Goals: Failures and Successes

What better time to talk about goals than on the Chinese New Year.

Goals

Does the word goal make you cringe inwardly a little? Sometimes I feel like it attaches meaning to something that I don’t really want to do, but must get done, like my statistics homework that I’m pushing out to do tomorrow instead of right now.

Why? Because I attach a higher priority to my writing. Although learning and understanding how it applies to psychology is an important skill and a required course to complete my long-haul hopes and dreams, I L-O-V-E to write. Writing hits that feel-good receptor.

I bet you know what this segue is leaning towards.

If you guessed running, you get a virtual fist bump. 

Let’s just say that goals aren’t for dreamers. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great stepping stone towards the “G” word, and do I ever like to dream with the best of them.

Unfortunately, for the dreamer, like myself, I have to jump off the cloud and take my Care Bear tushy down to my reality like (quick side note: I imagine the Care Bears every time I think about what it would be like to live in the clouds if  they weren’t really made out of water droplets like the scientists say), “Why do I smell ____?” or the Majority question in the Haros house, “What are we having for dinner?” As if I know the answer, SMH. I wouldn’t use that shortened form unless I actually did that, which I often do. I think it’s equivalent to the eye roll for teenagers. We parents have our own language. We shake our heads for a myriad of reasons, but I won’t discuss that today.

Goals require action…

Whatever your stance is on goals, there is no side stepping option available here. Goals are for those who are all about action. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like talking about something unless I’m actually going to do something about it.

As of late running has once again grabbed at my soul.

Running is the adrenaline rush, the breathing in and out, the one step after the other, the feeling of the sun on my skin…the untapped potential just beneath the surface of my very being.

This is the place where I feel like anything and everything can happen…when I truly believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

Let me rephrase that. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD. I know that without Him in my corner, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I have been fortunate enough to do.

In regards to that rush, this is how I feel when I run. If that rush could be bottled up and stored, no one would ever have to experience those lows, but then again how could we ever enjoy those highs? One is not possible without the other.

With all that said, it’s time to prove to myself that I can run a 100-mile race.

I know it can be done and I also know from prior experience that it can’t always be done.

Did you see what I said there? Let me say it one more time. Just because you want something bad enough, even if God has you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it.

It took many failures to get me there. My ego was knocked to the curb and my vulnerabilities exposed. Humbled much? Too many times to count.

Greenlights weren’t happening when I attempted the 100 mile race at Zion 100, Keys 100, Wild Sebastian, Daytona 100, and Atacama Extreme 100.

I don’t have a great track record of 100- mile distance finishes, but it shows that I tried. In my life time, I have completed the distance twice. Those finishes meant a whole lot more.

The same goes for my writing. There were several rejections, before my essays were accepted. Once again, those failures made my successes that much sweeter.

How did I get from point A to point B?

I didn’t give up. I kept pushing because I knew I could get it done.

At this point, I feel like I’m giving myself a pep talk. Hope this speaks to you in some way.

I will continue to chip away at my running milestones just as I did before I completed my first 100. How? One step at a time.

If you are a writer, how do you get there? One word at a time.

# # #

Just like any goal, you have to visualize the outcome.

Close your eyes.

Now bask in the feeling of your accomplishment.

Can you see yourself there? Holding that buckle? Or that diploma or that finished book in print?

Whatever goal you have. It’s in you. This is what I have to remind myself on the daily. I am my own roadblock at times. Those negative thoughts are like land mines.

In my own experience, I notice that every time I take my eyes off a goal, I step on a mental land mine and that outcome is never pretty. The moment I do, everything seems to go wrong. One catastrophe to the next.

I’m now ever slowly learning that I need to say a prayer to God asking Him for help and guidance. I also ask my friends to lift me up with their positive vibes. Both of these options are provided to all of us. You just have to ask.

Interested in goal achieving?

Here are some easy steps to follow. If you’re already in the middle of these steps. Let me know how it’s going.

1. Create a goal. Write down your why. Make sure it’s big enough to get you out of bed every day.

2. Write down the steps it will take to get you there. Work backwards from the finish to the beginning. This will put in a different head space.

3.  Ask others who may have accomplished your goal. Just ask and I guarantee they will help you out.

4. Get to it and accomplish your goal. I’ll be cheering you on.

But Are You Happy?

