There are times when I ask myself that very question. When I look too far ahead and think about swimming a half-mile in the ocean, or biking 18 very hilly miles, I have moments when I want to stop, turn around and run away.
Then I remember what I've learned about celebrating small victories.
After watching my children compete in a triathlon last September, I started learning how to swim. At that time, I could not swim more than five yards at a time without gasping for air, let alone swim in the ocean. I also started walking. I had not jogged or run since high school. That was more than 34 years ago.
I even pulled my 18-year-old mountain bike down from the bike rack in the garage and started riding it again. Yes, riding a bike is like, well, riding a bike. But my rear end and knees had to learn how to do it comfortably all over again.
During this training, I have been keeping a detailed spreadsheet of my progress. This spreadsheet has been critical in my journey.
If I only look ahead, I might let the fear win and give up. The spreadsheet lets me look back at the improvements that I have made thus far. It empowers me to keep moving forward.
I keep a separate column on the spreadsheet for my small victories. I highlight the victories in bright colors, so I notice them often:
"Day 1 = Off the couch"
"First day to swim 25 yards without stopping"
"Jogged 5 minutes without stopping"
"Waist measurement down 5 inches"
The list of victories goes on and on. When I realized I could jog for six minutes, I wondered if I could jog for a full mile without stopping. I DID! At that moment, I felt like I could accomplish anything.
Just what did I get myself into? I have jumped off of the couch and set myself on a journey to wellness, accomplishing small victory after small victory. And with each victory comes the motivation to keep moving forward.
A hundred small victories will push me to the finish line in Malibu!