Goal to Walk a Half Marathon

Me after my Inside the Park Home Run walk

Hanging out around Progressive Field’s visitor dugout after completing the Inside the Park Home Run fun walk.

Last weekend I participated in the Inside the Park Home Run event at Progressive Field, which featured a four-mile run and one mile fun walk. Now I completed the latter, marking my first official mile since elementary school. Heading into the event excitement filled me. The course ended on Progressive Field, sacred land to a big Cleveland Indians fan like me. More so though, the event represented progress in my goal to walk a half marathon.

Flashback three plus years ago to March 2011 when I read Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy by John W. Quinn. Reading about John’s Navy career left me wanting more experiences for my life. Specifically I desired to challenge my body’s limits the way John did every day at sea serving our country.

At the time two friends I saw weekly Alex (RIP) and T.jaye remained hard at work training for a triathlon, leaving me to think “I’ll run, well walk, a marathon.” Further thought led me deeming a half marathon a more reasonable goal. After all, back then I maxed out at four miles on my stationary bike.

With a goal set, I casually began training. Very casually! To build up my endurance I turned to my stationary bike. December 2012 I completed 13 miles on my stationary bike for the first time. Walking 13 miles however proves more difficult due to my gait. Thanks cerebral palsy!

While I started walking more, again I did so very causally. The Inside the Park Home Run fun walk leaves me motivated to work harder. Following my casual mile completion time 28:01 I’m curious what time I could achieve if I give 100%.

Buying a pedometer becomes a priority for me so I can track my distances walked and work down my times to the point where I can complete a 5k within a reasonable mark, my next short-term goal on my journey to a half marathon.

How about you? What long-term goals do you possess? How do you plan to get there? Share via commenting below.

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Tracking New Year Resolutions- December ’13 Recap

With New Year Day passing Wednesday another cycle completes and a new one begins. Now I’m talking about the process where the change in calendar year renews optimism and hope. Resolutions often accompany these positive sentiments. Yet said resolutions always seem to become forgotten by the time March rolls around.

Not for you and me! Today’s post marks the end to my monthly 2013 New Year resolutions tracking. Next week I’ll embark on a yearly overview and in two weeks publicize my 2014 New Year resolutions so I can face the public accountability all over again. First though, let us revisit December 2013.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

After three months where I accomplished resolution one in the month’s last week, I finally avoided the last minute pressure. Inspiration for topic ideas really helped me here. Seeing how last month marked two years since I released my cerebral palsy memoir Off Balanced to the Kindle and Nook, a reflection felt appropriate.

The live Twitter chats #CPChatNow John W. Quinn, Tim Wambach, and I started hosting in December led me to my second video’s subject matter, “Cerebral Palsy & Building Self-Esteem.”

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

If you subscribe to my blog (button located on the right hand side under my picture), you know I surpassed resolution two. Overall I published six new posts in December. Exciting happenings motivated me, namely the emerging #CPChatNow, serving as a panelist on Parent to Parent of Georgia’s webinar “Finding Your Way: Transitioning from High School to College,” and conducting the first Off Balanced book giveaway.

Dakota

My most loyal companion for 13-and-a-half years, Dakota

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

Despite the aforementioned success, December also proved a difficult month. On December 4th we put my dog Dakota to sleep. Like I share in my Handicap This December team post “My Dog Helped Me Embrace My Disability,” Dakota meant a lot to me. Her loss affected my productivity for about a week. Factor in the holidays too and I ended up missing two deadlines. The first for an article I’m writing for The Mobility Resource and secondly a guest blog opportunity for Joe Reddington. I’m determined to soon make up for my December failures.

Tracking New Year Resolutions: November ’13 Recap

As December ascends upon us now, I wave farewell to November via my routine “Tracking New Year Resolutions” monthly recap. Here I evaluate my success accomplishing the monthly New Year resolutions I set back in January.

