Culture

Ask Yourself This Question Before You Decide To Quit

Think very carefully before you throw in the towel on that big, fat running goal you set for yourself.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Two years ago Elaine Hartrick, 48, was 100 pounds overweight and unhappy with herself and her life. After leaving an abusive relationship, she sold her house and checked into Movara Fitness Resort in Ivins, Utah. She stayed for eight months, the longest any visitor has ever stayed, and found a new lease on life. Part of the shift came when she discovered running, something Hartrick credits with changing her life. Friends convinced her to run a half marathon. Hartrick surprised herself by running the entire distance. Then she decided to climb Kilimanjaro and hike the Camino de Santiago route across Spain.

Hartrick realized the experiences kept her focused on a healthier lifestyle, plus she enjoyed pushing herself. While researching more races in exotic locales, the Calgary, Alberta, resident discovered the Seven Continents Club. Her first race, the 2013 Snow Canyon Half Marathon fulfilled the North American requirement, she only had six to go! Hartrick, now a certified life coach specializing in health and wellness, crossed the seventh continent off her list in July at the Wellington Half Marathon in New Zealand. Next, in addition to writing a book and debating whether or not to run a marathon, the mother of two teenagers is helping others accomplish their Seven Continents Club journey.

Read on for her top-6 tips for sticking with goals.

“I am capable. I can do it.”

I’ve been through so much in my life, that I don’t let a hard workout get me down. Look at what you’ve already accomplished and it will help you keep striving towards your goals.

Enjoy the experience.

Those new to running often have the idea they have to look and perform a certain way to be a runner. Anybody can run and everyone can be a “runner.” Focus on enjoying the experience, that’s what will keep you coming back for another workout.

Find a running buddy.

It isn’t always easy to find someone who runs your same speed and distances, but it’s worth it! Recruit friends to join you and find a happy medium for any differences in pace.

How would you feel if you quit?

Personally, I have a desire for excellence and an expectation to succeed. Accountability to myself keeps me going. If you want outside support, ask for it by sharing your goals with others.

Engage with other people.

Say “hi” to others you pass on the road or trail. Give high-fives in races. Doing this allows me to get energy from others when I need it and give others a boost if they are in a low spot.

If all else fails, turn on some tunes!

I’m always looking for new music and will add songs I really want to hear to the playlist I listen to only when I run. The anticipation of fun music is a reason to get out the door. And I always save a couple of my favorite inspirational songs for the last mile or two in a race. “Hall of Fame” by The Script and One Republic’s “I Lived” are two of my favorites for the finishing stretch.