Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Yesterday, for the first time in a good four weeks, I went back to the gym. I have "good" excuses for not going including birthdays, get-togethers, traveling in three different time zones, work dinners, and the Free to Succeed Tour. Blame the tour, right?! Ha. As one of my friends always says, "DST: Diet Starts Tomorrow" for those times when you get bogged down and know that you haven't been eating very healthy. Anyway, I started my routine over again yesterday.

I was running late for the previously usual 24SET class, thanks to a long meeting at the end of the day. Those kinds of meetings really annoy me, but no sense in beating a dead horse. I don't like being late to those classes because then you end up being that person trying to set up and distracting everyone else. Instead, after changing into my workout clothes, I approached a treadmill.

Leading up to this decision, I kept thinking about how my fitness level had improved every time that I used the treadmill. I don't know if it was just a psychological thing, or what, but if it gets me there, I'll buy it. The last time I used the treadmill was probably May? I tend to use the more "comfortable" apparatus, my favorite, the elliptical. But yesterday was different. I decided on the treadmill.

Now I'm not one of those people who loves running. In fact, I thought my best friend was nuts when she joined cross country in high school. I was the one who finished in the bottom five for the freshman P.E. running test. I've never liked it, and I think running for my life is the only real motivator. But yesterday was different.

I'm determined to make changes in my life, along every step - my health, my job, my business, my relationships. It all has to start at some point, and saying "I will" or "I'll try" just doesn't cut it anymore.I really do feel that my life changed after August 11, that faithful day of the Free to Succeed Tour. I listened to DJ and Jasmine* ever attentively and soaked in every word. I took copious notes. And what stuck out in my mind yesterday when I pressed "Start" on the treadmill was when J* said, "either you're doing something or you're not" and gave the example of either you're lifting a chair or not lifting a chair -- you can't try to lift a chair. You either are or you're not.

In my little reflection, walking at 3.0mph, I decided, I'm going to run. I upped the speed to 3.5, 3.8, 4.0, 4.5... Soon I was running. I wasn't trying to run, I was doing it. At that moment I realized that this philosophy can be applied in all areas of life. Often, I know that I think about doing things or say that I'll try to meet up with friends. That's not actually doing. My efforts depend on me and my decisions.

As a result, I have a new mantra that I want to keep reminding myself of. This personal motto comes from Yoda on Star Wars, "Do or do not, there is no try".

I ran for a few short bursts, feeling alive and free, mixed with walking on an incline to catch my breath. I pushed myself to make it through a 90-second interval. I knew I could, I just had to do it.

Well, I did it.

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