“I hated running!” How many times have you looked fear and challenges in the face and simply given up? As many of us have experienced, doing nothing at all is often easier than deciding to push forward through those very challenges and fears in order to accomplish something we may have never done before. “One of the common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when taken by temporary defeat” (Napoleon Hill). In this blog I will share with you the inspirational experience of my younger sister Joy, who in a pivotal moment decided that she would face what she hated most, conquer it and learn to love it. The deciding moment she faced reflects what many encounter when it comes to making health decisions and thriving.
Mile days were the worst! As Joy recalls back to her senior year in high school, there was nothing more nerve-wracking than mile days. Every other Friday in her physical education class, Joy and her peers ran one mile as a requirement for the course. Although one mile may not sound like much, she despised each run. She would literally count down the days leading up to each dreaded mile. The very thought of running, left a sour taste in her mind. With every step and stride, she longed for the finish line. Not for the sense of accomplishment however, but to simply say “good riddance” for two weeks before she would have to take part in it again.
One afternoon in Health class, she found herself wandering through the textbook as her eyes landed on a page that had someone running. Uncharacteristically, she went online that evening searching for local half marathons. Something occurred in that moment. She made a decision that went against every fiber in her body and decided in her mind that she was going to do a half marathon. “At that moment in class…I decided on the spot I was going to do it” (Joy Ngugi). Our mindset plays an enormous role in our actions. By simply deciding to go against the grain of her fears and hatred towards running, Joy had begun the process of transforming her entire health journey.
The day after her high school graduation, Joy converted her decision to run, into a tangible goal. She signed up for the October, 2015 Chicago Half Marathon! The toughest stretch of the process was about to start; training. That summer she trained hard. “At first, it was the worst. But the more I ran, the more I enjoyed it” (Joy Ngugi). The training process didn’t go without some downs along with the ups. She had multiple occasions when she hit a brick wall during the process, almost leading her to give it up all together. “The amount of times I almost quit is insane.” Yet she persisted day after day. The mile she had once dreaded, soon became a warm-up, and later just a fraction of her daily run. She began to prove to herself and those around her that it was actually possible!
On the morning of the marathon, her mind flashed back to her turning point just months before in high school. What she had hated for years had turned into one of her most beloved activities. To this day, she recalls that morning of the marathon as being one of the most enjoyable experiences of her life. The comical posters, signs and chants she encountered on the way fueled her with every step. The experience was so remarkable that she “forgot that (she) was running” altogether.
Joy’s story highlights 4 points that are essential in making a transformational change as fears become challenges, challenges become goals, and goals become accomplishments.
- Mentality: The decision to go against your fears and doubts is where it begins. This step is the first domino that sets the rest of the process into action. Locking your mind on accomplishing this feat is your key to triumph.
- Goal Setting: Once you have decided to challenge your fears, and do something about them in hopes to conquer them, it becomes time to set your goal(s). The goal becomes your beacon of motivation throughout the process, as you aim to vanquish it. “Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass”(Napoleon Hill).
- Perseverance: As Joy discovered, the journey towards the goal has walls and roadblocks. When you reach those however, be sure to press forward, not giving way to the thoughts of giving up. This I believe is the most important step in the process. It is always easier to quit and retreat when the process appears to be going against you. However, continue to push, the reward is worth every bit of your persistence.
- Inspire: Let your work, perseverance and accomplishment speak for itself. It will be a testimony to others who feel as though they do not have what it takes to do the very same. Let others see your process and struggles so that in the end, they too can be inspired to conquer their own fears and giants.
What is your fear or giant? Identify it, stare it in the eyes and CONQUER it!
Thank You For Your Time!
My success and inspiration has come from the guidance of Greg Todd and the Smart Success Physical Therapy course! If you are a Physical Therapist or future Physical Therapist interested in leveling up, I would highly recommend being a part of the Smart Success Season 4! It has changed my life!
Free Content: Employer Interview, Social Media 101, Keys to Marketing
Joses Ngugi, SPT