Happy to report that I have (finally) completed my list of goals for 2014.

That’s certainly the plan but let’s see if we can’t “flesh it out” a bit.

However, this year instead of setting goals, I’m making promises (an idea I am “borrowing” from Coach Corey), 21 Promises in fact.  2013 was awesome and it would be easy for me to rest on my laurels following such a tremendous year but deep down I know I can do better.  So this year, I’ve decided to go all out, hold nothing back and pour my heart and soul into 2014 like it’s my last year on Earth.  

Now I’ve never had a list this massive before and you’ll soon see as you read on that these “21 Promises” are incredibly ambitious (whether bravely or foolishly so remains to be seen).  Once I finished the list, I immediately began to feel totally overwhelmed but I’ve committed to it and there’s no turning back now.  My focus then shifted to game plan. 

It occurred to me that if I’m going to pull off such a monumental feat, I have to remain focused on the “why” for each Promise I made.  With a list this impressive if I lose sight of the “why” during the year, I won’t get the job done and that’s simply not an option.  So I went back through the list and wrote out the reason why every Promise made the list to serve as a constant reminder of the driving force behind each Promise.  There WILL be moments throughout the year when I’m tired, stressed, and inundated- this is unavoidable; however, the “why” is the mechanism that will keep moving me forward. The deeper the “why”, the more likely I am to get it done (because, let’s face it, “I want my clothes to fit better” or “I want to be in better shape” will only take me so far and will not get my tired/stressed/inundated butt out of bed with any regularity). 

Now, without further delay, I give you…

21 Promises

1. Complete a very challenging trail half-marathon. WHY: because I want to be as bad-ass off road as I am on the road.  The half-marathon is my “sweet spot” and it’s time to take it up a notch!
2. Run a 1:48 half-marathon. WHY: given my recent back-to-back marathon performance, I should be able to get 5 or 6 minutes of my personal best time for this distance…but that’s not awesome enough for me this year so instead I will take at least 7 minutes off of my time.  I see some serious speedwork in my future…
3. Complete 15 road/trail/obstacle races. WHY: two words- Race. Bling. 
4. Set personal records in 4 distances. WHY: last year, I set 3 PRs in 2 distances (marathon & half-marathon) but I can do better than that!  Plus, it gives me a chance to revisit a few distances that I’ve not raced recently (5k, 10k, 10 mile, etc.).
5. Research, select, and sign up for an ultra-marathon for 2015. WHY: because I’ve heard that 0.5% of the U.S. population has run a marathon but less than 0.1% have run an ultra-marathon and I want to belong to THAT club.  I figure, since I’m already out there for more than 26 miles at a shot, what’s a few more miles? The search begins for the perfect ultra for me to tackle in 2015.
6. Reach a body fat percentage of 17.5% . WHY: honestly, my coach suggested this one but I want to do it just to prove that I can because the definition I’ve developed in my arms lately is astonishing and now I want my legs to match.
7. Get fitness assessment score of 450 by June 1stWHY: last time I did a fitness assessment at my gym (August 2013), I scored a 426 out of a possible 500 (which totally blew my mind) but I’m convinced that I can get a 450 if I get REALLY serious about the push-ups and the 800-meter sprint.
8. Take 2 SUP classes & do 3 practice sessions. WHY: I started stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) last summer on the Potomac River and had an absolute blast.  It was both extremely relaxing and super fun.  I would love to get better at it and feel comfortable enough to go out on flat water without an instructor.
9. Complete 2 indoor rock climbing classes. WHY: because it’s been years since I went climbing and given the substantial increase in my upper body strength I know I would be MUCH better at it now.  Plus, what’s cooler than getting to the top of a seemingly insurmountable wall on your own strength?  (Added bonus: This will also help me with Number 12 below.)
10. Complete a sprint-distance triathlon. WHY: triathlons have come up often over the past few years as a possible “next challenge” for me- it’s time to knock this one out.  My excuses have been (a) I don’t own a bike and (b) I’m not a good swimmer. As I discussed in my December 21st blog post, going forward rather than making silly B.S. excuses I am gonna make things happen.  Already signed up for one on June 1st.
11. Learn to swim (pool and open water). WHY: see Number 10 above.
12. 3 unassisted pull-ups (from a dead hang). WHY: because I got the chin-ups last summer and now it’s time to tackle their bigger, badder older brother…the pull-up. 
13. Improve lifting technique and increase weight by 25% for snatch, front squat, and overhead squat. WHY: I’ve developed a bit of a fascination with these advanced lifts during the “off-season” this winter and doing these lifts makes me feel super strong.  First, I need to go back to basics, perfect the technique, then ratchet up the weight. 
14. Launch goRun in the Spring and grow it to more than 50 members. WHY: I was asked recently whether I would be interested in starting a running club in my community by someone who was clever enough to know that I would not be able to say no to that question.  Long story short, I have been appointed Director of goRun.  I figured this endeavor would be a massive undertaking but I was not prepared for exactly how massive- MANY hours have gone into the planning and implementation of this club which will launch in March/April.  Based on the level of interest and feedback I’ve received during the initial planning phases, I would like to see membership hit upwards of 50 by the end of 2014.  It’s going to be a challenge but I believe that my passion for the sport will keep goRun moving in the right direction.
15. 20 blog posts. WHY: since the point of my blog is to highlight awesome people and experiences, in order to have 20 or more blog posts, logically I’d have to meet enough awesome people and/or have enough awesome experiences to warrant 20 blog posts.  That, in and of itself, would be PRETTY FREAKING AWESOME!
16. Be nicer to Alison. WHY: see my December 14th blog post.  She’s a pretty cool gal who deserves my admiration and respect.
17. No more soda. WHY: time to stop putting this crap into my body.  Last year, I substantially reduced my soda intake.  This year, I plan to eliminate it completely. 
18. Go to an amusement park. WHY: sad to say that I haven’t done this in years and I’d love to spend a day feeling like a kid again.
19. Get a coaching or fitness certification. WHY: see Number 14 above.  I will be leading a group of runners all over my community and I owe it to them to deliver the best possible leader, motivator, and coach. 
20. Read 6 books. WHY: my day job as a Contracts Administrator requires me to read A LOT (mostly about indemnities, liability, waivers, termination clauses…I know, scintillating) and I’ve gotten away from reading for pleasure even though I still really want to do it.  My coach has made a few suggestions and I have some books that I’ve been meaning to put on my reading list as well.  
21. Inspire someone else to do something awesome. WHY: in light of the events of the past year, I know how it feels to totally surprise myself, smash some perceived limitations, and recognize that there is more strength in me than I ever thought possible.  This year, I want to pass it on.  I promise to move someone else to action this year so that he or she can experience this feeling too.  It’s really easy to get beat down and lose sight of our own awesomeness when the stresses of life, work, family, money, etc. weigh us down.  But I don’t believe that we are here to “just get by” from day to day, so busy making a living that we forget to make a life and never really challenging ourselves.  I want to inspire another person to find or re-discover their own inner superhero because everyone deserves to see how truly awesome they are.  

Time to rock this list out!!

One Response

  1. You truly are an inspiration! You may not always be aware of it, but I’m sure you accomplish goal #21 on a daily basis. You are so strong in every definition of the word.

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