Two years ago I stood on the Asbury Park boardwalk and watched in amazement as athletes young and old swam, biked and ran through a grueling triathlon. I was awestruck as I thought of the time and energy it took every participant to even complete the event. Though it was not the "ironman" event we see on tv, it was enough to leave me cheering for every athlete as they made their way to the finish line.
Dream it. From that moment, each time I saw runners on the boardwalk, or bikes speeding by me, or swimmers in the swells off the beach I wondered what that feeling was like. What was it like to push yourself farther than you ever thought? I dreamt of running a triathlon. But dreams can either be the illusions of unfulfilled hopes or the springboards for reality. By allowing myself to dream I planted the seeds that would grow to fruition. Because dreaming is only the beginning. Success depends on what we do with our dreams.
Plan it. Earlier this year, Jan, my business partner, saw that there was going to be a woman's triathlon in Asbury Park in August. I've always encouraged Jan and immediately told her I would be her coach for the event. She countered by suggesting "You always are willing to work out to support someone else. Why don't you see if there is a triathlon and do it yourself?" I found the Metroman Triathlon and took a week to finally sign up. Now I was committed. Yet planning is always difficult. I had tons of excuses between my business and my life why I could not train for the event. But I made as much time as I could, planning it out carefully to ensure I could finish the event.
A good friend, Brendan, chose to run it with me and he "planned" through incredible research about things we needed to know to run a triathlon. We planned nutrition, exercise, stretching, strength training. Planning does not just encompass the event, but all of the other parts.
Achieve it. July 18th dawned bright and hot. Even the water was 78 degrees. More than anything else I was conscious of enjoying the event. So often we prepare for a day only to have the day speed by without us being conscious of it. I remember the swim even in the heavy swells, the joy of coming ashore. I laughed at the reality of trying to pull on a tight shirt over a wet torso and jumping on my bike. And I remember the grind of the last mile run when I wanted to give up. But I achieved it.
There is nothing that can't be accomplished through that simple three step process. But it all starts with the dreaming. So, what are you dreaming about?