Well dear readers, you’ll have to forgive me as I deviate slightly from my focus on swoonable solar projects, game changing inventions and clean tech extravaganzas. This blog post is about energy, but energy of a different kind…
Last Sunday I participated in Run for the Kids (along with my partner in crime Tess Vuurman and over 30,000 other Melburnians) to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital. The energy was truly palpable as we donned our trainers and set off over a picturesque 15.5 kms of Melbourne’s finest; pounding through the Domain Tunnel, enjoying moments of sweeping views from the Bolte Bridge, and then investing in a final push (and push it was) along Southbank to finish near the Myer Music Bowl.
This was my first serious race run – and it won’t be my last. I was feeling primed thanks to my awesome trainer, Hamish, from Alterego. And I was decked out in fab running gear thanks to my beautiful friend Nikolina and her team at BuildBrand Popup Fitness, whom I’m honoured to represent as their Running Ambassador!
My reason for writing such a different blog post today is to share my takeaways from the race – what I learned during that 1 hour 24 minutes was seriously cool. It’s as much for my own growth as the insights I hope I can share with you. So here goes, in no particular order…
1. Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it!
I have always trained to fix something I didn’t like about my body – that I was too fat, not lean enough, wanted better abs. But lately, and particularly as I was running on Sunday, I was overwhelmed by how amazing my body is. How much it can do. And how much I enjoy using it. So I’ve vowed to honour my body by maximising its potential and seeing just what it’s capable of (Melbourne Marathon here I come!)
2. Our thoughts are powerful beasts (and ego can be used for good).
A couple of times during the race, particularly throughout the last 1.5km, I thought I’d have to stop. I mean the going got T.O.U.G.H. But I didn’t. And my body was a-ok (well b-ok anyway). At one point I actually tapped into my ego to keep going. I thought ‘you are NOT going to stop in the last kilometre – in front of all these people!’ So I didn’t. And guess what? I made it across that finish line, tired but knowing that I’d surpassed the barriers my mind put up to simply keep going (a nice little analogy to apply to other parts of my life for sure).
3. The power of visualisation in goal setting! This one is BIG!
A huge thank you to my wonderful mentor, Gilbert Francois, who taught me this process in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Yes, I’d previously used visualisation before a ski race, and yes we hear about it being used by elite athletes, but this was the first time I’d combined SMART goal setting with a powerful visualisation anchoring technique. Three weeks before the race I used the process Gil taught me and set a goal to complete the run in a specific time. Now, during Run for the Kids I did not use a watch or timer AT ALL! I simply listened to my body and ran the pace I felt good at. The really cool thing was that I crossed the finish line exactly as the clock read the goal time I’d set for myself. Not a minute more, not a minute less. It was the time I’d seen the clock reading as I crossed the finish line during my visualisiation! But wait, here’s the really cool part…my ACTUAL race time was 6 minutes faster than that! I had blitzed my goal out of the water!!!
4. We run our own race!
This is a huge metaphor for life for me. When I set out on Sunday I promised myself to simply focus on my own race. And I did. I felt my body, I felt my pace, and I felt my focus on each kilometre. I didn’t worry about people passing me, or trying to pass others, I just said to myself “I’m running well”. And when it came to the finish line I knew I’d been brave and given it everything I had, which is all we can ever really do.
So here’s to enjoying every second of our own race in life, because it’s not against anyone else, we have our own style. our own strengths, and our own mental barriers that sometimes want to stop us achieving great things! It’s up to us whether we let them, or whether we decide to push through our limitations to bask in the rewards beyond. I’m certainly going to honour my potential and ignore the voice in my head that says ‘it’s too hard’, ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you can’t make it’. To that voice I’ll say “it’s already done! I’ve seen it, so please get out of the way of my living energy!”
Love to all the kids, staff and parents at the Royal Childrens Hospital. It was an honour to #run4you