Hey guys, As some of you know a couple of weeks ago I ran my first marathon :) (I can smile now that it's over). For those who don't know a marathon is 42km.... Way too far if you ask me! As much as it wasn't a very pleasant experince at the time i am really glad i did it as i think it really did teach me a lot. As you run along it's amazing the things you think about and the things you realise that have been staring you in the face for so long that suddenly make sense.
It's taken a couple of weeks to really sink in and get my head around just how much i really did get out of it but i've come up with 7 things I learnt which I want to share with you so hopefully you can get something out of me torturing myself ;)
1. No matter how unprepared you are action is always better than procrastination! Truth be told I was totally under prepared for this challenge. It would have been easy to put it off, but would putting it off helped me to move forward? I believe not, as I would still be talking about the marathon i'm about to do rather than the marathon I just did. Now i can move onto my next challenge or work on improving.
2. Challenging yourself is the only way to move forward. It's a hard feeling to explain but once you finish a massive challenge like that it really is empowering and there is a sense of "what can't i achieve! now?" PS: the answer to that is nothing ;) If you put things into the too hard basket, the basket just keeps getting bigger and eventually it becomes natural to say "i can't do that.." Which is bull&*%$!
3. Surrounding yourself with great people makes a huge difference.
My buddy Justin who i ran with is one of these great people. Can you imagine running over 4 hours with a really negative person? Probably wouldn't be too much fun and no doubt would lower your chances of actually finishing the thing! So when you're taking on a challenge, surround yourself with great people and you'll get great results :)
4. If you want to succeed you have to put yourself out there. It's easy to sit back and say I'll get to it one day.... In my experience the best times come after the most challenging times. Therefore if you constantly challenge yourself instead of waiting to be challenged you can have more good times right?
5. Don't make mountains out of marathons or molehills.... or something like that. When you beat something up inside your head it just becomes harder. So I figure just chill out, stop worrying and give it 100%, everything will work itself out in the end if you just look after those two things.
6. You've got to acknowledge the negative self talk before you can destroy it. It's like any habit, you've got to acknowledge that something is wrong with your thought process before you can fix it. If you notice yourself getting a bit negative then admit it and fix it. Pretty simple once you identify the problem but if you deny it then you're going to get better and better at talking yourself out of things.
7. When you meet your percieved limitations you automatically set the bar higher for yourself. Say for example you just started exercise and can do 4 push ups, at this point you think doing 10 would be great. 4 weeks later you can do 10, what do you think now? If you're anything like most people I've met you're now looking at 20. In other words your thinking gets bigger as you overcome more and more percieved limitations. I hope these lessons can be as valuable to you as they were to me. Would love to hear all about your upcoming challenges in the comments :)
Dedicated to your fitness success, Jacob Mcluskie