A couple months ago, while driving home from a No Excuse Mom meetup, I saw a fellow member, Kimmy, walking home. I slid down my window and said, “Hey, you live near me! Do you want to go running sometime?” (I’ve seen her run before) She agreed and we both scheduled a 6am run in two days.
Asking her to run that day was going to benefit me in multiple ways. I wanted to started getting up earlier. I wanted to start running regularly. I was bored performing cardio on my own and ultimately…. I’ve always detested running.
Yes, I’ve run a marathon. Yes, I’ve done the Spartan Trifecta. Yes, I will do charity races – but it’s not something I really prepped for. While I ran 26.2 miles without stopping in Pittsburgh, it was at a manageable 12 min pace, I never hit a wall and I was back in the gym training after a day of rest. In reflection, I didn’t push myself. I could’ve run harder, but I don’t like getting really uncomfortable.
Recently I did something simultaneously when I chose to start running two months ago…
I asked one of my longtime friends to start meeting me once a week to workout. He is a workaholic, a beast in business and in decent shape, but I knew better. I knew he hasn’t had adequate sleep for years; I knew his poor posture was weakening his core and while he looked good, good wasn’t great. So, I took him under my wing. We worked out. He almost threw up. We worked out again. He realized his muscle imbalances. We worked out again. His endurance started improving. We worked out again. He is now stronger.
One day he thanked me for our workouts and for even holding me back in my own training. Laughingly I replied, I had just started seriously training again after my explant surgery. Our first workout together was my first strength workout since going under in late June. I also explained that by helping him, I was helping myself. After all, I was held accountable at a different level. But I understood where he was coming from because a couple times a week when I ran with Kimmy, I felt like I held her back, since she is a faster runner than me.
I often talk about the importance of three people in your life. I first introduced this concept in my book, The No More Excuses Diet. I dove into the power of 3’s in your food, fitness, goal setting and progress charts. Today, I know more fully the appreciation of being in balance with three kinds of energy embodied in the humans we surround ourselves with.
To be in flow with one’s life and direction, you must have a mentor, like the runner in front of you during a race – someone who has been there, who can guide you and build your confidence. You must have a supporter, like the people holding signs on the sidelines – someone who will encourage you, cheer you on and build your belief that you can do it. Lastly, you must have a follower, it’s that person running behind you, who’s using you as their pacemaker; a follower is someone who you inspire, guide and lead. You don’t want to fail because in doing so, you fail them.
Since I began running, I started at a 10:40 pace. This was my average and the fact I got up and put on my running shoes was a win for me. As I continued to run, even though it was only twice a week, I did something without realizing…
I started picking up the pace.
The people around me started moving faster. Or sometimes I moved faster. But I started listening to my breath. I started pushing myself a little harder. In the last mile I wanted to feel like I wanted to throw up.
I wanted to get uncomfortable.
I was reminded when my friend wanted to throw up during our first workout. I was reminded by the new mother who held a two min plank at my NEM core workout. Today I was reminded by my stepdaughter who I encouraged to start waking up and run. I couldn’t fail myself because I didn’t want them to fail me, I couldn’t fail because they haven’t failed me – and so I needed to practice what I preached.
In order to grow you must be adequately challenged. You must surround yourself with people who do more, give more and therefore become more. You begin to progress without thought or seemingly effort because you are in flow with the energy around you.
Today I ran at a 9:00min pace (with my dog!) I was shocked. While my breathing was still labored and I was still maxing out mentally towards the end, I felt lighter on my feet.
I want to seek that feeling of purposeful and progressive pain every day. Get slightly uncomfortable. Do something that scares you. Whether it’s running at an un-breathable pace, networking with a new person, posting a new type of content or attending a new event. Find the three people in your life and don’t discount the importance of each. This is your life’s team.
Lastly, do not diminish the importance of asking. If you do not ask, you will not receive.
Ask for that workout partner. Ask for that job. Ask for that opportunity. Ask for that deal.
The fear in the ask, stems from the fear of rejection. However, like a muscle, once you hear No, you can hear it again, deal with again, experience it again – and it will make you stronger. Get uncomfortable, face your fears and keep asking until you get that Yes.
All you need is that ONE yes to change your life.