Where did 2013 go? It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year and now it’s just a few days from being over.
With a new year typically come those pesky resolutions. Many people will make the resolution and within a month will have forgotten about it. That’s why I challenge you to make a goal, not a resolution, for the entire year and make 2014 the year of “No Excuses”.
I can’t claim that this idea is mine; it actually came from the company I work for. They challenged us to not make excuses for things we “couldn’t” do and make them happen. They weren’t just talking professionally; they were talking mostly about personal goals and this all stemmed from Team Hoyt.
If you’ve never heard of Team Hoyt, Google them, it’s an inspirational story for all. The story goes like this: Rick Hoyt was born with his umbilical cord around his neck which resulted in him having cerebral palsy and being a quadriplegic. When Rick was younger, his friend, who was recently wheelchair bound was having a fundraiser race and Rick told his Dad, Dick, that he wanted to race. Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair through the race but Dick had never run more than just a few blocks. They did the race, and another, and another and to this day they have finished Iron Man Competitions (a triathlon where you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles) as well as marathons and many other races. Dick does all of this WITH his son: pushing him in the wheelchair, pulling him in a raft and biking with him. Oh, and by the way, they have come in ½ an hour short of a marathon record.
No excuses. Dick just gets out there and does it because his son loves it. Dick didn’t know how to swim and learned to swim. He hadn’t rode a bike in years and got back on a bike. He couldn’t run any distance and got out there and DID it.
I had a “no excuse” moment about three years ago. I was having a rough time that fall and decided that I wasn’t getting any younger: it was time to run a 5k. My friend, Cheryl, had been telling me for years that I should run a 5k. I kept making excuses: I couldn’t run far, my knees are bad, etc., etc. But that fall something changed and I knew that it was now or never. I asked her when the next 5k was and there was one in eight weeks, the Turkey Trot. Upon the advice of my friend Gabe, I followed the training program of Hal Higdon, which was a good, slow start training program. I trained. I followed the program and even on days when running was the last thing I wanted to do, I ran. Cheryl took me under her wing and took me running hills with her running friends. She called and texted asking how training was going. And when money ran short and I couldn’t afford to pay for the race, my parents stepped in and paid for the race. They even bought me running pants so I would actually look like a runner!
So, when it came to the day of the race, I had no excuses. I was trained, looked like a runner and Cheryl even came and picked me up. My parents were there to cheer me on. Now, all I had to do was run. Was I fast? Not really. Did I finish? Yes. Was I proud, excited and sore the next day? Yes. I put all of the excuses behind me, had friends and family to push me and take away anything that could be an excuse and just did it. The best part is that running is addictive and I have brought another friend (Shawna) in to run with me too and I keep running races. My most recent Turkey Trot was my fastest time ever for a race and I plan on keeping on. No excuses.
So, make this your year of no excuses. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but “couldn’t”? What is something that you “didn’t have time for”? What is something you’ve been scared to do because it was new? Take the words “can’t”, “couldn’t”, “don’t have time” and other negatives out of your vocabulary. Make 2014 a year where you can say “I did all of these new things and I’m a better person for it.” Happy New Year!