Six years ago, I was googling ‘how to become a dietitian’, looking up online courses to study nutrition and debating making a big change in my careers. I had loved my job at Good Housekeeping, but when the team I worked on both went on maternity leave, the job changed and I found that I didn’t enjoy it anymore. In fact, my anxiety was worse than ever and I was dreading work everyday.
I spoke with a friend’s wife, who was already studying to be a Dietitian, and she gave me some amazing advice on how to become a Registered Dietitian and it started with Biology and Chemistry pre-requisites. Meaning that from the point I applied, it would be at least 5 years until I qualified. 1 year of going to university in the evenings, while working 6 days a week, and blogging. Then 4 years of full time studying, including 7 months working in hospitals, countless exams, essays and lectures…
Don’t give up on a goal because of the time it will take to achieve it. Time will pass anyway.
The advice my Mum gave me when I feared starting. And now, 4 years into the journey and the end is in sight. I am SO glad I started and even more proud of myself for not giving up.
Recently, my friend Jess posted about struggling with marathon training for a sub 4 in September, and wondering about dropping down to the half marathon. We spent some time texting, about why it was she was debating letting go of her sub 4 goal, and what it boiled down to was TIME and FEAR.
She was scared that she wasn’t going to be able to achieve her goal in Sept. And that it was hard finding the time to train, to put the workouts in. Which I do not doubt, given that she has a young baby, works as a doctor, moved house and her sister is getting married…full on. However, I have full faith that she is strong enough to run a sub 4, and she keeps saying that she’s loving the training.
I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you’ll find the time.
And it’s about making the training plan work for you, rather than trying to bend your life to fit around it. Or perhaps a little of both. If you don’t have time for a 6 day a week training plan, then don’t try to adhere to one. Similarly, if you can’t get out of bed in the pre-dawn, then don’t try to schedule all of your runs for first thing in the morning. Make it work for you and your family/work/life.
Without throwing in another cliched motivational quote, I think we regret the things we DON’T do, more than the things we DO. If you give up or never even start, you’ll never know what you could have achieved.
And if you fail or don’t quite hit the mark. Well, you can try again or accept that you gave your best. At least you tried.
Setting BIG goals, breaking them down into manageable chunks, and taking the first step on the road to the goal is exciting. It’s scary, and overwhelming, and sometimes feels a little crazy. Not everyone understands it, but I promise, getting closer to the end, and eventually achieving that big goal is incredible. It makes you feel invincible.
I remember the first time I broke 4 hours during the Berlin Marathon. I smashed my goal by 10 minutes and cried with happiness after crossing the finish line. The early runs, the missed social events, the gym workouts were all worth it for that feeling. The confidence that it gave me pushed me forward in all areas of my life, way beyond just running. It teaches you that with the right preparation and settings, anything is achievable.
When we were in our mid twenties, my friends and I wrote a list of things we wanted to achieve before we were 30. Well, 30 has hit and I’m pleased to have ticked off 7 out of the 10 of the list below;
I’ve yet to live abroad, go to Ibiza or party in Thailand (who knows whether those will happen), but the goals that I could work towards, like climbing Kilimanjaro, running a marathon and learning to drive, I have achieved. Also, it’s interesting to me how much my hit list revolved around partying and eating back then, now I think it would be very different!
I am going to complete Ironman Florida in November 2019.