First Steps are Always Baby Steps

March 1, 2013 Training  2 comments

First StepsA couple weeks ago my wife showed me a pair of shoes that were apparently designed to shape and tone your bum simply by walking in them. Sounded pretty “sketchy” to me. But then I got to thinking about this… Today marks the start of my 2013 triathlon season. My training and racing typically follows a 9 month plan of preparation and performance. Generally, this ends in September/October and my start is January but since my schedule has me going through to December for the first time in my 12 year racing career, I’m getting a later start. What this really means is I’ve had a longer off season. Translation: I’ve put on a few more pounds, gotten out of my routine of regular training and settled into a comfortable comfort. Now comes early morning alarms, cold weather, hill repeats, dietary choices and logging miles on pavement, trails and countless laps in the pool. Guess what? I don’t want to do it. I mean I do but I don’t want to feel pain, be inconvenienced or sacrifice time to do that when I’d rather be doing something else like sleep or eat or…

When people ask me what’s that hardest part about doing the Ironman race, my answer is always the same… Getting up. It requires a decision. A decision I already made the night before when I set my alarm. Not just a conditional decision that has an escape clause but a real decision, which requires action not good intentions. In other words, a decision I already made the night before when I set my alarm to actually do what I know I already agreed to do.

Now I realize this may sound fundamental or obvious to some but I have found, not only in my own life but, in the experiences I’ve had with others that this is a common struggle. We start with good intentions and end with feigned justifications. It’s what I like to refer to as “The Big But!” You know what I’m talking about don’t you… Because we all have one. “I was going to go for a run but…”I intended to start my own business but…”I quit doing drugs but…” Let’s face it: Everyone’s got a big but! So, how big is yours?

I am fortunate to have lived a few years. On one hand this may make me old or older than most reading this, which may seam unfortunate to me but on the other hand I have gained a tad bit of wisdom from a few failed choices and bad experiences from the past. One of the most common mistakes we make when we’re young is thinking we can shortcut just about anything. If there is something longing deep within, we try to find the quickest and easiest way to get there. Whether it be wealth, fame, comfort or you name it, we do our best to find the shortcut and if one doesn’t exist we simply create one.

When it comes to getting in shape there are no shortcuts. Oh, I’ve seen those adds for weight loss and fitness solutions, and let’s not forget the shoes, but I’ve never seen anyone who has benefited from them. So then, why do we keep trying or better to ask, why do we continue to waist our time and money? It’s because we’re obsessed with our buts! When our buts become less important than our intentions we’ll actually get up when the alarm goes off, we’ll actually put together a business plan, we’ll actually “say no.” You see, first steps are always baby steps and and they don’t design special shoes to make them easier because the first step is always the hardest step no matter what you do or wear.

So, what’s the size of your but? It’ll start to get smaller the sooner you take your first step.

2 comments to First Steps are Always Baby Steps

  • Oh my…this hit me right between the eyes today! My “but” yesterday was that it was cold and windy.

    • Dan says:

      Isn’t it funny when we compare our “buts?” I felt the same way and yet, geared up and got out there. Sometimes it’s just better to do what we know rather than do what we feel.

      thanks Brenda for sharing!

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