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But we must move forward”.

Endorphins are your cheerleaders. Achievement is like an energy gel, an energy boost that keeps you pushing forward. The problem is, like energy gels, the buzz of achievement wears off over time. So we need to achieve again.

Momentum is a balanced diet of training. Some days are a plate of meat and vegetables when all you feel like is ice cream. 

“If you don’t eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” - Pink Floyd

Bite after bite, step after step, you fall into a rhythm, enjoying the meditative process, and soon, another workout is complete.

Anxiety has often seen me sidelined on the couch, not wishing to move. Not now. Not ever. 

When there was a glimmer of motivation, I grabbed it with both hands. I made time. 

Time and time again, the buzz from getting out and moving towards my goal left me itching to get out again and again. 

My journey of a thousand miles began with my first run in 9 years. I ran 3 kilometres. It left me wrecked, but unable to deny the buzz it gave me. 

Before the buzz wore off, I set off on another run. My carrot was the Garmin 5km run badge. An achievement only I can see. The running became more frequent. I began to reflect upon my ambition to run a half marathon. Something twice foiled by injury due to starting training too late. Too fast and too hard. A dream abandoned long ago.

My journey has not been linear, nor has it been what I expected, but I am doing better than last week, last month and last year. 

On May 6, I will take the start as I tick off my half-marathon dream in Rotorua. I am not out to win. I am out to finish. I compete with myself.

I will leave you with one last quote, “A dream without action is a hallucination” – Dr Tom Mulholland.

As I take the start line, "Running down a dream - Part 1", of a three part series will premier on Youtube.

Posted: Sunday 30 April 2023

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