Goals can change just like you!

When I started the Do-Over Project, I set several health and wellness goals, one of which I’ve changed COMPLETELY. The results have been interesting so I thought I’d share them with you.

I signed up for the 10km run at the Ottawa Race Weekend (ORW) in May. My training was going well and then I got Bronchitis. “No problem, I’m ahead of schedule so I can catch up”, which I did.

In the meantime, a friend of mine asked me if I’d like to join her group of women who are training to walk the ORW’s half-marathon. I am not a walker. Oh, it’s fine for getting from point A to point B, but it doesn’t really feel like exercise because I can’t get my heart rate up high enough. I like the huffing and puffing of running, so I get frustrated with the whole walking thing.

In addition, I realized long ago that I’m not a run group kinda girl! It took me a while to figure out why, because I’m an extrovert, so I thought I should LOVE them. In the last couple of years, however, I’ve become aware that I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The result is that, as much as I love being around people, they distract me. When I’m running, this is a problem because I can’t focus on my breathing properly.

BUT, I’m trying to do things differently, so I told my friend, I’d join the group. The first week I felt the usual frustrations arise. “We’re going too slow!” and “I could have been done ages ago if I’d been running!” were my internal mantras for all 10.8 km.

During the week, I was feeling grumpy and annoyed that I’d committed myself to such torture–I had even transferred my bib from the 10km run to the 1/2 marathon walk.

Then I thought, “you need to do this differently, because you’re trying to change. So change your attitude!” After all, why was I in such a rush to finish our walk? I mean, what else do I have to do that’s so pressing at 8:30 am on Sunday morning?

This morning I was determined to have a different attitude. Every time the inner monologue started about how slow we were going, I stopped it. Instead I thought, “what a great way to start the day. I don’t have anything else that I ‘have to’ do right now, so just relax.”

As I forced my body to relax, I realized walking was just a completely different activity than running–and that was OK. No, I wasn’t in the meditative, focussed internal place that I’m in when I run, but I was in a good external place, where I was enjoying getting to know these lovely women with whom I was walking. I was enjoying our stream-of-consciousness conversation as we bounced from one topic to another over the two hours. Afterwards we even went for coffee to continue our conversation.

Overall, I can say that I was pleased with how I chose to view the experience, as well as the experience itself. Both are worthy goals.

Now, I’m not giving up running for walking! I’m still running on the side. I need the huffing and puffing, the rush of endorphines and being inside myself, but I can say that this experience is bringing something different to my life that I like.

And, the experience has also reminded me that goals are guidelines, not words written on tablets like commandments! Just like us, as human beings, we’re not designed to stay static, we’re designed for change. So, too, should our goals be dynamic. Life is not about having static rules but being able to adapt to change.

To me, as long as I continue my commitment to change and I learn something from the experience, it’s all good. And who knows, maybe I’ve made some new lifelong friends!


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