Monday, 29 October 2012

I am...A Powerful Lesson

I watched Oprah's Lifeclass on OWN last night with Joel Osteen and I was amazed at what a difference two simple words can make.

I am...

According to Joel Osteen "whatever follows the 'I am' will come looking for you." There is huge power to this. Think of all the times you said, "I am so tired I can't exercise." "I am not strong enough, good enough, athletic enough..."

It's all a question of attitude. What if you started saying "I am looking forward to the boost in energy exercise will bring me." "I am getting stronger, faster." Isn't it so much more interesting to live this way?

Think about the 90 year old marathoner or the handicap tri-athlete...what is their "I am"? Surely they are not telling themselves "I am too old to be running" or "I am not strong enough to be a tri-athlete." They are saying "I am full of energy. I am capable of running one more step." No one who ever accomplished something great has fundamentally believed and lived by their negative I ams. They truly believed they would be successful and capable of accomplishing what they set out to do.

Your attitude drives where you are going to put your energy and focus. Focusing on the cannot, will not and must not, will not push you to set out to accomplish your goals. They will hold you back. Your I am will set the course of your life - your I am will allow you to focus and work towards what you truly are.

I have my own negative I ams, my little gremlins, that have driven many decisions and actions in my life. I'm now more aware of the impact these can have on the course of my life. I will be careful and conscience of these.

I am getting stronger everyday. I am going to grow tremendously throughout this process of getting ready for my Montreal-NYC challenge. I am going to do my best and be successful. I am going to make a difference.

- What are your I ams?
- Are your I ams driving you towards your goals or away from them?
- How can you change your perspective?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Excuses Create Regrets

I woke up this morning very tired. Luckily it's Friday, but the energy was definitely lacking. Maybe it was last night's aquaspinning class, maybe it was just the week being almost over. Regardless, I was in no mood to get active today.

But I still pushed myself and got to the gym at lunch. A 30 minute workout was so refreshing. I even met and spoke with a new colleague about running and creating challenges for ourselves. The physical exercise was a great energy booster. The conversation was a motivator and a reminder of how great it is to push ourselves.

I could have easily have skipped out on this workout - after all I had gone to the gym already and done an aquaspinning class this week. But, I knew I wouldn't regret getting active. I've rarely, if ever, regretted getting active. I've often regretted not getting active, though. The great feeling you get after a workout is especially rewarding when you give yourself a kick in the behind and get moving. Gotta love the endorphins!

Life is too short to put off getting fit to another time. Life is busy and moves fast, and I've decided to prioritize myself.

What excuses do you use that hold you back from doing what you know is best for you?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Interesting Body Facts...Makes You Think

The human body is an amazing organism. When trained properly it can do amazing things.

Just think about marathon runners - running non-stop for 42.2kms?! That just blows my mind!

There are a few fun facts for you:

- If you had every single muscle in your body work together at the same time, you could lift about 50,000 pounds
- For every 25 pounds of excess weight, your body needs to pump blood through an extra 5,000 miles of blood vessels
- How much air do we breath every hour? About 700 gallons of air
- Regular exercise can reduce the signs and symptoms of PMS (surely a male favorite!!)

I'm going to my Aqua Spinning class tonight to get that air pumping!

What have you done for your body today?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What's Stopping Us?

I went to the gym at my office for the first time yesterday. We were a dozen or so when I got there. Not too sure where to start, I went straight to the elliptical machine - a machine I've used in the past in other gyms. Shy to try new machines I was not familiar with I limited myself to what I knew. I didn't want to take a chance and try a new machine because people were around and would see that I didn't know what I was doing. Why did I limit myself like this? I had paid my membership like everyone else and I was in my right to use whatever piece of equipment just like anyone else.

I've always put a lot of thought and focus on what others might think of me. If I don't think I will succeed at something I probably won't do it. I have a huge fear of judgement. The result is that I've pretty much lived an average life and have rarely taken risks. But is this the life I want to be living?

At first running was a safe activity for me. I could do it alone when no one was there to judge me. But I want to do more now. I want to take risks and do things that others might judge me on. I want to live my life fully and not hold back!

"Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire." (Dale Carnegie)

This blog and the Montreal-NYC challenge is a part of that. I want to share my experiences, put it all out there and push myself to do things that will perhaps make me vulnerable to judgement. Writing and sharing all of this with cyberspace is scary, but it's part of the journey. You may judge me, think this is silly, criticize me, but for me it's part of the deal. Part of my learning experience.

