Fourteen straight days. That's the current streak. Not fast, and not particularly strong. But consistent, and consistency is what'll create strength and result in a marathon. There's strength in discipline required to go slow, I'm learning that. Today was 4.5 miles. I targeted 5, but there's a good reason I didn't go the entire distance. I'll get to that in a bit.
The ultimate goal is the Boston Marathon, and there are many reasons why that matters. Some of those reasons are selfish, some are selfless. Selfishly, I want to accomplish something few are
With a focus on accomplishment, we've formed the Just Keep Pouring Sprint Team. The members above are Jeff (9 days away from being 16), Chris (12 years) and Lou Lou (8 years), with others who have been on the team in the past. Akim is a "coach" on the team in Miami this weekend and couldn't join us. Rob and Steve have been on the team and are Jeff's big brothers. Rob is the youngest member of the Computer Science PhD program at Auburn University and Steve is a freshman at University of Florida. That means for the first time, Jeff is the only kid in the apartment, and he's enjoying having the run of the home. The name of the JKP Sprint Team is based on the following concepts:
- Team: Life is a team sport. Working as a team will help you accomplish more than you ever will alone. We are a team. We accomplish things individually, but we have others who help us along the way. If you're smart, you learn from those who have made mistakes and accomplished what you want to accomplish - or something similar to it. So if life is a team sport, you need to draft your team accordingly.
- Just Keep Pouring: You accomplish any goal by merely (1) setting a goal; (2) making a plan; (3) executing the plan; and (4) overcoming challenges. There are times where life gets tough and throws you curve balls, and that's where you're truly tested. Whenever that happens, that's when you need to lean on the rituals and routines you've established that will get you stronger and help you through tough times. Put another way, if the glass doesn't appear half full, just keep pouring. You control whether or not the glass is half full. And if it ever looks half empty, then keep pouring. Pour everything you have into what matters, and what will get you to your goal. Keep pouring all your energy into those things that will take you beyond where you are today. Keep pouring until the glass overflows.
- Sprint: This team has very little to do with running sprints. It has everything to do with setting short term goals and attacking them with as much energy and enthusiasm as you can. It's about setting the right habits and rituals that get you where you want to go. After all, life is nothing more than a series of habits and experiences. So it's important to make those habits intentional and those experiences AMAZING. And it's those habits that will direct you to those experiences.
We met around 7:40am when I picked the boys up at their homes. We drove to my neighborhood and ran through the surrounding neighborhoods. Before we started, we talked about habits, and what it takes to get what we want. We talked about the GET UP AND MOVE program. As soon as they get up, each committed to MOVE, WRITE, PRIORITIZE, VISUALIZE and DO. When the alarm goes off, the boys will MOVE. Either they'll run, or do push ups, or do SOMETHING that gets their hearts going. Then after they cool down, they'll WRITE for 5 minutes. They were given notebooks to start the day, and they'll write in those books every morning. Then they'll PRIORITIZE by writing down three things they want to accomplish that day, with a focus on things that'll help them realize their goals. We didn't spend time discussing VISUALIZING, but did focus on DOING.
We took off with the puppy, and ran through the park and into the neighborhoods. Remember . . . one other "purpose" to my running is to run the puppy into the ground so he sleeps the rest of the day when we return. As I mentioned above, the plan was to go 5 miles. The focus on effort level was tough because I was talking with the boys. The heart rate monitor kept yelling at me, saying the effort was a bit too intense. I slowed to a jog, then to a walk - knowing if I didn't I'd be flirting with injury with how tight my hips, feet and calves have been. I was walking fast enough that the boys would fall behind, then run to catch up. About 3 miles into the "run," Lou Lou came running up next to me in bare feet and his shoes in his hands. "What's up, buddy?" I asked. "My feet hurt. My shoes are too small." And I first noticed he wasn't wearing socks. His shoes were youth size 13, and his feet require a size 2. He'd been running about a half mile with no shoes. Yikes.
We cut the route a bit short for the sake of Lou Lou's feet. When we hit the St. Augustine grass of the neighborhood, Lou Lou's face lit with a huge smile and a sigh, "Ahhhh. That feels SO good." Poor kid.
We took the dog home, did some stretching, then went to IHOP for breakfast where we committed to our main goal as a team: Complete BattleFrog in December. I put a time goal down (5 miles in an hour - understanding it includes 20 obstacles), and the boys committed to finishing it. Then we each set goals for the month of July. Chris is targeting 15 pull ups. Jeff and Lou Lou are targeting 50 sit ups without stopping. I want to do 20 pull ups without stopping. We'll see how it goes.
And life goes on around us all. While we can accomplish ANYTHING, we can't accomplish EVERYTHING. In the meantime, there's a team to inspire me that includes the boys above, and my family. And I'm working to inspire them.