For almost 20 years, my brothers have run in a local 10K, the Cooper River Bridge Run. After hearing them tell stories of their experience I often thought about how cool it would be if I were able to join them. I considered it a bucket list goal, something I really wanted to do, but not sure if it would ever be possible. Until it was. But, a 10K isn’t just something you decide to do, especially if you plan on running any of it. I hadn’t run for almost 10 years, so I knew I’d need to do some training. Thankfully, there’s plenty of information available to help anyone transition from the couch to a 10K in a few months, 14 weeks to be exact. That’s exactly the time I had to train before the day of the event. A few weeks in I discovered this would not merely result in checking off a bucket list goal, but the work to get there would require personal transformation and discipline to train for the event. I wrote in a previous blog about the discovery that the training was far more a mental game then a physical one. Now, after accomplishing the goal, I can clearly see that the greatest treasure came during the process of preparing for the actual event.
Knowing the evenings would bring too many excuses, I made the commitment to leave my house in the dark each morning, drive to a nearby park where I could train safely and still get back home in time to shower and prepare for work. I had to adjust as the weeks progressed and the time/distance increased while the sunrise came later and later. I couldn’t allow one disappointing session to spill into the efforts I made in the next one. I challenged myself to keep going. Just one more song.
While the goal was to join my brothers in this event and experience everything I’d heard stories about over the years, the biggest gifts came in my preparation. Beyond the bucket list, there are treasures to be discovered, inner strength to be unearthed, and mental blocks to sweat away. These are the things that turn a goal into a steppingstone, and a finish line into a new beginning.
It was a fantastic and beautiful weekend that I was finally able to enjoy with my brothers, and now I get to take everything I learned, make some tweaks, and prepare for the next one. What’s on your bucket list? Are you working toward at least one of them? Figure out a plan, commit yourself to the process, and drink in the treasures that you’ll discover along the way. You’ll soon discover that the goal is just the icing, the pretty decoration. But beyond the bucket list, you’ll build a formidable foundation while preparing. When the goal is reached and the day has passed, you have stronger skills and discipline to help you attain the next item on your list, because now you know a little more about what you’re made of and have worked through a few of the excuses that held you back in the past. Ultimately, you get to choose whether you’ve reached the finish line or prepared yourself for a new beginning.
Blessings on your journey!