By Alicia Ceccarelli
Today I turned ten again, but this time, in miles. According to Trainer Trish, reaching ten means I am ready, physically, to take on my half-marathon on April 25th. This accomplishment served as my initiation from the I think I can club, to the I know I can club.
This hasn’t been an easy journey, although it was a walk in the park in comparison to how brutal I imagined it would be. My imagination has always been a double-edged sword. As I contended in a mental battle about what my body was truly capable of, I utilized two compelling mind-sets that enabled me to break past my previous best record.
It was several years back when I heard Trish mention in a podcast why she felt so connected with the discipline of running. She reframed the idea of running as the cohesive mental and physical practice of not giving up. Her insight was fundamental to increasing my overall stamina. This is how I began to mentally raise the bar in my athletic potential.
The second potential-accelerating mindset came from another podcast host, Lewis Howes, on his show The School of Greatness. He said that running is important because it helps condition the mind and body to adapt to feeling uncomfortable. Once I accepted this wisdom, I began to embrace this intentional practice of enduring discomfort. There was a value in running (beyond fitness) that gave me a more meaningful reason to push through the many stressors of the run.
The synergy of these two thoughts empowered me to overthrow my self-defeating conception about the challenge of running. My discomfort in breathing, thirst, cramping, aching feet, the heat, etc…I can now regard as opportunities to gain strength, instead of as looming reasons why quitting is inevitable. With every step I took, I began viewing my perceived limitations as exactly that: PERCEIVED, not actual.
This discovery of endurance and mastery of a winner’s state-of-mind would never have come to fruition if I didn’t first make the choice to get out there and just do it.
I had ample opportunity for procrastination, but I countered it with my new uncompromising mentality which I attribute to the gains I made from my experience in the Breakout Program. Breakout helped me to identify my excuses and shift my thought process accordingly. If it weren’t for Trish’s program, I wouldn’t even be aware that I was giving into my fears, and letting the attainment of my dreams slip away each time I succumbed to an excuse.
Those miles I ran can’t be measured in feet, but in feats.
My feats were all achieved because of the choices I made.
I chose to take action, to hit the pavement, to push harder, to hang on longer, to anticipate the next excuse or distraction, to make time for training, to sacrifice if necessary, to miss out for the sake of a greater reward, and to sign up for the 13.1 before I was ready. The choices weren’t always easy, but because I shifted my mindset from “hoping” I can, to “thinking” I can, to finally “knowing” I can, the choices became easier and easier with each day that passed.
I chose to learn more, to sit down and analyze myself, to seek motivation and inspiration, to acquire wisdom from those who have burned the miles as well, to read and do my research, to be a part of the Be More community. I chose to expect more from myself, from what I put in and what I’ll get back in return, to push harder, to hang on longer, and to compete only with woman in the mirror. I chose to do things that served my purpose, to fuel and hydrate properly, to strengthen my muscles with weight training, to go to bed early, to resist temptation, to put myself first. I chose to become more balanced, to laugh more, have more gratitude, to indulge every now and then, to celebrate my accomplishments, to brush off the bad days, to acknowledge progress beyond the scale.
All that matters is this: I didn’t just run ten miles. I chose to put my maximum effort – physically and mentally – into a run of ten miles that brought me ten miles closer to the reach of my full potential. Onward to the half-marathon and then my next goal after that! Now that I’m in the I Know I Can club, I know that I can truly do anything.