finisherDo you have a group of friends or peers that you work out with? There is always one or two that make everything look so easy.  You know the one or two people who say, “I just did an hour on the elliptical, took a kick boxing class and I’m going for a quick ten mile hill workout, want to come?”  My answer is always, “Uh…NO, what are you – insane?”

When I first heard the words half marathon, I cringed. I was overweight and out of shape. The most exercise I had was going to the kitchen for a snack twice in one night!  Thank goodness someone in my life cared enough about my physical health.  Who might that be, you ask?? My boss.

No judgment.  No expectations.  Just an offer–sign up to do a half marathon and he would pay for it. So I did. I liked the challenge of pushing myself to do something I’d never done before. I set a goal for myself to finish in three hours or less. However, that didn’t happen.  I finished in three hours and twelve minutes.

What do you do when you do not reach your goal?

  • DECIDE that you are going to conquer your goal.
    • This requires a mental shift.
  • AIM for the target.
    • Sign up for another “race.”
  • CHANGE your behaviors.
    • If you are continually falling short of your goals, you have to do something different.

I signed up for another half marathon.  My finish time was three hours six minutes. I missed my goal again.

I soon learned that if I wanted to see a “change” I had to make a “change”. This is true in all aspects of life.

So I changed my training. I asked my boss for tricks and tips. Finally, after two years of trying, training, sweat and tears, I was on pace to finish under three hours in another half marathon.  As I’m nearing the last mile, I see my boss, not just encouraging me, but also running with me, the last mile. As I entered the finish chute, he stopped and watched me cross the finish line, he said, “It’s your time to shine!”

Now my story could end here, but it doesn’t. I will never forget what he did for me in the months leading up to the race where I reached my goal.  I’ve taken my cue from him as I am helping others conquer their goals.  And as they cross the finish line, I will be there cheering them on because it will be “their time to shine.”

Written by Deanna Hill and Natalie Cheney