Most folks know that my mantra is to “always say yes.”
So when Ray Gasser created a new running challenge on the Nike+ app and invited me to join I didn’t hesitate. This “holiday streak” challenged participants to run at least one mile a day from Thanksgiving till New Years Day. I typically run 4-5 days a week so this will be fairly easy, I initially thought.
It isn’t. With the colder temperatures, end of term busyness at work, holiday travel, time with family and friends, and finishing my dissertation it has already been quite difficult and we are less than two weeks into this 35 day challenge!
I had to limp to finish my mile the first couple of days after running the Seattle half-marathon on December 1st.
I ran five laps around a Target on the day after Thanksgiving in order to get my one mile in for the day. I joked with Ray that if I ended up on the 6:00 p.m. news as the crazy lady on Black Friday that I was going to publicly blame him 🙂
I live in a town that saw zero inches of snow last year but suddenly on December 7th I found myself gingerly running three miles on fresh powder after a record-breaking 8-inch snowfall.
But I am still hanging in there. I have faithfully laced up everyday at 5:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. depending on the day. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from my dissertation research on female college presidents is that consistency is often key to their success. They are disciplined, focused and reliable. They have maintained those characteristics by employing daily tactics to create a routine for their work and lives outside of work.
People often tell me that they are surprised that not a single President (I met with ten) cancelled, re-scheduled or was late to meet with me. I was too, until I heard more about how they structure their time and schedules. Seven of the ten explicitly talked about how they work out every morning, without fail. Typically their workouts occurred between 4:00-5:00 a.m. and their days often don’t end till well into the evenings. If they can do all that, certainly I can fit in at least one mile a day!
Running continues to teach me so many lessons and this holiday streak has reminded me of the power of commitment.
Oh, and if you see me running laps around O’Hare airport on December 18th feel free to join me 🙂
Have you ever committed to a certain routine for a specified amount of time? What did you learn from it?
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