Stepping Out the Door

How many of you have found yourself in the following situation?

Your alarm goes off (or you get home from work). You promised yourself you would go for a run today. You know you will feel better if you do it. But another part of you just doesn’t want to go!

You’ve faced this inner struggle before… what do you do? Give into that resistance? Rationalize why you should stay home, kick back on the couch? Or push through and hit the run?

Over the past four years, balancing a full-time career in environmental consulting (and more recently, the workload as a candidate in Booth’s full-time MBA program) with ~25 hours of training a week, I can’t begin to count the number of times I have faced this situation. Only yesterday morning, Adam and I stood at the end of a dock for minutes, wetsuit, cap, and goggles on, not wanting to make that jump into the river. We’ve all been there.

People often ask “how do you do it? How do you get yourself out the door?!” My answer is always the same: “Well…I just do! Honestly, it’s that first step off the doorstep that’s the hardest. You just have to turn off your head in that moment resistance and go!”

Turn off your head, and take the plunge! You'll feel better on the other side.

Turn off your head, and take the plunge! You'll feel better on the other side.

As I navigate a coaching change, face the final (yet critical) steps of injury rehab, and reflect on my future career in triathlon and in business, I find myself at a metaphorical doorstep, about to dive into a career as a professional triathlete. It is a scary position to be in and it is easy to find other pursuits that feel productive at the time but are really only distracting me from what I truly want (and need) to do.  But, as Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art, “Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” This quote is going up on my wall as a reminder that the more scared I am, the more self-doubt I have to face, the more I know I am going in the right direction.

It is always hard to share a decision like this when the story is still unresolved. I am really only only at the beginning of my journey into the world of professional triathlon. And each day, I am putting another piece into place to empower me to take that step out the door. I have no exciting results to share, no happily ever after (yet!). But I thought I would share, because I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t reached a similar point (or multiple points) in his/her life, when s/he has to make a choice, whether it’s a significant career/life decision or simple daily run.

I am super excited to share my journey with those of you who either find yourself at a similar juncture, have navigated a similar situation in the past, or even those of you who have no big life changes around the bend but face that daily question “should I go for a run today?” Hopefully I can support you in your journey, and I welcome you to share your stories with me so we can grow together!