The Magic of 18 Finishes

Great morning everyone, Laura here!

Gerald asked me to share some things on the call this morning and I wanted to discuss “The Magic of 18 Finishes.”

So what does that mean?

It refers to a specific situation that I was in a few months ago and I’ll share that in just a little bit.

As many of you know, I am currently training for my very first IRONMAN triathlon with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October of 2019—the year I turn 40.

An IRONMAN triathlon is an event that encompasses 3 disciplines… swimming, biking, and running… the event itself is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run… also known as a marathon.

I did not anticipate that this endeavor would be an easy one.

I’ve always considered myself to be athletic but I knew I wanted to give myself a challenge as I approached my 40th birthday… something to get me in shape, something to commit to, and something I would have to work hard and push myself to achieve.

So, The Magic of 18 Finishes…

It was a lesson I learned on a training run and as I was running I actually thought to myself, “What a great topic to share with the team!”

I’m excited to finally share it today.

I’ll set the stage for you…

It was a Thursday, the 17th of August 2017… a training day where I had to complete a brick workout… meaning I had to bike and run immediately afterwards… I biked 20 miles… and then I had to complete a 7-mile run immediately following.

It was 77 degrees and 100% humidity… I felt like I was running wrapped in a warm, wet blanket… I felt absolutely suffocated by the humidity.

As I ran, a lot of things ran through my mind… I could stop running and quit, I could choose to start my workout over another day, I could walk for a little while, or I could press on…

My Coach gives me certain metrics to meet for my workouts and I was falling short as I got further and further into this run.

As I hit the halfway point—I run out 3.5 miles and then back 3.5 miles--and started back to my car I started talking to myself… some positive self talk… I said to myself, “I love you, Laura”… “You are awesome”… “You can do this!”… “You got this!”… and that worked for a little while…

But the last mile and a half of the path I typically run on is an uphill slope… I felt mentally challenged simply anticipating this additional challenge… it was already hot, humid… and now it’s hot, humid, and I’m running uphill…

So I decided to keep my eyes focused ahead of me… I picked a tree and ran to it… I then picked a flower and ran to that… there was spray paint on the ground up ahead so I ran to that… I chose another point in the distance and ran to that one… I did it over and over and over again, until finally I reached my goal and completed my run.

And when I finished I thought to myself, “I just had 18 finishes!”

I crossed 18 mini finish lines before I crossed the final one and completed my 7 miles.

Each small victory built on the last one… little by little, step by step, I achieved my goal.

It was The Magic of 18 Finishes…

At times we can set a lofty goal, and we are dwarfed by the enormity of the goal and frozen in place…

You might look at this business and see how far you have to go… how much more you need to learn… how many more things you need to master… but you forget how far you’ve come.  

People tell me, “Laura, I could never do what you’re doing.”

And my answer is, “Yes, you could. It’s your mind that needs convincing. Not your body.”

Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

If you recall when I was running, it was my mind that wanted to stop… my body was still going but my mind was running away from me.

I had to regain control of my thoughts and set them on a path that would serve my purpose.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” - Sir Edmund Hillary

A lesson I learned a long time ago is that "Your mind is nothing more than a survival mechanism; its job is not to make you happy; its job is not to make you successful; its job is to keep you alive."

In short, we were designed to be cautious, fearful, and speculative… we’re designed to protect ourselves from taking risks.

The beauty is we do not need to remain that way!

We must simply remember that life is centered on the power of choice.

We have the choice to be better today than we were yesterday.

We have the choice to take another step and move closer to our goal.

So… the next time you meet with difficulty as you will invariably do in this life, remember The 
Magic of 18 Finishes… pick a point, work toward it… pick another point, work toward that… and then keep moving forward toward your goal and I promise you, you will cross that finish line and be stronger than you ever thought possible.