It’s easy to make excuses: I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I don’t have enough time. Whatever it may be, there’s really no limit to the number of excuses we can make when we are faced with challenges. For me, this is exactly what was happening when it came to running a half marathon.
For the longest time, running a half marathon had been a goal of mine, but I just couldn’t seem to find a reason to push aside all my excuses. There were other things I should be making my priority, I worked too much to train, I didn’t have the appropriate running shoes. Whatever the reason, I was always finding excuses not to set out on a path that would enable me to accomplish this goal. Then, about a year and a half ago, I started working at David&Goliath.
“It’s easy to make excuses: I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I don’t have enough time.”
In our first agency meeting David spoke to us about the importance of the challenger mindset and the reason why we have a Wall of Goliaths. It really got me thinking and questioning the challenges in my life, how I approach them and how I react to them. When David introduced the Defiance Club, the idea of accountability and a reason for me to stop making excuses came to light. I knew what I wanted to do, but at the same time, I was uncertain if it was something I’d be able to follow through with. Unsure how to start, I sat down with one of my supervisors who had just finished a full marathon. While talking, it occurred to me that telling myself I didn’t know how to start was just another excuse.
Run. That’s how you start. Deciding that this was something I was going to do and then, just doing it. That was my answer. After talking it out and doing a bit of research online, I was really starting to feel this was an attainable goal. At first I didn’t want anyone to know. I wanted to first prove to myself this was something I could do. So, I picked a half marathon that was about three months away. I figured if I stuck with the training schedule, this would give me enough time before the race. Just like that, it was happening. I laced up a new pair of running shoes, and that Saturday, I started my journey toward defeating my Goliath.
The one person I did tell about the marathon was my Dad. He had been trying to lose weight for a while in order to get knee surgery, and, when I told him about my goliath and the Wall of Goliaths, he too became inspired. He identified his own goliath and we made a pact to start immediately and help each other see them through to the end.
Training wasn’t so bad. I knew it was going to take commitment, and that, of course, had its consequences—like giving up fun activities with friends or waking up extra early to go for a run, but I was determined. My Dad and I helped keep each other motivated by reporting our progress each week when we hit new goals. When I was able to run eight miles, I started to feel more confident that this was something I could actually do. It was around this time I turned in my Defiance Club proposal, feeling confident enough that my Goliath could be conquered. And when I did, the pressure was turned up that much more. Everyone was so encouraging, if I didn’t finish now I’d be letting down more people than just myself.
“Training wasn’t so bad. I knew it was going to take commitment, and that, of course, had its consequences…”
I had my goals in mind: First, was to run the entire race without stopping and second, was to cross the finish line. Just a few days before the race, I was surprised by a call from my Dad who said he was coming into town. When I picked him up at the airport, I was shocked at how much weight he had lost. He told me he would be able to get his surgery just after the New Year. He had clearly followed through on his part of our agreement. Now, it was time for me to finish mine.
Race day would be the longest distance I had ever run. My last, pre-race run had been 12 miles, 1.1 miles less than the 13.1 I’d be running in the half marathon. I wasn’t nervous as much as I was anxious to get started. Runners were released in groups, and I had been waiting around since 6:00 am for my turn. When it finally it came to be my group, all that stood in front of me accomplishing my long time goal was a measly 13.1 miles. The flag was waved and we were off. The first 3-5 miles were difficult, but when I finally hit my stride there was nothing stopping me. It felt good and what felt even better was the support I knew I was getting from all of my friends, family and co-workers. The atmosphere of the event was inspiring and surprisingly humbling. There were runners of all calibers, including kids, disabled people, even people that ran the race barefoot. The miles started melting away and by the time I got to the final hill, I could feel victory was close. When I crossed the finish line, not only had I accomplished my goals of finishing without stopping, but I had also run the 13.1 miles just under 2 hours, faster than my previous 12-mile training run.
“It’s okay to be afraid to fail, just don’t be afraid to try.”
It was a rewarding experience to be able to accomplish a goal I had put off for so long. Not only that, but seeing my Dad inspired and be able to put aside his own excuses and accomplish his goals shows just how far-reaching the commitment to defying your Goliath can be.
The Defiance Club not only helped me defy my Goliath, it gave me the confidence to do more of the things I’ve always wanted to do. If I could offer advice to anyone who’s making excuses and putting off something they want to accomplish, it’d be this: It’s okay to be afraid to fail, just don’t be afraid to try. You are the only thing standing in your own way and all it takes is a little courage to accomplish the things you want in life.