How purchasing a planner made me set an audacious goal...

It started out when I was shopping planners online. I've been Bullet Journaling but wanted to testdrive something with more framework.

The inspirational quotes, focus on gratitude an feedback loops of the Self Journal appealed to me so I invested in the Kickstarter.

When it arrive late in December, I took myself out for vegan breakfast to begin setting it up and was disappointed to see that it only ran for 13-weeks. You see the point I missed in the scanning of the Kickstarter campaign was that the Self Journal is designed to have you focus on a single big goal every 13-weeks, the align everything around achieving that goal.

Um....what kind of goal could I possibly achieve in 13 weeks that would require a whole journal? 

My friend Dara-the-Courageous had just talked with me about how she just started running this year and how much she loved it.  Dara made it sound fun. And because Dara is a badass, I decided I wanted to be a badass too, and I knew that there was a Couch-to-5k app that I could use to help me reach my goal.

And so, I set my 13 week goal to run a 5k.

During the time I sat down with the journal, I had never run in my life.

What was I thinking? 

There is something about making yourself do things where there is a high probability for failure.  Dara and I signed up for the 5k and I still don't know if I'll be able to run the whole thing. I'm in Week 6 of C25k and I still don't know.

This endeavor has engaged every insecurity I've ever had about not being an athlete.   Every day I train, I feel like I'm going to fail.  That I won't be able to do it.  And I know how ridiculous that sounds. 5k to a runner isn't even that far.

Many of the days are "ugly runs" where I feel like I'm going to die and never be able to pull this off.   Other days I feel really good about the progress I've made and enjoy the sense of accomplishment at the end.

I've been logging everything in the Self Journal. I've posted pictures inside of women crossing finish lines for inspiration.

But mostly, I've just been doing the training.  And if I can't get through the workout, I just do it again on the next training day until I complete it.  (Like video games when it takes a few times to get past a level.)

I don't know if I'll ever be a "real runner."  And it has been a huge learning experience to realize how often what someone says (like advice about how I "should" be progressing) can get in my head and discourage me. I've also learned the role that sleep, hydration, music and mental attitude play in my being able to complete a workout.

I'm finding there is value in trying things where there is a big chance I might not succeed.  That it stretches me to do things where not only might I fail, but that I might fail in front of people.  I don't know if I'll be able to run all the way to the finish line, but I do know this, I'm not going to fail to show up. Something in me has to.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall