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Lindy Vincent

Owner, Moxie Fitness

Tri C: Courage, Commitment, Consistency

Now that the shine of the new year has pretty much worn off, and it’s back to your regular routine, I want to highlight what I call Tri C, which is short for Courage, Commitment and Consistency. In my years spent thinking about why most people struggle significantly when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, I have narrowed it down to a 3-pronged approach.   Focusing on these three things will help insure that your new year’s resolution to “get fit:, “get healthy”, “lose weight” or any iteration of the theme, stands a strong chance of coming to fruition.

On the journey to a healthy lifestyle the first thing one has to muster is courage. Courage can be defined as the ability to face unpleasantness without fear. The context in which I use courage is that one needs enough moxie to face the reality of your current status with one hundred percent authenticity and transparency in order to set the bar for improvement going forward. For example, if you are overweight, own up to the bad choices, in detail, that you’ve made that have resulted in unnecessary weight gain. If you are a smoker who wants to quit, have the courage to tally up what you spend on your habit on a monthly basis, as well as think about the toll it is taking on not only your health but on the well being of your loved ones. If you can’t remember the last time you exercised, have the courage to honestly list the factors that have prevented you from doing so. 
 
Next up is commitment. When you make a commitment you engage yourself in a promise that you plan to keep. Interestingly, most people would never easily break a commitment made to another person, but a significant number will easily, often without a second thought, break a commitment made to themselves. Many people resolve to eat better and to exercise regularly starting January 1st—of every year. Usually by February 1st that  commitment is long broken. What does it take to honor a commitment that you make to yourself? A strong, unwavering desire to do so, and a little help from your friends. Finding a support system, even an on-line buddy, has proven to make the difference in people maintaining their commitment to themselves. It goes back to human nature - - we do not want to disappoint someone who is counting on us, so we do whatever it takes to live up to that person’s expectations of us. 
 
Finally, consistency is king. Once you have identified exactly what behavior you want to change, and have enlisted the support of friends, family and/or co-workers, the goal is to take little actions every day until the new behavior is second nature. Let’s say your goal is to lose fat.  The best way to remain consistent is to make small changes over time. Start with eating a healthy breakfast every morning, or start with drinking a glass of water before every meal or snack. Once you have incorporated one beneficial behavior into your life, then add another one. A healthy lifestyle is not an all or nothing proposition. It’s cliché, but as much as I love running I had to throw in a running metaphor---achieving good health is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires a sustainable lifestyle change not a flashy, short-term effort.
 
Focus on the Tri C as you work to improve you!  The only thing you stand to lose is a few bad habits.  Happy New Year!

2010 Twin Cities Marathon - Been There, Ran That!

 

“From where does it come to see the race to its end…….it comes from within” – Chariots of Fire
When it comes to completing the marathon distance (26.2 miles) no truer words have been spoken. Today, I ran the Twin Cities marathon for the second time. The weather was crisp and clear, the spectators were enthusiastic and friendly and I was fired up and ready to go.  I’ve learned through the years that anything can happen during a race. I was feeling great and really strong for the first few miles, then things quickly took a turn for the worse. The race started at 8:00, and by 8:30, just as I was mid-way through mile 4, my right hip was throbbing in pain with every step. My hip had shown minor signs of an issue about a week ago after my last training run, but since it was time to taper down my runs in anticipation of the marathon, I simply rested it, iced it and took ibuprofen whenever it felt uncomfortable, which was infrequently. I believed that whatever the issue it was fleeting and that I would be fine. Wrong!  During the marathon the pain returned with a vengeance, and I seriously contemplated prematurely ending my run. I weighed the pros (I could prevent causing any long-term damage and I could get immediate relief from my pain) and cons (I would disappoint not only myself, but also my family and friends who’d come out to support me, and all my hours of training would be for naught). While I was wrestling with my decision I continued to run, because I really didn’t want to stop, and in the process of running my hip started to slightly numb. The pain was still there but it started to become a little fainter. I took that as a sign to keep going. Then, as I looked to my left I saw a sign that read, “Pain is Temporary but Pride is Forever”. That sign was in the right place at the right time, and it helped me to resolve to finish the race by pushing through the pain.  I began to overcompensate and run on my “good side” which allowed me to get by and still make progress. Before I knew it I was passing the 10-mile marker, then the 15-mile marker and eventually the 20-mile marker. My hip was still throbbing on and off the entire time but I was determined to give it my all and to finish the race. Right on time, at mile 21, I saw my wonderful husband and children cheering me on from the sidelines. Their support during my weeks and months of training coupled with their presence at the race was enough to keep me running towards the finish line. I miraculously made it across the finish line with a slight limp and a good finishing time. I was overjoyed and very proud of myself for persevering.  
As I’ve said many times, running is the best metaphor for life that I have experienced. Through the ups and downs, the good days and bad, we must gather our strength, dig deep within and resolve to keep moving forward, one step at a time.  We must never quit.

"Running (life) is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
- Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

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