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Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

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I recently read a blog post of an acquaintance of mine where the poster came clean about having gained back nearly the 100 lbs lost over the previous few years.  This was particularly hard for the blogger because the blog had become a source of inspiration for so many trying to lose weight and get fit.  What was the main reason for the weight gain?  After watching food intake and running regularly, the blogger stopped doing both.  Having reached the goal weight, the “scaffolding” was put away.

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Recently it was suggested by some people who have a direct impact on Brooke’s education that certain support services be phased out or removed.  The argument was made that she didn’t need them anymore, evidenced by just how well she was doing; that the scaffolding was no longer necessary.

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There are short-term projects, there are long-term projects and then there are life-long projects.  In both the short- and long-term projects, eventually, usually with some hard work, one will reach a goal, bask in the glory of achievement and then move on to the next goal.  The supports used for attaining that goal can either be passed on to others or put away for the next time they become necessary.

But then there is the lifetime-goal or maybe more appropriately, the lifestyle-goal.  I don’t mean Robin Leach’s “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” kind of lifestyle, I mean the “way you live your life” kind of lifestyle.  These kind of goals, if different from the way we currently live our lives, demand changes in the way we go about doing things.  They require us to buy into a system so to speak; to drink the kool-aid.

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A few years ago I set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  Using a variety of tools that included core work, interval training, tempo run and many others, I accomplished that.  For quite some time afterward, I did not feel the need to push myself as hard.  I still ran marathons (halves, fulls and ultras), but my approach to them changed.  I simply wanted to be able to enjoy them and spread the enjoyment of them to those around me.  I was able to put away some of those tools that I had used so intensely during BQ-training because I no longer needed them.  I will pull them out again, in the near future, as I attempt to qualify for Boston again in either 2014 or 2015.

In the meantime, I do continue to run on a regular (and currently daily) basis.  Why?  Because I know that unlike qualifying for Boston (which is a specific point in time goal), I also want to live a long, healthy life and be physically able to care for my wife and children as long as I can.  Physical fitness is NOT a “point in time” goal.  It is a lifetime goal.  Therefore that “scaffolding” that helps me build my fitness is not just scaffolding – it becomes part of the permanent structure.

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Brooke has autism.  She will always have autism.  She will acquire skills and develop the ability to adapt over the course of time, but autism will always be a part of her.  Those skills and ability to adapt come from the scaffolding that is put in place around her.  It’s true that eventually she may not need all of the supports she receives and someday I hope that she will be able to live as independently and be as societaly productive as any of her neurotypical peers, but the tools will have to always remain present in one form or another.

I don’t see the logic in taking away support because the support is working as some administrators might suggest.

The same goes for fitness and health.  It’s one thing to join a gym, take a class, change the way you eat or whatever works for you to achieve a fitness goal – just remember what got you there.

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Sometimes going public is not such a good thing.  Facebook?  Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.  That picture of you streaking through the center of town?

In this age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there was no way that wasn’t going viral.

But there are times when going public is a good thing.  There is a reason I put it out there to all of you that I had begun studying for my CSCS certification.  It created accountability on my part.  I also figured that if I made it public, I would have hundreds of readers who would in their own way make sure that I stayed the course (so to speak).  By making it public, I could not let the books and CD’s gather dust in the corner of my desk like so many other things have.

This works for just about any goal.  If you are thinking about running a race, be it a 5K, a marathon or anything in between (or beyond!), tell somebody – tell everybody!  If you’re thinking about joining a gym and getting yourself into better shape, announce it to the world.  In doing so, you will be creating your own support system that will A.) hold you accountable and B.) lend encouragement.  Offer regular progress reports whether through social media, email or even through a blog of your own (if you start a blog, let me know so I can check in on you regularly!).

In the rare circumstance that someone you share your plan with comes back with a negative response, USE THAT! Get mad, get angry, prove them wrong and then shove your accomplishment in their face while thanking them for the motivation.

In the end, you will accomplish your goal and even better, by going public, you may inspire others to follow.

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Inspired in part by my friend Claire W.

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Goals.

Ideally, you set them high, you work hard, you knock them down. As we entered the Taper Phase of Boston Marathon Training a couple weeks ago, a number of bloggers and dailymilers posted their goals for Monday’s race. The goals ranged from finishing in under 2:40:00 to just plain finishing. ALL good goals, and based on what I read, appropriate for the runners in question.

So what are my goals for the 2011 Boston Marathon? Like most marathoners, I have a tiered set of goals:

  • A+ – a 3:10. This would require perfect conditions, both in terms of the weather, how my body felt, how the pack moved. If everything falls into place, this is what I will shoot for. The likelihood of achieving this goal is probably less than 10%, largely because seldom do the stars align just perfectly.
  • A – a sub-3:15. I really do feel like this is within reach, based on how my training has gone and how I have felt during my long runs. If I can hit sub-3:15 I will be over the moon!
  • B – A PR – that would be anything better than the 3:19:19 I posted at Smuttynose. I feel like I’m in better shape than I was in October. Still, I have to keep in mind that Boston is a much harder course than Smutty.
  • C – Beat my New York Marathon Time – I should be able to beat the 3:26 I posted in New York, unless, like New York, I get nauseous and cramp up during the race.
  • D – Finish – ’nuff said.
  • E – I don’t crap my shorts – this may seem like a silly goal, but you just never know what the body will do to you over the course of 26.2 miles. Don’t believe it can happen? Google “runner craps his pants” and take a look at the first image that pops up. I am warning you in advance that the image is NOT for the faint at heart or those easily offended – you’ve been warned.

So, those are my goals. I have to admit, looking at this list, it is somewhat similar to my buddy Claire’s list (sorry Claire!).

What are your goals for your next race?

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