2013 is close, time to get cracking on setting some new goals!

December 29th and I am reading my last book of my 50 book goal this year. It feels good to know I finished out a goal I’ve set. My other goal, to run a 5k race didn’t pan out as planned. Recovery took the wind out of my sails. I am not a resolution maker, I am a goal setter. To me there is a tremendous difference. When I began the Edmonton Tourist Journey in the Summer of 2010, I had no idea where it would lead me. Learning to set goals has been life changing. Continuing in the tradition of the Edmonton Tourist, new goals need to be set of this upcoming year.

Resolution or resolve means to me thy will be done. In other words, I said I’d do therefore it should be and will be done. Where as goal setting is a bit different. To me it is something to work towards. To set a goal with the hopes of achieving it, plans have to be made.

My #1 goal for 2012 is to run in the Intact 10k and grab myself a medal. I can’t just run that the day of without training. I need to map out my fitness strategy and work towards that goal. Writing it down is a huge part of it as are the steps involved to achieve it. Improving my fitness level is part of that and I want to be FAST. Knowing that, I will be slow at first means big plans have to happen.

Step 1: continue on my weight-loss journey. I started this road back in January 2011, with the ups and downs I’ve had, I am proud to say I have managed to keep all the weight off I have lost so far and am committed to losing more. I don’t look at it as dieting but as a lifestyle change. It has become mostly habit with some minor indulgences. My new dietitian is brutal, kind and supportive. If I follow her advice, there is no doubt in my mind I can be another 40lbs lighter for the 10k race. That to me is fantabulous!

Step 2: Plan out my running schedule. I have a couple of on-line coaches. They give me advice and support my slowness due to injury. The plan is to run a 3 day schedule with a 2 day cross train, building up to 5k. This is so doable. I was there, then I needed to stop. I’ve been back out on the trails recently to see how my fitness level is. Well, it’s better than I hoped but it will still require some regressive steps to regain what I lost. For the record, illness sucks. Tomorrow I hit the trails for Day 2 of my 6 week plan.

Step 3: Run a 5k race. Running the race means I will be comfortable at a 5k pace long before I run the actual race. The plan is to be at a comfortable 7 0r 8 km distance by then so 5 km will feel easier to me. The race has been chosen by my Book Club Compadres, 2 are planning to run it with me and the others want to walk it. Color Me Rad happens in Calgary this year in July. We will make a weekend out of it that includes more fun than the race, but the race looks like more fun than I have had running EVER…and I like running!Color Me Rad

Step 4: Run the Intact 10k on marathon weekend.

Along the way I will need new running shoes as my Adidas wear out. My course load for University will finally end and all that will be needed is to fit in a practicum. This will bring to an end of a long term goal I set back in 2010. It feels good to set a goal that long ago and have it nearly completed! I will need to set up some goals for the fall as well. Nothing is worse than completing a major goal and have nothing to shoot for at the end of it. So The plan is to begin training for a half marathon – run it this time. Walking takes me too long. Running a half marathon will happen 2014, so that is a ways off, but I need to have it in my mind for visualization purposes. Because THAT’S how I roll!

So tell me…what goals are you thinking about and how will you achieve them?

Wild about Fear

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

June has been a bust when it comes to reading. I finished/completed/happydancedover the completion of my 3rd year, saw the A that was posted and breathed a sigh of relief! I am not quite finished because the project I was working on still needs to be forwarded to the powers at be at my office. I could say – whatever I have my mark – but I am not that person. Sooooooo my reading for fun mission has taken a back seat. I also needed time to digest the last book I read. Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you actually missed the characters? That was me this week. I took quotes and excerpts from the book and let them roll around my thoughts for a while. What excited me about this book is the fact that what the author achieved is no less great than my Edmonton Tourist Journey. We have both come to the same place in our lives where this is now my reality,

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I suspect I was too naive to be afraid when I started this whole process. Chin was up and I defiantly kept moving forward. I kept goal setting and achieving and moving along. Then suddenly I hit a wall. I was no longer fearless. I started looking at things differently. People in my life who would ignite a bomb and that would leave me with what I thought I needed to do, strike or douse the fire. When actually, all I needed was to stand still and feel the fear. Fear isn’t something that needs to be conquered. It needs to be faced. When people strike out, having that inner calm to face it, absorb it, take the parts that I need and learn from it is growth. Climbing over the fear ( which is an important step in the process) is no longer needed to get past it. Evolved is the word I like to use.

Things I use to fear:

  1. People thinking I’m stupid.  I am not but now it doesn’t bother me if you think I am. I use to engage in conflict to prove I am not less than smart. I am secure and comfortable enough in my own skin. People can judge all they wish too and I could care less. I will educate if you are misinformed, but that is not the same as raging. forcing an opinion on someone is not sharing ideas. I have no use for that type of bully in my life. So I no longer fear people thinking I am stupid. I am smart enough to not engage nor bait the trolls.
  2. Sweat. Sweat meant hot, stinky smelly and hard breathing. It meant lungs hurting and muscles crying. Now it means hard work, feeling great, focus and clarity. Working out has changed my life. I can no longer envision a world without it. Setting large fitness goals is scary but the single most satisfying challenge I have ever faced.
  3. Fail. I use to be afraid of trying something new and failing. I realize failing means something different to me than it use to. If I set a goal and cannot reach it, that just means it wasn’t the right goal, I need to think of a different path to get to that goal or learn about why I couldn’t reach that goal. To fail means to be educated.

It is good to fear things. Standing in the middle of your fear and taking the strength from it rather than taking the anxiety is the key. I love fear in a way I never thought possible. I stand in front of it, I look it in the eye and respect it. I have no doubt I will learn from it. It still makes me shake but I no longer run from it, I run with it. I am about to do the scariest thing in my life so far.

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I have come far enough to have the guts to be afraid.

All Paths Deserve to be Walked On

Have you ever sat with people when they drone on and on about how wonderful their children are? Don’t you feel like rolling your eyes in the back of your head? All you can think about is what brats they are or how delusional the person is talking to you about them. Don’t worry, I don’t mean YOUR kids, they are perfectly wonderful in that special way only YOU can love. But that is YOUR kids, mine are extraordinary special – and not in that “special needs” way Chicken Hawk teases me about. I have learned a lot from my kids this summer, and the best part is, summer is only half over!

I spent the day with Chatterbox yesterday, running errands and keeping appointments. It is no secret that Chatterbox is ADHD but is on meds for it. THANK GOD is all I can say, because when the meds wear off she is EXHAUSTINGLY ACTIVE! It was something we always lived with. We treated it with tools and strategies they worked for our family for a long time. Once she entered Junior High, she came to me and said, I think it is time I go on medication for my ADHD. Wow. What 12 year old has THAT kind of insight? She has a really good friend who also has ADHD and they would talk about what it is like and her friend offered to have her mom talk to me about it. WOW – What 12 year old can find support like that? Working in a field where I deal with children with special needs, I knew the procedure and what to expect. It was educating other people that was more difficult. I found family members didn’t want to believe that Chatterbox needed meds. I laugh now because of the complete difference it made in her. But at the time, it was a niggly worry in the back of my head if I was doing the right thing. I do know if you are NOT ADHD and you take meds to treat it, you will be either a zombie or so freaking hyper your family will need to restrain you. That is the easiest test. We got Chatterbox on meds and suddenly without warning, a mature teenager emerged out of the crazy, impulsive, exhausting child.

Chatterbox can explain to you exactly what it was like before meds and what it is like for her now. It did not change her personality in anyway. What it did do was gave her clarity to focus on what is really important to her. Chatterbox, at the age of 13, is a goal setter. Think about what you liked to do when you were 13. Were you looking far into your future and laying out steps on how you were going to get there? Me neither. I was in 42 before I really looked carefully and started setting smart goals.

Since Chatterbox was little, she has always wanted to be a star, like a Disney Channel Star. She knows she needs music, acting and dance to do that. Being the poor mom that I am, I can’t afford dance for Chatterbox. We have found music activities that are affordable and have been able to send her to those. The lack of dance instruction has not deterred Chatterbox. She wants to be on the Cheer Squad in High School, and not one of those girls who lift the other girls. She wants to be on top! So every day, since last year, Chatterbox practices doing the splits. Each week she can go farther. She is centimeters away from achieving that goal and high school is still 2 years away. AMAZING!

Chatterbox set goals to bring her marks up from mediocre to honours….and did it. She seems to understand the value of small steps to achieving greatness. This amazes me as I struggle with setting goals myself. Genetic Offspring decided to join the party this summer and set a few goals for himself. I have seen a tremendous change in my 15 year old son as he attempts to be more spontaneous and puts his shyness away to talk to strangers. On our Banff trip this summer, Genetic Offspring went to the top of Sulfur Mountain Observatory without me, met a couple from Germany and struck up a conversation with them. Later at dinner, he talked to the waiter about living in Banff and what it was like. He has goals of going to school at the Banff Center for one semester to take music to offset his science career. He wanted to know what it was like and how feasible it is. I know how hard it was for him. The more he talks to strangers, the easier it is getting for him. I can see the pride growing in him as he achieves his goals. His current goal is writing a novel. He has let me read some of it. Again, all I can say is WOW. I think back to when I was 15 and all I was worried about was getting a boyfriend. Goals never occurred to me.

I sit and listen to Chatterbox and Genetic Offspring’s friends, and hear the goal setting topics that get passed around. It astounds me that teenagers are so focused on their future. I had one of those “woulda coulda shoulda” moments and wish I was that focused when I was their age. It would have saved me a lot of pain and heart ache I am going through now.

At the appointment yesterday with the gal who monitors Chatterbox’s meds, my daughter mentioned the change in me. She said goals helped me be happier. She has noticed I am not as funny as I was “in the old” days, nor do I laugh as much as I use to, but I am getting better. She recognizes that I haven’t been all that happy this year and that it has been hard for me. HOLY CRAP! You cannot hide a THING from this kid!

She wishes I would find things funny again. Wow Chatterbox, I wish that too. It’s coming. I find it easier to make people laugh than to laugh myself. Genetic Offspring said on the trip to Banff,

All paths deserve to be walked on.

That to me is very profound. I have been trying out various different paths. Some I prefer more than others. I need to figure out how to achieve a goal of laughing more. I promise to work on that Chatterbox.