[Guest Blog Post By Kyla Cofer – Certified Life Coach]
I wasn’t an athlete. I was the girl who would engage in sports 1) if it was required, 2) if I had a crush on someone, or 3) if I wanted to take on a challenge. Never just for fun. But I appreciate being healthy and in good physical condition, which is quite a challenge for a non-athlete.
I began toying with the idea of running a half marathon when I cheered friend after friend through races. I’m a bit stubborn, so it took a good five or more years before I was willing to push the start button. When I heard about an organization that would train me to run the Music City Half Marathon if I raised money for their cause, I thought, this was it – my chance. I must have filled out and stared at that online sign-up form a dozen times, but then one day, I just did it. I gathered up some courage and hit submit.
I showed up to a running store the first training Saturday to run 3 miles – nervous, intimidated, shy, completely out of shape, with no idea how on earth I was going to run 13.1 miles.
The hardest point in a race for me personally is always Mile 9. By mile 9, I’m exhausted. I hate being there. I just want it to be over, and my pessimistic self starts to sneak out with the sweat, saying “you can’t do this”. –
I’ve learned a few tricks to running a long race and getting through Mile 9, and, if you read closely, you’ll see how they apply to your business.
Know your limits – injury prevention is a must, or you’ll be watching that finish line from the sidelines instead of running through it. If your leg starts to cramp – slow down!
Pace yourself – if you spend all of your energy in the first three miles, the next 10 are really going to be rough – if you get through them at all. This isn’t a sprint – it’s a long race.
Prepare – Don’t think you can go from couch potato to half marathon in one Sunny, happy day. Train like you’re going to race. Get up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, use the same energy booster at the same mile, practice on the route itself (when possible). You get the picture.
Rest – Your body needs time to recoup after a long run. You can’t run all day, every day. If you want to make it to 13.1 you need to rest just as strictly as you train.
Commit – When you are truly committed to that finish line from your heart, you’ll get through that mile 9. I don’t want to be a famous runner. But if I did, you can bet your business that I would be putting all of my energy and resources into these 5 steps.
Someone once told me, long before I even signed up for that first race, to divide a race into thirds: the 1st third you run with your body, the 2nd third with your mind, and the final third with your heart.
These rules easily transfer to business and to life.
If you have a dream of being a billionaire, but don’t prepare, pace yourself, or pay attention to your limits – your commitment will only push you to burn out. You’ll wave goodbye to your goals, and stand at that finish line watching others cross through it.
With all things, there will be setbacks. I went hiking one summer and sprained my ankle. You can do all things right and still run into problems – that’s normal. Things happen. I’ve replaced my commitment to half marathons with other priorities, and I’m really happy with those decisions. Change is inevitable – especially in life and business.
My best advice for any goal or commitment – whether it’s life, business or sports – if you want to avoid burnout or injury, prepare and train for the long-haul. There will always be more work to do. You are creative and strong and full of ideas, after all! The to-do list is long, but look at it like you’re training for a long race – one mile at a time – one task a time, over and over, with plenty of rest in between. And when you hit that tough mile 9, because you will, you’ll already know how to get through and make it to the finish line stronger than ever.
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Kyla Cofer is a Leadership & Burnout Coach to CEOs/Directors of small businesses and Nonprofit professionals.
Using her Signature Reset formula and 15+ years of experience in nonprofits and small businesses, Kyla gives emerging leaders a growth plan which includes 1-on-1 support, expertise in making tough choices in business, burnout prevention and/or recovery, and relationship building. Her clients have accomplished growth such as: $20k raises, company mergers, and radical confidence in decision making.