About three to four days a week I enjoy going for a run to stay in shape.
Ok, I’m lying about the “enjoying” it part, but it is necessary to stay somewhat fit.
Every time I go for a run I end up in some form of auto-pilot.
My mind will turn off while listening to music or a podcast and I’ll run at an average steady pace.
Not thinking about how fast I’m going, nor do I really care, I just run.
I’m not motivated to run as fast as I can, but motivated enough to jog faster than a speed walk (for those running gurus out there my pace is between 8.30-9.00 minute miles), I end up running about 3 miles every time.
It ends up being a solid and adequate workout in the sense that I feel like something has been accomplished and I can reward myself accordingly.
Every run is almost identical, with no major changes, surges in pace, always lacking anything exciting…until last week.
Going For A Normal Everyday Run…
Last Thursday I went for a run just like normal…and something weird happened.
At the 8.30 mark I was right where I was supposed to be crossing a manhole cover that I call 1 Mile Marge. No big deal.
(You can get really creative when running the same 3-mile loop over and over again)
For the 2nd mile, I usually get into the swing of running for the day and my pace naturally will pick up. It’s probably because it‘s also the most public of miles on a main street, and I don’t want to look like a slug speed walking down a main road.
Regardless of what my motivation is for the 2nd mile, I always run it the fastest out of the entire 3 miles.
Which brings me to the dismal 3rd mile. The 3rd mile is always my worst mile, struggling to finish. It’s like once the 2nd Mile Marker is crossed, mentally I start to lose the battle and slow my pace down without thinking.
This ALWAYS happens on the 3rd mile…except for last Thursday. Something really strange happened.
As I broke past the 2nd mile marker and began the last mile of my run, a lady on a bike started pedaling past me as I slow jogged.
The lady looked like she was having the time of her life in her jean shorts as she passed me with ease…I was struggling just to keep my legs going.
She wasn’t even
She was on a leisurely stroll, but a slow pedal on a bike is faster than most people ‘s running pace.
As she passed me by, she looked over and grinned.
At the time, I couldn’t tell if it was a friendly grin, or a “why are you running so slow” grin.
What ensued there after was comical.
Not knowing where a sudden burst of energy would come from, I started sprinting as fast as I possibly could.
I ran past the lady as she was pedaling because I didn’t want her to pass me by again.
When I finally passed her, I looked back at HER and grinned…and then SHE started pedaling even faster.
Typically at this point in my 3-mile loop, I am struggling for air, and just want the run to end…but these normal physical deterrents were a non-factor in my race against jean shorts.
She tried catching me, and for about 20 strides, she did catch me.
It looked ridiculous. We were dead even, racing down a side street, a lady in jean shorts vs. me.
She was pedaling to the point where she was really giving her legs a workout and I was running as fast as I possibly could.
Right when I started to think she was put there just to challenge me something funny happened.
She just nodded to me, and drifted back to her normal pace, and I passed her by with ease.
Inside my mind, when she backed down, I celebrated my victory like a craze man over the jean short lady.
And then something significant hit me.
What I Learned From Battling Her
I couldn’t have cared less about losing the “race” to the old lady…OK I’m lying again. I did really want to beat her, but that’s not the point.
Racing the jean shorts lady down the side of the road made me realize that I have the capability to run like that every single time I run, so why don’t I?
And taking it a step even deeper (scary, I know), if being challenged like that in an insignificant run made me increase my effort to the max, how could I recreate that scenario in my daily life, more specifically in my businesses?
Having competition (whether real or not) really can push you to the next level.
I guess I never realized how powerful and important that has been in my life.
Setting goals, and figuring out how to achieve them are things that I’ve always been able to do somewhat naturally…but I wonder what can happen if competition can be tied to every goal/task/everyday thing that you do?
Challenging You To Challenge Me
As I start to figure out how to implement more competition into my business, blogging, coaching, etc., I will share what I come up with you…and I want to extend a challenge to you.
I really enjoy blogging, much like running, but I want to do more….
Somehow I want to add competition to better the blog…I don’t want to compete with another blogger, but I want to take a challenge from you.
Whether it is a content challenge, a posting more often challenge, or anything to do with adding posts to this blog, I’m challenging you to challenge me.
Leave a blogging challenge for me below in the comments and type in whatever challenge you come up with that strikes me like the jean shorts lady. I’ll accept a small handful of challenges and use it as my blog-competition.
There really is no criteria…get as creative as you want.
If I end up using your challenge, I’ll send you a free digital copy of my book Punch It In: 24 Days To Crossing Your Goal Line as a small thanks for pedaling faster than me…
Just leave your challenge in the comments below if you want to get involved in this post!
But for now, I want to thank bike riding jean shorts lady for helping me to understand how important competition can be, and also for being a gracious 2nd place winner in the insignificant run/bike race of 2013.
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