The Extra Mile – 3 Ways to Push Big Goals Across the Finish Line

Kevin Brown

12/08/21| Motivation

 

The Extra Mile – 3 Ways to Push Big Goals Across the Finish Line

Four months ago, I couldn’t walk.

Hip pain and a subsequent medical procedure left me on crutches. Keynotes were a challenge. Clients had to help me on and off the stage. Strangers helped me navigate airports and hotels.

I was angry.

I was determined to walk normally. I also wanted to run again.

My son, Josh, and I used to run a lot of half marathons “back in the day.”

It was something we did together. Sort of. We always walked to the starting line together. And then he waited at the finish line for me. I wanted to do that again.

Still on crutches, I signed us up for a race.

I had four months to get ready.

Four days ago, we started that race together. And just like all those times before, he was waiting for me at the finish line.

The race was not easy. Nor was it pretty. In fact, it was the toughest half marathon I’d ever run. After the race, I reflected on three things that I’d like to share with you in this article.

  1. Your #1 Opponent Is You: No matter the goal, struggle, challenge, or obstacle, you are always competing against your past failures and successes. When I fall down in life, it’s because I am listening to the voices of past mistakes. I buy into the lies that I am no good, don’t belong, and can’t win. There are also times in life when I believe I’ve arrived someplace that I truly haven’t. I become complacent, I get lazy, and stop working on myself.

    That’s when life smacks me again.

    The truth is, there is no staying the same. We are either moving forward or sliding backward. During the race, I had to fight through the pain and all the arguments for quitting. It would have been easy to rest on all the past races we’d done. I could have justified that it wasn’t worth the pain to keep running. Or, I could simply put one foot in front of the other. One more step. One more mile.

    And when I crossed the finish line and found Josh, I cannot tell you how elated I was. My slowest time ever in a half marathon. It also turned out to be my most satisfying.

  2. Trust the Process: When I started training all I could do was walk with a very pronounced limp. But I did it. Every day trying to get some strength and stability back in my leg and hip. Then I tried to run. Not a good idea. So, I kept walking…faster and faster. Finally, I could jog for one minute. Then three. Then five. One Wednesday morning I ran a mile. I felt like I had just completed the Boston Marathon.

    It was a sign that the work was paying off. The process was working. In business and in life there is no substitute for the work. Activity precedes achievement every single time. Not only that, but the process makes us focus on what we can do. Sometimes I get wrapped up in my weaknesses and focus on what I can’t do.

    When you are building strength it’s important to know that big gains come from a series of small disciplined steps. And we don’t always get it right. Good judgment comes from bad judgment sometimes. We fall down, we get up, and keep moving forward. Trust the process. Focus on what you can do. Do the work.

  3. Trophies Are Important: I am amazed how far we are willing to run for a medal and a t-shirt that has a combined price tag of approximately $20. But the value of those two things, however, is priceless. You see, trophies are a symbol. Something to point back to and say we did that thing. We made it to the finish line. Yes, we staggered, we stumbled, and we wanted to quit. But we did it and that cheap piece of metal is proof that we finished what we started.

    Reward yourself when you win. Whatever the trophy looks like to you, it’s important to have a payoff for the work. Something that you can point to with pride and say, “Yes, I did that thing!”

And in case you’re wondering, we’ve already started training for the next race.

Onward and upward my friends.

Until next time, Stay Extraordinary!