This is a New Year post of sorts. One year ago, on January 1st, 2017, I wrote up a “Goal Board.” Not a “vision board,” per se, as is the buzzword, but semantics do matter, and a “Goal Board” sits better with me.
Last year’s Goal Board was on a big piece of white bristol board, with lots of bullet points, arrows, and colours. I wrote it at our dining room table, using fresh new markers that Santa brought my children, and it organized my ideas in a way that I was surprised I couldn’t experience through thought alone. Then again, I’m a visual learner and I love to write, so getting ideas onto paper matches my personality. This year, my kids wanted in on the action, so it was a family affair in the dining room, with fresh bristol board, new Santa markers (St. Nick is the practical sort around here), and lots of conversation.
My five year-old’s Goal Board looks like this:
Not a traditional Goal Board perhaps, but she’s got a lot of what’s important to her on there, and she learned that 2081 is different than 2018. She’s proudly hung her masterpiece on her bedroom wall.
My eight year-old, meanwhile, came up with this:
He wants to save $25 (which he’s begun doing by shovelling driveways in our neighborhood), learn how to do a cartwheel and a trampoline front flip, get a shutout in hockey, and do a 360° roll with his drone.
Now, I’m not quite transparent enough to share my entire Goal Board with you here for all to see, but I will share with you this section, which focuses on an important part of my world: running.
These three goals all fly in the face of the fear that nitpicks at the back of my brain whenever I sign up for a race or set a lofty pace goal. “You can’t run that fast,” it says, “what if you fail?” In fact, let’s call a spade a spade, I had two big running “failures” in 2017:
- Bonking miserably at the Toronto Women’s half marathon and failing to qualify for the NYC marathon.
- Bonking again in 40°C heat at the Oakville half marathon, again missing my NYC marathon goal.
But I also had some great successes, like running a several-minute Personal Best to win the Moon in June 10K, being awarded the Most Accomplished Runner award from the Burlington Runner’s Club, and watching 39-year-old Lyndsay Tessier come in second place at the Canadian Marathon Championships in Toronto.
Enough success to keep me determined and enough failure to keep me trying. Enough limits being pushed and enough self-imposed barriers being broken. Enough early mornings and enough late nights, enough work put in, enough dreams being chased, enough shooting for the moon, and enough aiming higher and higher.
Be brave, my Goal Board screams to me. Be brave.
And in case you didn’t notice, this post isn’t even about running after all.