A friend once told me that she was not willing to enroll in a fitness class because she wanted to lose weight before exposing herself and exercising in public. Unfortunately with this mindset she is likely to just perpetuate a vicious cycle. What would be the worst thing that could happen? Yeah people may judge, comments could be made (don't get me wrong I'm not minimizing the impact of this). But, what if we looked at the other possible outcomes? What if she started enjoying it? What if she discovered a passion, or simply a renewed energy to exercise and get fit? Isn't the benefit worth the risk?

What are you afraid of?

Where do you set limits for yourself?

What are you missing out on by not doing what you want to do?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kilometer One

"To achieve happiness, we should make certain that we are never without an important goal." - Ralph Waldo Emereson

I've come to realize that goal setting is key to achieving results, at least for me. In the past I've been one to start a number of projects, get really passionate about them, and then without a clear end-goal in mind let these projects dwindle to a distant memory.

Running is an example of this. A few years ago I started running a few mornings per week (the most cumulative time running I remember being 18 minutes). But I had no clear goal in mind. I was just running (I like to call it running, although many would describe it as a slow jog). After a few weeks I wasn't going out as often only to eventually completely stop. Why did I stop doing something that I had really started to enjoy and could see my progression?

I had no end-goal in mind.

This year was different...

I was going to run my first 10km race - that was my goal. The registration was paid for, I had told everyone around me. There was no going back. I got online and found a training program that would get me there, I trained and I did it. My next goal was the Montreal half marathon. Same story - I registered, told my friends and family, scheduled my training runs (literally had Outlook appointments in my agenda scheduled), and focused on the incredible feeling I would get from completing something that I honestly thought might just be impossible for me.

Along the way I realized something is so much more fun living when you have goals and you set out accomplishing them!! Running those races gave me a purpose, and forced me to surpass myself a little more every week. Before setting my goal I was going through the routine of life: work, sleep, work, I was passionate about something! I was telling everybody about my goal creating accountability, and seeing the progress I was making week after week. For the first time in my life I truly understand the meaning of "it's not about the destination, it's about the journey to get there."

For me the key to success was creating a tangible, mesurable and time-bound goal. A goal that would stretch me enough and allow me to see progress along the way. Creating accountability by talking about my goal. And most importantly, having a goal that speaks to me; a goal that in my core drives me and about which I am truly passionnate.

- What do you want to do that would make you proud?

- What drives the fire in your belly?

- What will achieving that goal feel like?

Remember one step at a time, and enjoy every step along the way.

My next goal: Running my part of the distance, 80+kilometers, in the May 2013 Montreal-NYC challenge. One step at a time, one kilometer at a time and I will get there! Let the journey begin!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Let the Journey Begin...

Where to begin? Who do I think I am writing a blog about the journey I'm about to take part of over the next few months? Is anyone going to read this? Will anyone care?

These are just a few of the questions, fears and doubts that are going through my mind as I sit here in front of my computer trying to put together this first blog post.

The situation: Over the next few months I will be taking part in a team challenge that will consist of training for a run that will take us from Montreal to New York City. The purpose is to raise money for charity, but I know very well it will be much more beyond that. Running more then 700km over 2-3 days will most certainly challenge me physically, but I'm hoping for so much more.

The background: I don't, and never have, describe myself as an athlete or even a runner. I'll be the one you'll find on the sidelines encouraging others, but actually being out there on the field competing against others? Nah, I don't think so! I'm not an athlete, I'm not good enough to compete, I'll bring them all down with my poor abilities. These are all things that cross my mind when I think about participating in a sport.

However, over the last few months I have taken up running and it's led me to do things I never thought I could. I trained for months and ran my first 10km race in May 2012 in Ottawa. Over the next few months I continued to train and ran another few 10km races. Last September 23, 2012  I ran the Montreal half marathon. Yup a 21.1km race!!! It was most certainly the most difficult physical and mental challenge I've set for myself, but I did it.

I went from someone who grew up hating gym class, avoided team sports, and couldn't run for more than 10 minutes at a time to completing a half marathon! 2 hours and 39 minutes of joy, pain, doubt, excitation, more doubt and finally the statisfaction of finally accomplishing a goal I had set for myself.

Now my next challenge will be the Montreal-NY challenge (

I want to use this blog as a journal through this journey. We rarely have the opportunity to live such a challenge and I want to live it 100% through all the ups and downs, across all the emotions.

My promise: to be me, be authentic, share my thoughts and experiences, and be open to whatever this journey may teach me.

I hope you will join me on this journey!!!