The number 10 took on a new meaning back in 2011. This was the year I chose, along with my husband, to begin a lifestyle change, which included daily exercise and healthy food choices. After about nine months, I reached my goal, and, as it turned out, I developed into an avid runner. The running came slowly, as we began with a walk 5 minutes, run 30 seconds regimen, increasing the run time as we moved on through the months. You can see from my before and after photo the reward I earned by making this change. I’m never going back to the old me!
This transformation was difficult, mentally and physically and not without blood, sweat, anger, JOY and many tears. I think it was Dolly Parton who said, “You have to get through the storm to see the rainbow.” No words could be truer! I ran my first marathon in Denver, CO on my 53rd birthday. Call me crazy to have this sort of thing on my bucket list, but in the end, I saw the rainbow, and it was the greatest gift I could give myself. Why is the number 10 so meaningful? When I ran, I would keep track of my miles on my fingers. Back then I didn’t have a fancy running watch with a GPS. I went old school, sticking each finger out—each finger representing a mantra mile. The mantra would roll through my mind like a slide show. I would focus on it, and even speak it out loud while running. When I reached the next mile, the next finger would join the first, and on it went. This method, counting on my fingers, seems childish, I know. But I did—and still do today—feel like a 6-year-old little girl, full of spirit, running on the playground without a care in the world.
You see, my 10 fingers distracted me from listening to the negative thoughts telling me that I should quit, or that I was too old, or that I’m not an athlete, I’m no runner, I’ll never reach and maintain my goal, I don’t have time for this, I’m not strong, I should be cleaning my house, or … the list goes on and on. I overcame the negativity through the miles with the help of my 10 fingers.
Here’s my top 10 mantras. Won’t you speak them along with me:
Mile 1: I am loved, I am of value, I am worthy, I am strong.
Mile 2: I can do anything, I can do anything I put my mind to: SUCCESS.
Mile 3: Breath in with the good, breath out with the bad. Baby steps. One foot in front of the next.
Mile 4: I am BRAVE. I have COURAGE. Follow the yellow brick road (sing).
Mile 5: I run like the wind, I fly like a bird, I’m light as a feather.
Mile 6: What I really need I already have. The POWER is within me
Mile 7: I BELIEVE in ME.
Mile 8: I am a passionate fearless warrior runner.
Mile 9: No FEAR. Hear me ROAR
Mile 10: I can do it. Oh, yes I can. Victory within.
Inwardly, running is a thoughtful activity. I try to pay attention to my thoughts when I run, and I’m always amazed at what I hear. The thoughts I have while running surface during the day when I work. I carry these words through all the parts of my life. This 10 fingers of LOVE process also applies to your career. Know that you have the power; be still and go within; just walk. It’s never too late to make a change in your life. Tomorrow is a fresh new day. Seize it!