So here’s a secret I’ve told very few people — back on February 16th 2012, in the midst of my Half Marathon Training for the Unite Half, I threw my name into the Lottery for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon, all 26.2 miles of it!! They drew the names this past Wednesday. WHAT WAS I THINKING! Well, I’ll tell ya……..
Back then, I knew a lot less, and was only just beginning to trust myself in terms of my capabilities. BUT, and that’s a BIG BUT…..BUT, I knew one Golden Rule already. Something that had already begun to affect my life, without my full understanding, was in motion. Here is Golden Rule #1: Having a Goal Makes Things Happen. Yup. That’s a Beauty. A Really Really Good Simple Truth in Life. Since then, I’ve deepened my understanding of goal setting, and learned other, closely related lessons. Another BIG one is: Your Vision for Yourself Will Pull Your Forward. Ahhh, another killer Good Truth. Having a Vision for myself has turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. Long ago, when I declared myself a Runner….ya know, back before I even owned running shoes? Yea, back then. Just declaring myself a Runner, and establishing that Vision for myself began to affect myself in small but meaningful ways.
I know now that it was that Runner Vision that led me to do so many positive, forward moving behaviors. Tiny little things, perhaps the most important one was….Googling! LOL, yea, I confess….I’m a Google-R. But you knew that already. It was easy. I did it right there On the Couch with my lap top. “But Hey Diane, You were a Goodle-R BEFORE you claimed your Runner Vision, so that’s not new!! ” True, True. But here is what was new. I was AWAKE. and my ears were OPEN. Having a Vision made my DIRECTED. Directed on “Anything Running Related”. I’ve learned that Having Attention is Great. But DIRECTING your attention is where the magic happens. Ok, here we go….Dictionary, please.
Attention: The mental faculty of considering or taking notice of someone or something.
Hmm. Noticing. Considering. All good. But, let’s call it what it is. It’s Passive. You notice and consider all kinds of things, every day, all day long. Attention is critical, because it makes you a Learner. Being a Lifelong Learner is one of the secrets to prolonged happiness, I think. One of the risks associated with aging, and living life on the other side of 40 is the risk that you give up on yourself — either accidentally or on purpose. Oh, did that make you laugh?? Well, think about it though. Too many people, as they age, just stop doing stuff. They remove themselves from the pipeline of activities and experiences that Life affords us. The reasons they do this are many and diverse…but the effect is the same. When you stop participating, when you start seeing yourself as an Observer in Life, Rather than a Participator — I believe that is a form of Giving Up on Yourself. So lets circle back to Attention. Being attentive is a form of Observing. It’s a critical positive part of Learning, and staying connected. So, I’m not dis-ing Attention…..I’m simply saying Don’t STOP there……keep going. Take your Attention, regardless of what tickles its fancy (running, zumba, painting, dancing), and give it DIRECTION!
Directing/Direction: Showing the way by conducting or leading.
Oooooh, Showing the way. Leading. Now we’re cooking with gas. Directing your Attention is what makes you Active. It’s like Attention is the Desire to Go Someplace, and Directing is the Map. When I joined Weight Watchers, my Attention was on getting healthy and losing weight. I don’t think anybody walks into a center and fills out the application without having that much locked and loaded. I went about Directing my Attention. On Foods. On Points. On Water. On Walking and Biking. On all kinds of good things. It wasn’t until I starting Directing my Attention on my Thoughts and my Internal Voice that I realized how little I thought of myself. Wow. I was Mean to Diane. It’s a wonder she still talks to me at all. The creation of my Runner Vision was born out of the process of trying to Cure my Defective Inner Voice. I wanted to replace all those lousy words I was using to describe myself to myself with something that made me Proud of Myself. (Ohhh, that got me choked up to write down). Admitting that I wasn’t Proud of Myself is hard. But I found it hard to be Proud of Myself when my Attention was Directed on my How Much i Weighed and my Problem with Limiting Food. It’s been a Lifelong Embarrassment, and that was it. That was all my Mind Cared About. But it was Long Past Time to Teach my Mind to Care About Something Else!!
“Um, Diane — This is all Good, and Interesting and Everything, BUT what does ANY of this have to do with the 2012 ING NYC Marathon Lottery?” Right, Right, I’m coming back to that. Here we go….
The Unite Half Marathon was on Sunday, April 22, 2012. The deadline for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon was Monday, April 23rd. Marathon Brian and others at work, were joking with me about doing the Marathon waaaay back in February. Joking in an “I dare you” kind of way. With the good progress I was making on my Half Marathon training, everyone was convinced that IF I could do a Half Marathon, then I could do a Full Marathon. Well, everyone except me. I was still on soft ground about my capability of doing the Half. But….the “thought” that Maaaybe I could ……was infectious. That thought wormed its way into my brain, found its way to the cells that housed my Runner Vision, and infected it with the thought — Diane, Marathon-er! HOLY SMOKES! Even though it was scary, I felt something familiar happening. I felt the same good feelings happening inside me as when the emotional connection formed around my Runner Vision. A NEW Vision was being born — even if it was born a little prematurely! I felt then, that this Vision could survive, with a little time, patience, and some extra TenderLoveCare.
So on February 16th, I paid the small fee necessary to put myself into the Lottery, and put it OUT of my MIND. It was Gone, until April 25th — when it became Ever So Real! On Wednesday April 25th, the New York Road Runners Association pulled the trigger, and the random number generator pulled the names of those who would get a chance to suffer…., er I mean enjoy the opportunity to run the 2012 ING NYC Marathon. They said we’d be able to check on their website after 1235p on Wednesday, but….Alas, their website crashed, and no body knew anything until late Wednesday night. Um, NYRR…this is the kinda thing that people want to know RIGHT AWAY. I, myself, wasn’t sure all day EXACTLY what to HOPE for. Do I want to get picked? Do I want NOT to get picked? The conflict was torturous. But Marathon Brian taught me something else about the NYC marathon that helped alot. Did you know if you get selected in the Lottery for a certain year , say 2012, that you can defer to the next year, 2013, and be guaranteed entry in 2013? Yup, it’s true. And it’s this Plan B that I had planned to use. I’m not ready to run a Marathon in 2012, but I BELIEVE I could be ready for 2013. So, I’m in the process of creating a new Vision for myself. Diane, Marathon Runner 2013! And it’s this VISION that will Pull Me Forward and Help Me Achieve It. I need to lose 30 more pounds to run this new Race, to reduce the stress and strain on my knees, ankles and feet. Having this new Vision will help me achieve that. Because now, everything I put in my mouth is going to be weighed against whether I want IT (the food) more than I want my Vision. Sometimes the answer will be YES, but I’m hoping more times it will be NO! THAT is some powerful stuff!!
So what Happened, Diane? Come On Already. Ok, Ok….I was not selected in the Lottery for 2012. Ny name wasn’t drawn. It’s a Bummer, but it’s Very Ok. I’m on the hunt for a Marathon for 2013. It might be NY, it might be another. Either way……It’s GONNA Happen. The Race is Already Run in my Spirit. And besides, the Spirit is where Winners are Born anyway!!
Ciao for now…..Diane