Like I stated in past posts, the idea behind such a concept proves twofold. First, I’m seeking to motivate myself through public accountability. Secondly I hope to inspire you to continue chasing your own New Year resolutions.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

Repeating a line from my October 2013 recap seems fitting. “Achieving resolution one has become a habit over the year, producing a responsibility I can’t ignore.” In my first video I encouraged viewers to support local authors on Small Business Saturday. Watch below.

My second video aims to uplift your spirits when you feel down, “Celebrate Your Hidden Success.”

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Typically resolution two translates to four posts a month. Well November brought five Fridays and thus an extra challenge. By maintaining a week-to-week focus though I navigated the extra challenge easily. Sometimes short-term concentration prevents you from feeling anxious and psyching yourself out.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

Writer’s block hit me hard mid-November causing me to fall behind. Staying professional I rescheduled my soon to miss deadline to a later date. Personally I find rescheduling deadlines works better than stressing and forcing yourself to write something.

Tracking New Year Resolutions: October ‘13 Recap

The fact I’m still tracking my 2013 New Year Resolutions on November 1st makes me smile. Hopefully you can say the same.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

Again I ended up waiting to the month’s final week to produce my videos. Heck, I recorded and published the second video “Invite to Visit the Handicap This! Blog” October 31st. Yet despite my procrastination I felt confident. Achieving resolution one has become a habit over the year, producing a responsibility I can’t ignore.

By the way my first video, embedded below, received some great feedback from viewers in the video’s comment section.

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Okay, I missed my post Friday, October 18th. However, I compensated for the lapse by posting Wednesday, October 30th. That averaged me to a weekly post basis. Next month I will make an extra effort to meet my specific goal. Staying one day ahead mentally will allow me to succeed. So, I need to post Friday? Then I will target completing my entry Thursday.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? YES

In my September recap I discussed how I must better care for myself physically and return to maintaining my time management journal. These tasks keep me mentally sharp and able to meet deadlines. Showing progress on both fronts, I kept to due dates. Even a last minute rewrite couldn’t cause me to fail. Admittedly though, I thrive on last minute pressure. Therefore such a situation puts me in my element.

Now onto November!

Tracking New Year Resolutions: September ’13 Recap

May I speak bluntly? September 2013 roughed me up, or at least I feel beaten. Details follow below in this month’s “Tracking New Year Resolutions” post.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

Yes I succeeded in my first goal but entering September’s final week the outlook seemed bleak. I didn’t follow my usual schedule where I posted my first video the month’s second week. Deciding on a topic remained troublesome to the point I experienced difficulty sleeping. Finally in a much needed aha moment a subject came to me, “My Experiences with LinkedIn.”

Thankfully I already knew what to discuss in my second video. I just had to wait for the Cleveland Indians’ regular season to end.

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Yeah, I know. My month doesn’t appear too bad, right? I accomplished my first two monthly goals. Though, this time around I achieved resolution two due to pre-planning. I wrote September 6th’s post September 1st. Next I scheduled the posting for Friday, September 6th, since I would be out of town then. The “TMR Interview Extras: Susan Goodman” post I wrote in advance too. Therefore, I could let Susan fact check my work without risking my blogging schedule crashing off course.

So reflecting back I realize the lazy feeling I encountered mid-month came from completing two weeks work in a few days. I acknowledge the craziness but breaking from routine plays with your mind, even when you break routine for the better.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

While I pretty much struggled all year to achieve resolution three to my own satisfaction, September witnessed new lows. To keep to due dates, I require a clear mind. Certain tasks assist me towards reaching said mindset.

First I need to stretch and exercise. Otherwise my muscles tighten too much. Thanks cerebral palsy. 😉 Tight muscles result in my brain focusing on how my body feels, leaving less mind space to concentrate on work. Thus you might imagine minimal stretching and almost no exercise in September created some issues for me.

Maintaining a journal noting my activities throughout each day allows me to effectively manage my time. I abandoned the habit on my early September work vacation to Chicago and I never did resume the habit upon my return.

Empowering myself to succeed at goal three will require I return to frequent stretching, regular exercise, and time management journaling.

