One month ago today, I achieved a major goal which I had set for 2012. One decision I made over 7 months ago, set me on a course I never could have anticipated. I’m going to show you how one decision can take you to places you never imagined. One decision can take you to places you WANT to go, or to places where you DON’T want to go. One decision can lead you to another decision. One decision can cause you to act more differently than you might expect. One decision can hurt. One decision combined with another decision can often have a cumulative effect. One decision can alienate you. One decision can congregate you.
Last April, I decided to take a chance. I signed up for a Spartan Sprint obstacle course race (3+ miles/5K w/15+ obstacles). It was something new and different to do in celebration of my upcoming 51st birthday. So, I “trained” for about 3 weeks and upon finishing the race, I had a new sense of self-esteem. If I could complete the “short” Spartan Sprint with minimal training, I thought, why not try the longer Spartan Super (8+ miles w/20+ obstacles)? Then, I began to think that maybe I could complete the even longer Spartan Beast (12+ miles w/25+ obstacles). And finally, I thought, maybe I could do all 3 before the end of the year! Could all of this actually be possible for me, a middle-aged, former smoker and non-athlete? Could I do this without any professional training or coaching? Were some new-found endorphins clouding my judgment? Was my ego overinflated just because I completed one race? (The SpartanRace.com Sprint description page states that 99.9% of those who try a Sprint will finish.) Was my accomplishment really a big deal? Yes! Not just because less than 1 in 1,000 people even attempt a Spartan race, but because I decided, EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY, to keep going until I crossed the finish line! Therefore, I set out to earn membership into the coveted Spartan Trifecta Tribe: those who finish at least one each of the Sprint, Super and Beast races within a race year! And to top it off, I would attempt to do it within less than 7 months; completing my first race on May 19 and my last race on December 9.
What’s the one really big thing you want to accomplish in 2013? I hope you already have it written down. If you don’t know, then you better figure it out! Otherwise, you’re likely to spend a year in stagnation or maybe even moving backwards! Pick something. Anything. Maybe not just ANYthing. But, decide that you want to succeed at something new. Something more. Something bigger. Something better. The bigness is relative. But, it should be something that challenges you to make some changes. Something which will cause you to learn and grow. Something which requires determination, perseverance, focus and tenacity to get you to your destination.
Here’s the practical lesson I’ve learned over the past 7½ months: Decisiveness Is Necessary!
On December 9, 2012 at approximately 2:51 p.m., I completed the Texas Spartan Beast! I didn’t finish in record time, but I finished. It was excruciating, exhilarating, exhausting, and extremely fulfilling! During my 7½ months of preparation, I logged over 450 miles of running. I spent over 250 hours doing push-ups, pull-ups, planks, burpees, crunches, squats, lunges, running and more! I changed my diet. I lost over 10 pounds and reduced my body fat to approximately 12%. In my upcoming posts, I’ll give you more details about HOW my achievement was possible. I’ll dissect the decision-making process. I’ll tell you about overcoming a MAJOR setback. I’ll explain what being T.O.U.G.H! means, and I’ll even reveal how I learned to be a better husband along the way.
~May your journey never end!
© 2013 A. Wade Magruder. All rights reserved.
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