16 Nov How to run 4 miles when you really don’t want to.
If I ate queso as often as I tweeted about it, I would be dead.
They’d serve it at my funeral with a fountain in one final nod to the melted cheese dream that put me in the grave, but it would be game over for me.
In order to eat queso, I have to work out.
Is that the weirdest reason ever to exercise? Surely no one in the history of mankind has told a trainer, “My motivation for hitting the gym is cheese, glorious cheese.”
Traveling makes exercise difficult so I have to plan ahead. I have to pack my workout clothes. I have to pack my sneakers. I have to pre-select a time in my schedule when I can fit in some time on the hotel fitness center.
Calling two old treadmills and seven barbells in a closet does not a “fitness center” make, but hotels are creative with their words.
Three weeks ago I planned to run three miles in Houston, Texas. I got everything ready before hand and was laser focused on running three miles. A little voice inside my heads said, “Why don’t you run 4?” But like most times in my life I was quickly able to shut the positive voice up. (The negative voice in my head? I tend to hold open mic nights for that guy and listen and listen and listen.)
I ran into my friend Ryan Boon in the lobby of the hotel after I checked in. He was working at the same event I was in town for. He runs. A lot. In the course of our five minute conversation we talked about running. Here is verbatim what happened as we parted ways by the elevator:
Ryan: Are you going to run today?
Ryan: How far?
Me: Three miles.
Ryan: Nah, four?
Then I got on the elevator.
An hour later, I ran four miles.
For days I had been planning on running three. I felt good about three. Three was my number!
So why did I run four instead?
Because community calls us to heights we cannot call ourselves.
Ryan didn’t give me a long motivational speech. He didn’t quote Abraham Lincoln or ask me to make a vision board in my hotel room using the city magazine every hotel has. He didn’t even run with me shouting positive affirmations next to me.
All he did was say two words, “Nah, four?”
And I ran the extra mile.
I ran it because he believed I could.
That was all it took.
That’s the power of community.
Sometimes it is a hurricane of support. Sometimes though, more often than not, it’s a nudge. It’s two words from a five-minute conversation.
This January I’m creating a new community online. I’m going to create a space where you can get a nudge toward a dream or call toward a finish line. It’s going to be crazy simple, but I think it’s going to be crazy effective. I fear our 2016 goals will never know what hit them.
Going it alone is stupid. We’re built to need people who will challenge and encourage us.
If you want to be the first to know about the new challenge and the new community, sign up here.