Conquering Mountains

Today I was running (ok jogging at best) a particularly hilly 5k loop. Let’s just frame the day a little – on one had I was feeling super blessed that we have had several 70+ degree days here in NC in February and I have the flexibility to be outside, commune with nature, etc, etc. But as I got closer to the trail I started to dread the run – all the negative thoughts started creeping in – “oh it’s too hilly,” “actually, my hip flexor hurts, yeah it must be really injured, I shouldn’t run all these hills with a hurt hip flexor, etc. etc.” Being a huge fan of the power of the mind I started switching the narrative in my head – “think about how good you’ll feel when it’s over” “something is better than nothing so just do your best,” etc. etc.

So I take off running with Jessica (who btw is always just a little faster) so her pace pushes me to lactate threshold almost right away (not such a good thing physiologically when you have a couple of miles to run). Anywho – we decide to split up at about the mile mark, and run our own trail and catch up at the end. I was able to settle in for a while  - listen to the sounds of nature, breathe in the fresh air, thank my legs for being strong enough to carry me, and actually enjoy the “run.”

I make it up the first killer hill still shuffling and consider that a success. In fact, on first observation the first hill seems like the biggest hill of the run – it’s steep and it’s hard. But it’s deceiving – while it’s hard it’s not particularly long so the misery is temporary and there’s a nice downhill just after to recover.  But still it’s a big hill.

Then you hit the part of the trail where it really gets surprisingly hard. The hills don’t look all that big, but they are long and it’s a steady climb for a about a mile (fine for you seasoned runners – not so fine for me b/c it hurts like crazy). So I’m chugging along, digging deep, and just trying to mentally muscle myself through this thing. When all of the sudden I hear a woman catching up to me and we make it to the top of one of the hills together and she says “we summited” and I’m like “yeah we did, but there’s another one right behind this one.” And she said “oh we’re gonna run right through the bottom of that one.” And I was like “hell yes, we are!” And that’s just what we did!

I started thinking about how my experience and mindset about running the trail mirrors how we approach difficult situations in our business and our life. Without a doubt some life "hills" require a full on “get your rappelling gear on and muscle your way up it” and some life hills we can just take in stride and “run right through the bottom of them.” Sometimes our minds get the best of us and we talk ourselves out of trying new things, doing our best work or pushing ourselves to our limits. But what happens when we change the narrative in our head, recognize the mountain ahead and take action to run right through it and not waste all that mental energy worrying about what the climb is going to be like.

My friends – life is in the experience, and I encourage you to get out there and just take action on building the business of your dreams and living your best life – mountains and all.

Be Bold, Be Free, Live Empowered,

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