This past weekend I ran a half marathon in Burlington, VT...with virtually no training.
One of my besties invited me to run the relay with her several months ago. We were both going to do a leg of the full marathon and together we’d complete it. That’s 13.1 miles each! Woo hoo! I was so excited.
It was not going to be easy to train. I was completely out of running shape. With my business, three kids, and a million and one responsibilities, not to mention dealing with spring in NJ, which can be uncooperative weather wise, this would be tough! But I was determined and said yes!
My friend was going to face an even bigger challenge! She just had a baby less than a year ago and when I think back to what it was like to have a newborn in the house, she was even more ambition that I was!
Life got in the way, as it often does, and neither of us trained as hard or as frequent as we should have. As race day approached my girlfriend had the good sense to acknowledge the fact that she was not going to be prepared to run the full 13.1 and she invited another friend into the race to split her share of the relay. Now they both were going to run approx 6.5 miles a piece. Do-able.
She asked me if I wanted to lessen my commitment as well. I should have taken her up on this offer. I could manage 6.5, I knew that, but not the full half marathon!
What did I say? The opposite of what I should have said, “Nope, I got this!”.
Why do we continue to torture ourselves and over commit? Why do we say yes to things when we know we should be saying no?
These are questions for the ages…but there are a few things about business that I’ve learned through this experience and I thought I would share them with you!
Saying no doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart!
We all have a limited amount of resources. Whether it’s time, money, energy, physical stamina, or something else. In life and in business it’s smart to reserve that limited resource for the most important things. That may mean having to say no to somethings that you wish you could say yes to.
I wished I could have trained like a champ and been prepared to run the 13.1 miles, but I didn’t. Saying no to the big challenge and taking on less responsibility when the option presented itself would have been smart in this circumstance - not weak! Lesson learned.
When you say you will, do!
Ok, so I over committed myself, I wasn’t smart about saying no, I signed up for the full 13.1 miles and I never really trained for it. Now what?
Well run it, of course!
There is nothing more frustrating than not being prepared to do something, but it’s my belief that if you say you will do it, that you do it.
So I got in my ill fitting running gear, laced up my sneakers, took off like I was shot out of a cannon on race day and gave it my best effort! I said I would, so I did. Simple as that.
It wasn’t pretty, I mostly walked. It wasn’t easy, I’m still sore and in pain. But I followed through for my friend and most importantly for myself.
In business, being a woman of your word is a tremendously valuable trait to posses. It may not always look good, but if you’ve made a commitment then it’s your integrity on the line and following through is usually the right thing to do.
Icing injuries teaches you about priorities!
My prioritization skills over the past few months needed some work! If I was going to properly train for this race, I should have made it a priority, which obviously, I didn’t!
I had plenty of time to reflect on that as I was icing my sore and swollen knee the evening after race day.
In business and in life we need to know what’s most important and then put those things first. Yes, sometimes many different things compete for our attention, but this is why knowing your priorities and sticking to them is key to getting the kind of success you really want.
There are countless ways we can learn from our mistakes. Life and work so frequently intersect these days and there are valuable take aways for us at every turn if we are willing to look for them! So here I sit a little bruised and broken, but slightly wiser too :)
Thanks for reading!