Thursday, June 2, 2011

Giving Myself Some Beastly Points {Achieving Goals}

So there was this guy running barefoot at the truck. Yeah...barefoot! That was a first for me. He kind of ran on his tippy toes like a 4 year old running through a sprinkler. It took everything within me not to pass him and holler, "Keep going Twinkle Toes!" It was weird, but kind of daring and slightly beastly. It takes a beastly person to run on the Catonsville track and not worry about running over a piece of glass. I admired his lack of fear.

Then there was the tatted dude who was running around the track, sans shirt, so we all could see the time he's spent doing P90X AND his apparent tolerance of the tattoo needle. He looked beastly. But Mr. Beastly Tatted Dude lost beastly points when he stopped to puke.

I was trying really hard not to sympathy puke.

You know what I mean...someone pukes and you feel like you need to puke too.

Anyway, when he hopped back on the track to run another 1/4 mile, he totally regained the beastly points he lost and gained a few extra. Mr. Beastly Tatted Dude was beastly in a mind over matter kind of way because he kept going. I admired his determination.

And then I saw a woman that I know. Compared to the other woman running at the track, she wasn't the fastest and she didn't look as good as the other woman one lane over. But I had to give it to her: she jogged/walked two miles around the track and then ran up and down the full length of the bleachers three times over. I congratulated her on a job well done, but she didn't want to hear it.



"I feel like I barely did anything at all tonight," she said with defeat in her voice. "I wanted to jog up the steps with more energy, and I wanted to run more, but I'm just tired tonight. I don't know...last night I did so much better, and I wanted to do even better tonight."

At first I nodded in agreement and offered a sympathetic, "Well, you did what you could," but then I realized my sympathy was feeding into her disappointment. I needed to give her some perspective.

"You're crazy, do you know that??"

Her eyes popped open.

"No, seriously, you're nuts. Listen to you. You're disappointed because you didn't move faster or climb the stairs with more energy???" I asked.

She was bewildered.

"This is the first time you've been back to this track in a year. The last time you were here, you couldn't even run one quarter the way around the track, much less run up one section of the bleachers! This time? You were a beast! You've NEVER run this far around the track before! AND you ran up and down the ENTIRE length of the bleachers three times over?? Seriously?? The you from last year would love to have been able to do what you just did. The you from last year would be ENVIOUS of your accomplishment tonight!"

She was starting to get it.

"You're right," she said. "I guess I just get so caught up in the moment, and I want to reach my goal so badly that I forget how far I've come. You know, the 'me' from last year probably wouldn't have even come out in this heat."

I shook my head at her in mock disappointment. "Girl, you have got to start celebrating your accomplishments more. It's OK to push yourself, but don't do it at the expense of making yourself feel like a loser. Be proud of what you did tonight and how far you've come."

And so I made peace with myself and admitted that I was beastly in my own way. No, I didn't run barefoot or puke and keep on going. But I did run the farthest I've ever run at the track, and I pushed myself to go up and down the bleachers more than I even felt like doing. I've got to stop taking my "little" accomplishments for granted, because all these little accomplishments add up to a big accomplishment: my goal. Every day that I do something pertaining to my goal, I'm that much closer to seeing it come to fruition. I'm finally changing from a person who says they have a goal to being a person that is actually doing something to achieve their goal - a huge change for me. The secret to actually achieving a goal, I've discovered, is that there isn't a secret. I make it tougher than it is. A goal is really just a dream with a plan and a deadline. If I'm trying to get to a destination, I look up the directions first to make sure I know how I get there. Once I get on the road, I may have to course correct because of a road closure, but I'm aware of alternate routes so I have a back up plan. It would make sense then, when it comes to my goal destination, it's hard to mess things up when I've laid out the plan and I've got something to follow. There's a little bit of "fear of failure" in there, but it's hard to be a failure when there's a plan to follow.

So what's the goal that YOU are working towards? Or do you have the goal in mind, but you're not really doing anything other than talking/thinking about it? What's holding you back from accomplishing it? It's never to late to earn beastly points and get to gettin' on achieving your goal.


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