Photo Credits: Dawn Sullivan (follow her @dawnruns100k)

April 5, 2008

The weather was perfect. No stomach issues. No cramping. There was nothing but blue skies and a tail wind. Could it get any better than this? The adrenaline that coursed through my veins was unlike anything I had yet experienced.

Me and the Universe were vibin’ on all the cylinders.

I had been running alongside a pair of brothers since the race began. They became my unofficial pacers telling me when I was going too fast and reminding me to take small steps on the ascents using the balls of my feet.

“Time?” I asked

“3 hours and 35 minutes,”You got this. We’ll see you at the finish,” one of them replied.

I had 1/2 mile to the finish. My goal time? 3 hours and 40 minutes. The Yakima River Marathon was a Boston Qualifier.

I didn’t have a fancy Garmin like the other runners. I relied on the steady beat of my heart to guide me.When my heart felt like it was ready to burst, I knew I was running 7:30 minute mile pace. I let my legs loose and ran hard to the finish.

3 hours and 37 minutes and 40 seconds. Pace. 8:18 minutes per mile. I was going to freaking Boston!!!! I lived in that happy place during the entire marathon and then some.

My thought process when I began running went as follows.

If I can run a 10k, I can run a marathon.

If I run a marathon, I can run a 50k.

If I can run a 50k, I can run a 50 mile race.

If I can run a 100k, I can run a 100 mile.

Did it make me happy?

Hell ya it did. I was very happy come into a race…

until I crossed the finish line.

I used to think of happiness as a destination. I was searching for the elusive “happy” like it was an island where I could set up my treehouse and never leave.

Happy Is…

What is your happy?

Ready? Set? Go.

I’ll give you 30 seconds.

What did you write down? Here’s my 30 second list: sunrises, sunsets, walking on the beach, a cup of coffee in the am, making a recipe because I have all the ingredients, comfy shoes (like Sanuks or Bob’s), listening to Imagine Dragons, not smelling a stinky diaper in the air or reading a book. I know I could have written more, but my mind loves to wander and wonder.

What else makes you happy?

I’ll give you a minute.

On this second round of my happy list, it turns towards moments with my husband and children. Number one is talking at my husband. You read that right. I talk at him and he indulges me by listening to me yammer about everything and nothing.

The deeper I look at what it means to be happy, I realize there is no pattern. Happy is a montage of insignificant and significant events and moments that have occurred, is occurring or will occur. You just have to be more aware of them or you’ll miss out.

The definition of happy is showing pleasure or contentment.

It seems like happy times are intermingled with the sad, the ho-hum, and the no good rotten ones. Think of happy like rainbow sprinkles. They are the highlights of our day-to-day grind.

It is woven into the past, present and gently tied into my hopes for the future. When I see my one year old smothering her daddy with wet open mouth slobbery kisses, my happy meter lights up. My second daughter, Lexi loves to sing, when I hear her singing in the morning. Her happy makes my happy meter light up.

Follow her YouTube channel @ Alexis Sant

Happy is found in the momentary blips that occur everyday. I see it on my Instagram feed. Friends who I met along the way through running have shown me when their happy meter lights up. Some of us have branched off into other passions and interests. Although I no longer take part in races, I’m grateful for the moments I shared with them.

In 2014, I met Sue at a 50 mile race out at Ft. Clinch State Park, Florida. She exuded a certain joie de vivre that was full of fire and spunk. She went on to complete her first 50 mile race and would later complete her first 100 mile race on the same course.

She is full of light from within. Enter Sue’s happy…

Photo Credits: Sue Edwards (follow her @suebehonee)
From left to right: Sue’s fur babies- Juliet and Romeo
Vegan Cake made by the talented Sue
Photo Credits: Sue Edwards (follow her on Instagram @suebeehonee)

While I was putting this post together, it gave me an excuse to catch up with her. I learned that she has Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There is no cure for this type of cancer. She has left an indelible impression on me and all the other people she has met throughout her life. I pray that her health will allow her to continue to share her light with others.

Sue is a true example of living life well. Her beautiful smile says it all. Life is too short to get stuck on the petty and insignificant. Find your happy everyday.

The Secret to Happy

What is the secret to happy?

There is no secret.

Happy exists all around us and when we aren’t feeling it, like I used to tell my kids, “Sometimes you need to make your own sunshine.”

You are happiness.

Take a look at the list you made. Your happy has always existed. Sometimes you just need a little nudge to remind you where to look.