Recently I set a December writing goal for myself. It’s a bit lofty and perhaps a more than a little bit unrealistic, but not impossible. (Because, you know, an offensive orange Cheeto is thisclose to holding holding the highest office in the land, so anything’s possible.)
I shared the goal with my writing group, one of my best friends, and my husband, but I am not ready to share it with you.
You’d think it’s silly. Or maybe you wouldn’t, but you’d definitely think it was lofty, more than a little bit unrealistic, and thisclose to impossible. When it happens I’ll tell you. Or if it doesn’t happen I’ll tell you then. (If I’m brave.)
Two weeks ago my friend Kim received a pitch for her blog. It wasn’t a good fit for her, but it was a perfect fit for me, especially if I want to achieve this goal I’ve set for myself.
“Does this interest you?” she asked me.
“Bleep yeah, it interests me!” I answered immediately. (Only I didn’t say bleep.)
I contacted the person who reached out to her and he was receptive to me writing the piece.
Coincidentally (or perhaps it’s serendipitously) two similar opportunities have been placed right in front of my face from different avenues, waving at me, as if they were saying, “Hello, here I am. Come and get me. All you have to do is ask.” And I know if I capitalize on these opportunities they will help me achieve my goal.
But I have to tell you something.
What if I get shot down? My goal isn’t reliant upon doing these two things, but they will help. A lot.
So if I don’t ask for these things (that theoretically should be easy to get) and then don’t reach my goal, I still fail, but not in a scary way. In an “I didn’t even try way,” because really, who am I to think that I am good enough to get that thing that I want.
It’s silly. Too lofty. Too unrealistic. Not thisclose to impossible. Impossible.
And then Saturday I went for a three mile run. Talk about thisclose to impossible. I haven’t run since May, except for around the building in boot camp where every step is torture and I curse my trainer’s name with every painful breath I take and I hate it so much and am so glad I stopped running.
But I’ve been eating and drinking too much lately (because food: yum! and drinking: fun!) and I didn’t have time to take a class at the gym and I needed to do something and as sucktastic as running is, it’s efficient. A three mile run is a lofty goal for a 51-year-old woman who hasn’t run in five months, perhaps even unrealistic. Thisclose to impossible.
Plus my phone was charged and the weather was perfect. The only excuse I had for not running is that I didn’t really want to because it’s so hard (except that I sort of did).
To keep myself motivated I set Spotify to my running mix and open my Runkeeper app so it would alert me of my time and mileage every five minutes.
Time: five minutes. Distance: zero-point-four-two-miles. Average pace eleven minutes, fifty-four seconds per mile. (Translation: damn, you’re slow)
Time: ten minutes. Distance: zero-point-eight-two-miles. Average pace: twelve minutes, eleven seconds per mile. (Translation: you might want to figure out another form of exercise, you really suck at this.)
That lady is mean to me, sure. But she keeps me going. Every five minutes I tell myself, just five minutes more.
At the 15 minute mark the mean Runkeeper lady tells me how poorly I’m doing (one-point-two miles at a twelve-minute-thirty-second pace) my phone shuts down. Shit. This is so hard. I’m at the steepest part of my run and two minutes away from reaching my turnaround point and I have no music. No mean lady. Only me. My legs. My feet. My heart. Everything I need. And so, I keep going.
I run to the turnaround spot, smack the light pole and head back. It is (both literally and figuratively) downhill all the way home.
When I hit a flat(ish) part I start to walk and fiddle with my phone to get my music and that mean Runkeeper lady back. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis cheer me on.
“Ey ey, ey
Good to see you, c’mon let’s go
Yeah, let’s go”
And I start to run again. When the song ends the music stop. Dammit! Stupid phone. But I don’t want to walk again so I run to the beat of my panting breath and my feet hitting the pavement. Huh step step step. Huh step step step. Huh step step step.
My mind begins to wander with the rhythm I’m creating. I think about how easy it would be to stop running because I don’t have my Runkeeper and my music. And I think about that goal I’ve set for myself and how the biggest obstacles in my way are the ones I’m creating for myself.
My goal my be lofty. Unrealistic. Thisclose to impossible.
But I’ve got everything I need. I just need to make proper use out of it.
6 thoughts on “Daring to be Great”
Hooray for goals that are thisclose to impossible.
You’ve got this, Charlene.
And we’re got you.
You rock my world. xx
Run, Charlene, run! Write, Charlene, write. Drink, Charlene, drink – we meet Friday night!
You know what happens when you get no? Nothing. You’re exactly where you started but with balls on. You know what happens when you get yes? Another opportunity to get another yes and another opportunity. Manifest your next opportunity. Can’t wait til Friday.
I’m sorry I waited so long to read this. I really could have used these words the other day. But I am reading them now! And I can still use them! To not try is the same as failing, I guess. But it is so much easier. Also easier than running. You make it sound so worthwhile, but I know the truth. I honestly would rather torture myself about my writing than run, so I’ll do that.
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