April 25, 2009

You thought you could never do it

I was standing at the top of the stadium steps yesterday, letting my heart rate slow before heading back down to do another set, when I had a surprising recollection.

Probably ten years ago, a friend of mine used to climb the stadium steps for her workout. I think she ran up the steps, which made the concept even more horrifying to me. I thought that anyone who could walk or run up every aisle was some sort of fitness freak (or professional athlete, like she had been). I never imagined myself doing it, or even wanting to do it.

About two years ago, I started working out with a trainer, who immediately suggested we meet at the steps. Ugh. The first few times I did the steps, I thought I would die. I wore a heart rate monitor and my heart rate at the top of the steps was astronomical (although, strangely, I wasn't breathing that hard and could still carry on a conversation).

But my legs were on fire, and I had to sit down a few times for fear of losing my breakfast.

Now I've been doing the steps (walking) consistently, usually three days a week, for about 18 months. It's become a habit that I can't go without. My heart rate gets elevated, as it should, but not high enough to scare me anymore. Some days I do two aisles, two laps, two aisles, etc. Some days I do all ten aisles in a row. I shake things up when the workout fails to challenge me enough.

Fails to challenge me? I used to think I would die if I ever attempted to climb one aisle of steps one time. Here I am, many years later, relishing the opportunity to exercise in the outdoors, across the street from the beach, loving the challenge and the strenuous workout.

Do you remember something you thought you'd never try? Do you remember something you thought you could never accomplish? Do you feel that way about public speaking?

I just want you to know that, even if you think you could NEVER stand up in front of a roomful of people, you can. You will. Take those baby steps. You might even feel like you're going to puke!

But when you get past your fears, your assumptions, your negative and self-limiting beliefs, guess what. You can do whatever you put your mind to!

I could tell you more stories of things I never thought I could handle. And here I am today, having done those things and survived. But you have your own stories. Remember them. Have courage. Have faith. You can do it!

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