My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements.
I don’t do nothing with my body.
– Elvis Presley
YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE RIGHT QUESTION FIRST
In preparing for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon I was fortunate to have access to a wonderful running coach, Chris Heuisler.
Right from the beginning, Chris asked me: “Is running a one-legged or a two-legged activity?”
“What the hell,” I thought. “This has got to be a trick question.” But he seemed earnest in asking me so I thought about it a moment. Then the answer was clear: “It’s two-legged,” I proclaimed.
“It’s a one-legged sport,” Chris corrected.
“If it was a two-legged sport, it would be called jumping.”
Think about it.
And Chris’ repartee with me is also a great lesson in Life, itself.
For most of us, life is about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.
Oh, I know that we all periodically leap from one goal to another. And there are times we all feel like a rocket on a trajectory to a desired success point. But . . .
JUST MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT PLUMMETING SOMEWHERE
Let’s start with some distinctions.
When you walk, you’re placing one foot at a time in front of the other. And only one foot leaves contact with the ground at a time. And there are times when both feet are touching the ground at the same time. It is the most common way we all get around.
When you run, you obviously move faster than when you walk. And there are points in the activity when both of your feet are off the ground at the same time. Here’s the interesting thing about running: because of its unbroken nature, there is really no part of the actual activity that is considered a “beginning.”
When you jump, you are catapulting yourself into and through the air. Jumping is different from running (and certainly walking) because of how long you stay in the air and usually you land in one spot and that’s it. (I know there are creatures who get through life by hopping about – but humans aren’t know to do that.)
The reason Chris was so adamant about marathon training being a one-legged activity is that, as opposed to jumping, you have a starting point, you move forward, you keep moving towards a specific goal by walking or running or some combination of the two, you pass the finish line, and you keep moving. There is always one foot on the ground at some point to keep you stabilized and your momentum assured.
When you’re setting goals for success that are consistent and sustainable, you want to be in a one-legged activity – moving forward one foot at a time, constantly able to shift your course and speed as may be needed, and able to move on to the next goal once the initial one is achieved.
THERE ARE ALWAYS HURDLES TO BE OVERCOME
I was on the track team in high school. Periodically, I was asked to participate in hurdling to help round out the team. Hurdling involves both running AND jumping (it’s really called hurdling – not jumping). There are a sequence of barriers set up and runners must pass over these obstacles. The ideas is to hurdle correctly so you’re not just jumping over an obstacle and landing. Rather, you want to run, pass over the obstacle, AND KEEP GOING.
The last thing you want to do -TRUST ME – is crash into the barrier. You’re not going to finish, let alone win, the race. And you just might get hurt.
And without the proper training as to the technique you should be using, you can overcome a hurdle only to find that you’ve injured yourself because you’ve landed wrong on the other side.
And you don’t want to focus on the hurdle. That is nearly a guarantee you’re going to hit it.
Rather, you want to be confident in your training, your stride, and your technique so that, when the obstacle appears, you seem to just magically glide over it and get back to the race.
Life certainly has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? When that happens, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve taken the time – ahead of the surprise – to determine some well-planned steps that you can rely upon to get you to, over, and through your obstacles?
If you will spend your passion and energy on planning your steps toward your goal, then you will be able to spend the least amount of that passion and energy getting over Life’s obstacles.
START YOUR ONE-LEGGED TRAINING TODAY
Nothing will destroy your pace through a race (and Life for that matter) than an injury to one of your legs. I know that most trainers have you concentrate on bilateral exercises and strength training. However, whether you’re participating in a marathon or going through Life, you will only have one foot on the ground for most of the time.
For racing, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each leg and foot. That means you should be doing some one-legged exercises to strengthen your core, stance, and enhance your performance.
For Life, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each step along the way to your dreams. That means you should be constantly training and learning new concepts and workflow ideas to strengthen your resolve to reach your goals and enhance what you do along that path so you are fulfilled when you finally “get there.”
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