January 1, 2012

Small Steps, Big Rewards

Small Steps, Big Rewards

Many people take the opportunity of the New Year to make new beginnings, to make change, to set goals.

Everything starts somewhere.

I really had no idea what I might learn when I started running in June of 2011. Looking back now from the first day of a New Year, I am mostly thinking about what it takes to make a start.

Children seem to start things all the time. I watch my own do this as a routine part of life – start a new sport, eat a new food, learn a new skill in math, learn to play an instrument. Sometimes they do well and sometimes they don’t, but they never hesitate to start something new again. It’s part of what kids do.

As an adult, I feel like I have to remind myself that while I am much older than they are, I am not done growing up. When I made a conscious decision to start running, I can remember the conversations I had in my own head – what if I fail, what if I get hurt, what if I hate it so much that I just can’t make myself do it, what if I am simply bad at it… and all along, right beside these thoughts – I am a grown up, I really don’t have to do this, no one is making me, this is my choice.

Choice. That’s a perceived difference between an adult and a child.

OK – so I choose this. I choose to show myself that I can do this new thing. I can run. And I have. For six months now, I have been running. The question now is what next?

Lot’s of people have asked me about my goals. Will I run a race? Will I run a marathon? Will I run every day?

Me, I am looking much smaller than that. I get up each day and ask: What will I do today?

Today, on the first day of the New Year, I got up and did just that. And here is what I did – I decided to run up a hill. It was a beautiful morning here on Catalina Island. It was quiet and clear and I thought – I bet the view is great up there. I have not run up a hill before, so my next though was – This might hurt.

I don’t really know what I might do tomorrow, but today, this was my reward for taking my first run of 2012.










Leave a comment
  1. AMS
    January 2, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Nice one Jacqueline – here’s an old post of mine that you may appreciate: http://www.drsharma.ca/about-cognitive-distortion-and-taking-20-years-to-race-100-metres.html

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      January 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      Thank you, Arya – what a wonderful piece to share. I hope my readers will follow the link to your post. Retraining one’s thinking is – for me – harder than the actual fact of training my body. I think you have also written about exercise repatterning “ingestive behavior”? Maybe a great value any of us get from these endeavors lies more in these types of changes than in those people commonly point to (ie, body weight, cardio-respiratory fitness, etc)? At least, it seems to me these benefits are under-appreciated.

  2. Paula
    January 3, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    I too have started running as an exercise routine myself. Although i dont do it daily, perhaps once a week, i do it to prove to myself that i CAN do it. I have done 3 5Ks and 1 5 Miler in the last 4 months. I made it a goal that i would run 1 mile without having to stop. I achieved that 3 weeks before the year ended. Running is not easy to stay with, the 5Ks that i have done are not done completely running but if you asked me 10 months ago when i was 50lbs heavier i would tell you that you were crazy. I may have achieved 1 goal and i really dont know if i will ever achieve my ultimate goal of running a half a marathon by the end of Oct of this year. Its something i would like to do but i think right now i need to worry and think about the baby steps…i need to master the 1 mile and then go on to a 2 mile. But i will tell you this, I will not give up and continue doing things no matter how big or small they may seem…i know that i am doing something that so many people say they will do in the new year but never do. That to me is more important than being able to run a half a marathon.

    Jacqueline, i commend you for doing what your doing, you are an inspiration to alot of people whether you believe it or not. Its all about taking one day at a time and getting thru that day rather than making a long term goal. That view IS definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears it took to run up that hill.


    • Jacqueline Jacques
      January 3, 2012 at 3:42 am #

      Paula- thank you for the kind and inspirational comments. You made my day. Would love if you would keep me updated.

      I’ll write more on this in the future, but 6 months ago, a half-mile was a big hurdle for me. And setbacks- wow – they definitely happen. I had pneumonia this fall and it would have been so easy to give up.

      So thanks for joining me and for sharing!

      Happy New Year to you.