I’ve always admired athletes, wanting to be just like them – strong, determined, successful. But I was never physically active, let alone an athlete. Then in 2009 I started at adidas and my life started changing. I was surrounded by colleagues who would discuss their training, their 5ks, their triathlons, their CrossFit competitions. Over and over again a voice in my head said, “I want to do that,” but it was always interrupted by the other voice, “I can’t do that.”
Getting to the starting line
What I didn’t realize was that I had already taken the first step: surrounding myself with people who could inspire, encourage and push me to take action. Next, was finding my starting line. I had been going in circles, always wanting to be active. I just couldn’t find a place to begin. That’s when one of those triathlete super-human colleagues said to me, “Ginnie, you can do it. Do you think I started running a marathon on my first day? I was just like you. I had to start at a beginning too.” And then the game changer: he sent me a training plan with a beginning – walk two minutes, run a minute. I read it, and that voice within said, “Hey, I can do that!”
My journey had begun (and continues). There was a lot of discomfort, exertion, pain and setbacks. I’ve struggled, and I mean really struggled, wanting to throw in the towel and give up. Yet ever since then I’ve never fallen off track, because of one simple fact: I have a plan.
Making sure my goals are right
In the past, I placed so much effort and focus on exercises that made very little difference. I was over-training, feeling tired as heck, seeing no improvement and getting very frustrated fast. Now, I set goals and work out what actions I need to take to achieve them. My actions have to be realistic, consistent and sustainable so I can follow through with them. As soon as I broke down my goals, creating sub goals and having a plan, I started to see and feel results. I lost over 50lbs and the weight was replaced with a fire for this new lifestyle.
Because that’s the kicker. This is truly a lifestyle. The changes I applied to my approach to fitness crossed over to my mindset at work. And others noticed. The quality of my work improved. I took on projects with greater drive and confidence. And just as I invested in a personal trainer for guidance in the gym, I looked to my managers to support my continued growth in my role as project manager of talent acquisition.
The next challenge to push my mindset
Recently, that “next level” was me pushing 500lbs. I’ll say it again, 500lbs!! It was also me planning a conference in North America all the way from Latin America (in the days leading up, I’ve never felt so anxious). And I’m not done. Because the comfort zone of our routines is not what drives improvement. Change drives improvement. But it doesn’t just happen. To push to win, you have to push for more.