What about you?
Is anyone else out there still pursuing his or her 2013 New Year Resolutions? Share an update on your quest by commenting below.

Tracking New Year Resolutions: August ’13 Recap

Accountability remains a 2013 theme for me as I continue tracking my New Year resolutions set back in January.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

When a formula works, success becomes a constant. My tentative every other week vlogging schedule stayed intact for August and no surprise, I met my goal. In my first August video I discuss what seems like a lost idea today, “Walking as Transportation.” Vlog number two should interest college freshmen.

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Again when a formula works, success becomes a constant. I’m determined to write my posts by Thursday night at midnight. I found getting ahead in your mind really gives you an advantage overcoming challenges. Just look at my “Tracking New Year Resolutions” posts from earlier this year. Prior to changing my mindset I struggled to blog here in a timely fashion. Now in regards to timely…

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

While I don’t recall receiving any ETAs, my stern internal judge makes me hesitant to say I accomplished my third resolution. Rather I’m fortunate my freelance clients possess faith I will come through at the metaphorical day’s end.

For example, I told one client to expect certain posts by Wednesday, August 28th. Wednesday came and went without me submitting one of those posts. No ETA came because the client knows the work will get done shortly. Despite the rewarding sentiments knowing I earned my clients’ trusts, I still expect better from me.

Tracking New Year Resolutions: July ’13 Recap

Well, by now I think you know the routine. A new month means looking back on the previous one to evaluate whether I’m successfully accomplishing my 2013 New Year resolutions. This whole public evaluation serves two main purposes. First, these public self-assessments force me to clasp personal accountability. Secondly, I wish to inspire you to keep pursuing your 2013 New Year resolutions.

Resolution #1- Utilize My Youtube Channel Via Vlogging
Specific Goal- Vlog Twice a Month
Accomplished? YES

Embracing a tentative schedule once again enabled me to achieve my Youtube vlogging goal. Typically I aim to record and post a video blog during a month’s second and fourth weeks. Now in July I didn’t publish my first video, “Thank You to My Book Readers,” until Saturday, July 20th.

However, missing my first self-imposed deadline created urgency. I knew to reach my Youtube goal I must get that first video done ASAP. The second video then came easily. Watching fellow author John W. Quinn’s video “What’s It Like To Have Cerebral Palsy?” sparked my motivation to record the following.

Resolution #2- Post Here on a Weekly Basis
Specific Goal- Post every Friday
Accomplished? YES

Anyone with a time orientated goal should benefit from the trick I’m using to meet my weekly Friday deadline. Mentally I’m determined to write out my blog posts here by Thursday at the latest. So say your goal involves waking up earlier in the morning. If you normally get up at 7:00am but desire to change that to 6:00am, fix your mindset to awake at 5:00am. Embedding 5:00am into your brain will make waking up at 6:00am no challenge at all.

Really the above could help you reach all goals. Everything requires time. The earlier you get up, the more time you enjoy in the day to tackle that to-do list.

Resolution #3- Keep to Due Dates
Specific Goal- Don’t Receive Any Inquiries About ETAs
Accomplished? NO

Again on a technicality I can say I did accomplish my third New Year resolution, the one giving me the most trouble to date. No one sent me inquiries about when they can expect that guest post or article by. Still I’m not one to celebrate cheap victories and therefore I consider my third resolution unaccomplished.

Allow me to give an example. In June I arranged to write a guest post for a site called The Indie Mine. Initially I told my contact there to expect my post Wednesday, July 3rd. On Tuesday, July 2nd I sent a followup email saying I didn’t want to rush getting the post done and I instead will send my submission Monday, July 8th. The response I received read in part,

“No need to concern yourself with how we’ll be able to handle delays. Just fire off an email when you’re ready or close to being ready and I should be able to squeeze it into our schedule.”

Entering August my progress on the guest post proves stagnant. Sure, I could ramble off excuses to why “Write Indie Mine Guest Post (ASAP)” stayed on my weekly to-do lists all July. Yet I will digress. My main point stands, I did not keep to due dates.