It's Only a Mile

I set a goal and I reached it. I'm super proud of myself. I wanted to share it with you.

About 2 months ago, we had this Leadership and Culture presentation in our office. It was really informative, and I walked away with some perspective, and a lot to think about.

A Little Background: There was a topic that was brought up in the meeting that really got my attention. I wanted to hold on to this idea as soon as I heard about it. It a series of 30-day challenges that had been self-assigned to a guy who ended up having a TED talk about it. We were then asked if there was a 20-day challenge we could do for ourselves. It was presented as something that didn't have to be difficult, it didn't exactly have to change your life or your whole world. A challenge just for you, and help you grow.

To Get a Little Personal: I had recently (and not so recently) been told by medical professionals that I need to focus on cardio in my workout routines. It's good for my body, which is genetically at risk for diabetes and heart disease, just like it's good for most people’s bodies. I had already started showing some of the pre-diabetic warning signs, and I needed to continue to take care of myself to stay healthy. However, I fight with the same boredom that many, many people do when it comes to cardio. Bikes, and ellipticals, and treadmills, and ever the stair climbers… you are huffing and puffing and staying in place. Its tough to stay engaged. So I thought it over and figured one mile is not that hard. I decided to start a mile a day challenge.

For this challenge, I gave myself one simple rule: I had to run at least one mile every day, for 30 days.

Off and Running: It was a simple start and I felt great about it. Sometimes I would be feeling really good, the initial mile would have me energized, and I would run more than a mile. Sometimes the cardio would warm me up and I would actually do some lifting for another 20 or 30 mins. It got me up off the couch and out the door. I was active for at least 15 to 20 mins every day, and I could feel a big difference. My Mile a Day Goal Tracker

The Good: In the time I had given myself for this challenge, my boyfriend, Ben, and I had a little vacation planned. I had to plan a little in advance and map out a couple of routes while we were gone. It was nice that I was able to get out and run while I wasn't at home. I ran around a super cute area in Oakland, and found a really nice trail outside of Reno. Places I most likely would not have seen!

The Bad: One or two times, I would have to go to the gym late, at the end of the day. 10 pm on a treadmill seems really awful, but it was actually fine. I would crawl back home, shower and get right into bed. Those nights I actually slept extremely peacefully.

The Ugly: The worst was an evening where I was in a dance workshop for almost 3 hours and hadn't run my mile yet. A lot of people said to me “you danced for 3 hours, that counts” but it would have broken my rule. I had to RUN one mile, that was the deal that I had made with myself. I'm glad I stuck to that and didn't compromise. It made me feel that much more accomplished when I looked back on my 30 days.This was at 10:20 PM

It was one of the tougher months I have put myself through, but it got me into a good routine. My last day of the challenge, I tried to push myself to run 2 miles, but I ran out of time I could spare being at the gym. I ended up with a good idea of what i can accomplish at the gym. I'm proud of myself. I wouldn't even say this is a wholly original idea, either. I obviously got the idea from someone else, who was explaining someone else's journey. Mini-challenges have been around for quite some time, but I like the small little wildfires it creates within a community.

Several friends and colleagues of mine have asked me about this and they have been inspired. Some are modifying the idea so that it for works for them, and what they hope to gain in the fitness department, but using the basics of “it's just one mile” to get motivated.

The Bottom Line: Let’s face it, some days, a mile is hard. You don't want to get out of bed, or you had a long day, you just finished a whole pizza by yourself, but you do it. You get some endorphins, you move on with your day. Other days, you think its going to be a drag, but then you hit a good stride, and you really feel motivated to take the day on and continue being active! I guess its all about perspective.Me in the gym Wednesday Morning October 5th

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