Welcome to my weekly Operation Melt update where I share progress updates from my continued fitness journey and the important lessons it is teaching me about life.
I had an exciting moment this week when I learned that a friend and former coworker of mine, who I respect a lot, was taking the next step in her journey. She partnered with a friend of hers to launch a new podcast called Momgul (mom + mogul).
Momgul is a 15-minute weekly Podcast & Courses designed to make moms into moguls.
I was very proud of my friend for doing this and I was a little surprised because it was a bit out of character for her. It is not that I don’t think she was smart because she is damn smart. It isn’t that I don’t think she has good ideas, she absolutely does. It isn’t that I don’t think she has a voice because I knew first hand that she does.
I just always thought she was more comfortable outside of the spotlight. She struck me as the person would choose to be the producer instead of the leading actor though both roles were completely within reach. But not this time.
She took the plunge, showed vulnerability and put herself out there in a very personal way. Her podcast is great (I mean really good!) and I couldn’t be happier for her! I would also highly recommend checking out the Momgul podcast even if you are not a mom (learn more at https://www.momgul.com/)!
Cap City 2018
The story of my friend taking a plunge and putting herself out there reminded me of a story about the 2018 Cap City half marathon. I originally told that story in real-time in my week 45 blog (read it here) under the heading of Half Marathon “Remorse.” Now that I have a little more distance from that moment I will briefly retell the story.
In April 2018 I had just crossed the 100 pounds lost mark and decided to keep going. I had started running but was still only running short distances and had never participated in an organized run. I was a complete novice and was still pretty timid.
On Saturday morning I had several friends who were running in the Cap City half marathon. Mile two of this race happens less than half a mile from my house so I decided to walk to Schiller Park in German Village to cheer my friends in their race.
I watched the start of the first group on television and then walked to the park mere seconds before the fastest runners made it to where I was. Then corral after corral of runners passed by and I saw all my friends and cheered them all on as they were running. When one of my friends who was walking the half passed by I walked with her for about a mile and then walked back home.
On my way back home I continued to see people walking the half marathon getting progressively less and less fit.
That’s when it hit me. I could do this. Why am I standing on the sidelines watching people way less fit than me participate in a half marathon? This is the last time this was going to happen. I owed it to myself to jump in and participate.
Two months later I finished my first 5k race (read about it here). Just six months later I completed my first half marathon (read about it here) with a very respectable time and have only gotten better since then.
Getting in the Arena
I am a big fan of author Brene Brown whose writing and research focus on vulnerability and self improvement. Her writing and talks just resonate with me like few others and I just can’t get enough.
One of her go-to stories that she shares is from the Man in the Arena speech by Theodore Roosevelt.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Then Brene goes on to paraphrase the quote by saying “If you are not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
This is an important life lesson I learned while getting fit and is kind of the foundation for my Operation Melt vision.
Get in the Game
Do you have a goal that you have thought about pursuing but haven’t taken that first step yet? What’s holding you back? You can’t win the game from the sidelines. To win the game you have to take the plunge and get into the game.
Sometimes you have to take a step outside of your comfort zone without knowing whether or not you will be successful. You just might surprise yourself and accomplish something bigger than you thought possible.
Did I know how to break free from poverty, graduate college with honors despite not being able to afford it and build a solid career and an amazing life when I started? I didn’t have a clue. But I took the first step and built my life a step at a time following my own path.
Did I know for sure that I could finish a half marathon with a time that wasn’t an embarrassment? Of course not. But choosing to be a spectator instead of a participant wasn’t going to prove anything to myself.
Did I know that I could lose over 100 pounds in under a year? No! In fact, I thought the odds were pretty low but that I would make some progress. I certainly didn’t expect that I would lose over 130 pounds and complete a half marathon in 14 months.
Did I know that people would read a self-serving blog bragging about my weight loss (that’s not really how I view it, but I know it is how others do)? Nope. I thought I’d give it a shot for a few weeks and see if there was interest. There was!
Did I start this journey planning to write a book? Certainly not, but I did.
I can share dozens of stories like this. I didn’t know I would be successful. It would have been easier to be a spectator. But I tried and was more successful than I would ever expect.
Winners are chosen from the playing field and not the sidelines. Get past the comfort zone. Be ready to fail. But take the plunge and give it a try.
If you don’t at least try you won’t ever know if you are going to win or if your goal will just die of loneliness.
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About Operation Melt
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform that to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.