Thursday, September 22, 2016

Goal Digger


Wow has it been a hot minute since my last post and for that I apologize. So much has happened in the last few months, it's hard to know where to start.

To avoid a long winded rant about my life as of recent I want to talk about setting and crushing goals. My entire life has shaped me into the woman that I am today. There is much about me that has changed for the better but there are those small details that remain constant and one of the biggest is my competitive nature. I give credit to my dad for letting me stay up late on my weekends with him so we could watch our Chiefs play football, a lot of the time suffering heart breaking defeat. By the time I was in second grade, I was addicted to the soccer field and absolutely despised when any of my classmates would read faster than me or get better test grades. Maybe it's my type A personality or my extreme fear of letting people down. Whatever the case, failure is not an acceptable word in my vocabulary.

As many of you know, I work as a Navigator of the Affordable Care Act. Aside from the fact that President Obama is my ultimate dreamboat, I love my job very much. When I started this job, I was working under a lead Navigator with a group of Navigators, in Southwest Missouri. I can honestly say that I have the greatest team of all time. We work for a non profit, on a federal grant and so it goes without saying that no one makes a lot of money in this job...However, you would never be able to tell by the effort and try hard that is given. It's truly something special to watch. Recently, there were some troubles with our lead Navigator (please review my post on being a mean girl for a better idea of said problem). After her departure of our team, I took the opportunity for advancement and ran with it. I have never been one to settle for mediocrity and no matter how scary the venture, I have always wanted to push myself to be the best. It was only natural that I apply for this lead role within my team.

I knew that if I got this role, it would take more hours away from my daughter and that is something no parent wishes for themselves. I also knew that if I didn't try for this job, I would regret it for a long time and living a life of regrets isn't something I believe in. Not only does it waste energy but it also makes it impossible for me to be the best parent and role model for my girl. So I took the leap...and I got the job. I set a goal for my life and I achieved it and the feeling of doing so was and is unreal.

I think many single parents probably shy away from setting these types of goals for themselves or fulfilling their dreams because they are afraid of the sacrifices. I believe it is best to weigh the sacrifices but in the end, you will be a happier human and a better example for your children if you are teaching them to reach for the stars instead of resting on what's average. I hope to be someone Sawyer looks up to when she is older, being proud that her single mom helped give her the best possible life I could achieve.

Along with my career goals, I also feel that it is important to set more personal goals. If you have read any of my previous posts, you would have picked up by now that I am a huge advocate of health and fitness and before getting pregnant with Sawyer, I had just completed my first half marathon. Naturally, a goal that I set for myself after having Sawyer was to get back into running long distances again and to begin competing in some of the races that I had once flown through without hardly breaking a sweat. Not only did I want to achieve these races for myself, I also felt compelled to make a promise to myself that I would bring Sawyer along with me to each race. If it wasn't hard enough training  my body to run distance again, add a huge stroller and a now 20 lb child into the mix... I was beginning to doubt myself and my sanity.

We huffed and puffed our way through a few of the local 5k's in town, getting faster and more efficient with each race. Soon I began to find my stride and once again, not wanting to rest on mediocrity, I signed up for our first 10k. I hadn't been training for a 10k but something inside of me was telling me I needed to push myself harder so I took the leap. The week before our race, I tried on two separate occasions to run the distance without a timer pushing me. On both occasions, I hardly made it 5 miles and needless to say I was scared that I had just made a huge mistake.

Let me take a second to go back in time and tell you about one of the first 5k's I ever ran. My mother and I signed up for a race in our home town of Nixa. Keep in mind that I had always been the athlete in the family and was actually the one who got my MOM, who is now a health coach, into running. Well it turns out that my mother, fairly new to the running game, beat the pants off of me! Talk about embarrassing. Not only did my mom beat me but I couldn't even finished the race. I swore to myself then and there that she would never do that again and I would never stop running during a race. Seems easy enough right??

Fast forward to the week before this 10k and I couldn't finish the distance. What did I just do to myself?

The morning of the race I was nervous but kept telling my mom that I was just going to have fun and probably wouldn't even finish the race. I don't think she bought it, she knows when I'm lying and she probably knew that I was scared of letting myself down more than I knew. I had Sawyer settled in with her snacks and a few toys, had my favorite running music streaming into my ears and adrenaline crashing through my veins when the gun fired for us to begin. I told myself to start out in a crawl so that I wouldn't tire to quickly but let's be honest, I was parting the runners like the Red Sea with the stroller trying to make it through the thick of the crowd. About two miles into the race, I was feeling great! My breathing was perfect and my stride was showing perfect technique. Then I spotted the biggest hill that I had ever seen in my life and they were making us run it!

I made it to the top and to my surprise the runners around me were cheering me on! It was so exciting and gave me just the boost of confidence I needed to keep trucking along. I blazed through the rest of the course, thinking to myself along the way that this was just too good to be true! I was surprising myself at how effortless this felt and then it happened. Those jerk people who mapped this race were going to make me run up that same freaking hill for a second time! This time I wasn't surrounded by people, it was just me and Sawyer. So I put my head down and sprinted up that hill as fast as I possibly could. After making it to the top this time, I was on such a high that I don't really remember the last mile of the race. I know that I finished and the craziest thing happened! The clock said that I finished in 53 minutes. WHAT? That had to be a glitch right?? But it wasn't. Not only did I surpass my expectation of finishing our first 10k but I also did it in 53 minutes. I felt on top of the world :)

I share these experiences with you because I want to show you two separate instances where I set goals for myself, pushed past all that scared me and surpassed my greatest expectations. I'm not any more special than any one of you reading this post so I encourage you all to do the same. Set goals for yourself. Set goals that even seem impossible and then smash those goals. Do it not only for yourself but for all those around you who look to you for guidance and inspiration. Even if you don't have children, you never know who is looking at you for example so why not give the best example?

A new goal I am setting for myself is to post more often. It may not be a few times a month but I promise to give my dedicated readers some more consistency :)

Now, enough talking! Go crush some goals people!

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