It’s official. Training starts today. I have accepted the challenge to race in the Muddy Buddy Bike and Run on June 20, 2009. The Muddy Buddy is a 10k race through the woods, on bike and on foot, featuring “Survivor-type” obstacles and a finishing crawl through a mud pit. These fun events happen all over the country and benefit an excellent cause – The Challenged Athletes Foundation. Learn more at the Muddy Buddy site and watch the video below from last year’s race.
Accepting challenges, of all sorts and sizes, is the way we maintain a powerful and purposeful orientations to life. Challenges enable us to grow and inspire us to transcend our present limitations or circumstances. We can deny and forestall those challenges, or we can accept them.
When we accept a new challenge, something truly spectacular happens. We engage new forces and resources to help us prepare for and complete our intended goal. We engage a wide range of emotions – excitement, fear, uncertainty, and empowerment. Ordinary events and circumstances take on new characteristics. Our focus becomes sharper. Growth happens.
The Muddy Buddy example is a fun physical challenge and an opportunity to add a new dimension to my relationship with my wife, who will be my partner for this event. She strapped on sneakers and went for a jog this morning, and we are already tossing around ideas for costumes (watch the video, and you’ll understand).
This might be something you want to do, as well. But more, likely, there are other things happening in your life that will provide the necessary push you are looking for. Perhaps yours will be a:
The choices are limitless, and they are YOURS to make. We must be off balance in the direction of our desire in order to make something meaningful happen. Off balance on purpose!
Here’s what I want you to do. Tell me about your challenge by posting to the comments section of this blog post. What do you intend to do, and when do you intend to do it? You can also send me a private email via email@example.com, which I will reply to. But if you write in the comments section, you will inspire others as well! We are all in this together, and by voicing our commitments, we will undoubtedly help one another stay focused and determined to complete what we’ve set out to do.
1. Start with Purpose. What are you really trying to accomplish in life? Why is it important? How are you growing toward the person you hope to be?
2. Pick your Target. Just choose one new challenge, small or large, which you are ready to commit to. It could be something you’ve been intending to do for years, or it could be a brand new thought. Perhaps it’s something you are already doing, but are ready to commit to a new level.
3. Say “Yes” to Start the Process. Accept the challenge and tell me about it, or express your intentions to other people in your life whom you trust and respect.
4. Leverage your Resources. After you commit, new resources will become available, internally (because you are focused and emotionally engaged) and externally, as you will notice new opportunities around you. Use those factors to your advantage to sustain and grow your commitment and keep your momentum moving forward.
5. Follow Through. There will be many tests along the way, especially as you near completion. Just continue making strides and remember your reasons for accepting the challenge in the first place. Ask for help when you need it. Rest to renew your strength. And continue.
Today is different because of the challenges we have accepted. And every day we renew and confirm our commitment. By taking responsibility for the direction of your growth and initiating action, you reclaim control of your destiny. The challenges are still challenging, but they are more manageable and more rewarding … because they are yours.
With encouragement always,
Last year I committed myself to take dancing lessons, a dream I always had. I have been dancing since July 2008.
This year I called myself “Lourdes the Adventurer”. I am planning to sail in a boat in the island I live, go rafting and canopying in Costa Rica. I intend to do these activities on May and July, and I am really excited about it.
My husband died three years ago, and since then I believe more than ever that we must live our lives at our maximum level and make those dreams come true. Do and accept the changes in our lives to enjoy it!
As always, thank you for your encouragement words!
God bless you…
Hey Dan!!! I LoVE this months topic… I recently started learning fire eating and breathing with the amazing Phillip Solomon. I started a month ago and since then I have put together a promo video of my fire skills and have been receiving offers to perform fire at events!! I am currently an aerialist and that in it’s self is a challenge so alot of people would say well you do aerial so fire is probably no big deal for u..! They r wrong. It’s completely different. Especially when have a mess of flame an inch from ur face ! But it is teaching me to trust in myself that I know what I am doing and I love that feeling of stretching myself beyond my comfort zone! It’s addictive! You “Rock” and u inspire people … Thanx Dan for being who u are! Sorry for bad typos I typed this on my iPhone!
Hi Dan. Two years ago I decided to sell the reforestation business and go back to school- for Bio-chemical engineering. From stoop labor to brain bender. I’m 53. Never got a college degree. Now I’ve finished four semesters of calculus, two of physics, organic chem, bio-chem, micro-bio…and about to start the hard stuff. Two years to go.
But it has me sitting for too many hours. Years ago, I tried to train for a marathon. Never got more than halfway, like as much as 35 miles a week, before I’d over-train and hurt myself, gain 20 pounds, and start over.
Well, now I’m 25 pounds over, most I’ve ever weighed. And I’m not getting younger, thus it doesn’t come off easily. And there’s no point getting this degree if I’m not going to give my body the health it needs to use it. So I’m going to start again. This time with a slow and steady schedule to work up gradually. Consistency will be the first goal, over numbers of miles, or speeds, or race dates. And I plan, no matter how good the runner’s high feels, to not go more than the recommended training schedule. A mile a day to start. Might take two years, that’s okay.
I can really relate to what you are saying in this message. Just this month I finally took action and have done something I’ve only been thinking about for too long.
I am taking a step back from my current job to start my own fitness business. Now I feel like I have a purpose each day. Yes, its scary but it’s also exciting and I look forward to helping people and making a difference.
I just completed the Nashville Marathon this past weekend and I saw the promotions for the Muddy Buddy. After watching your video I know that I have to try one of these races.
Thanks for the inspiration. Last year I was told that I have diabetes and needed to lose about 30 pounds – I was at my highest ever 238 – I’m 6’4″, age 47. I started working out intesively to save my life. I’m now down to 194. I just signed up for a 100 mile bike ride in July in New Hampshire (“The Prouty”). I’ve never biked more than 65 miles in one day, and never with that level of hills. I’m extremely nervous and exhilarated at the same time. It’s amazing the focus that a challenge brings to your life.
Wow…I am always inspired by when I read your messages! I am 42 and a single mother of a 17 y. o. teenager and was very active running marathons and participating in triathlons yet injured myself training for Ironman 9 years ago. Dreams of running again fill my nights as each day passes and another pound is gained. I recommitted myself to getting back in shape April 18th and plan to lose the sedentary weight gained from my own lack of motivation. Starting with a physical I now ride my bike at lunch , walk in the evenings and started a fitness program at home. I am determined to be healthy and happy once again. Thank you for sharing and good luck in your Muddy Buddy race this June, it sounds like a blast!
Like kindred spirits, you’ve hit upon another subject that I’m not only passionate about, I’m also pursuing. I’ll explain. On a large scale, I’m totally off balance, change is imminent. After 21 years of working in corporate, I decided to pursue my dream fulltime last month. I’m of the belief that it’s never too late to pursue that which you’re passionate about. Moreover, I believe that I deserve to live the life of my choosing. It’s also important to me for my children to see me pursuing my dream and not settle for mediocrity. Instead of living a good life, I’m choosing to live my best life. Adding balance to this, I spent years preparing for this move. A plan is in place to accomplish the vision that I saw a long time ago. However, at this juncture of my life, preparation met with opportunity, so I took a leap of faith. My dream, it’s really quite simple but very rewarding. My life is dedicated to assisting others in maximizing their full potential. In summary, I’ll share a thought that haunted me for years, I did not want to get to the end of my life and have regrets about not living my best life. I made a choice to pursue my dream and so can each one of you!