I believe in goal setting. My goals wake me up and kick me out the door to run on the days when all I want is to sleep in. Without goals, I would never have gotten out of my comfortable bed at five-thirty one August morning. Without goals, I never would have run my first 6 miles.
Going into my freshman year of high school I decided to enroll in summer running. The five-week program was designed to get runners into shape for the cross-country season. Since I had never run over two miles in my life, I decided to try to get out and run before I had to embarrass myself in front of my soon-to-be team members. Determined as always, I laced up my Asics, walked out the door, and began to run- very slowly. I enjoyed the early-morning weather and the way I had the streets all to myself. After about a mile and a half I didn’t enjoy anything anymore. I was breathing heavily, sweating profusely, and doing some kind of a sideways shuffle. Dog-walkers who passed me probably thought I was dying, and to be honest, I felt like I was about to. Shamefully I began to walk. After a minute I decided to jog home slowly. I vowed to get up the next day and try to go a little farther.
Three weeks later, I was able to run four miles without stopping. I was better, but I still wanted to go further. My goal was to run six miles. Much like the first day, I laced up my shoes and began to run. I felt good, but I knew the feeling wouldn’t stay. Around the five-mile mark my legs began to burn. I knew I had to achieve my goal or I would be disappointed with myself, so I just kept running. Crossing the six-mile mark I was depleted, but I was happy.
If I didn’t believe in goal-setting, I would have given up when I got tired that first day, or any of the days leading up to my first six-mile run. All the times I wanted to give up but didn’t contributed to my achievement. Because I believe in goal setting, I know the feeling of success when I reach my goals. It is worth all the pain along the way.