Moving from dread and obligation into joy created more than I expected!
I sent race pictures to my coach for feedback and sat waiting for some technical observation of my running form, shoe evaluation or some advice on how to follow my training plan a bit more closely. His advice came back simply: “Smile more!”
I was a bit surprised and wondered if he might be joking.  I looked at the pictures I had shared and he was spot on.  I didn’t look happy or joyful at all.  He explained that I must find something that I love and am passionate about in training and racing, otherwise, why would I continue to do it?
This was 11 months ago.  I began to smile with a plan.  ( I know…gotta start somewhere!) At first, it was to smile at the officers helping with route management and traffic. During the Dallas Marathon, I smiled at every child holding up a sign, the officers and anyone that was paying attention from mile 22 onward!
Gradually, a shift began to happen!  I started having these moments of happiness when it was time to get new shoes and I would reserve enough time to have a conversation with the salesperson about shoes and my particular challenges.  I began to update my playlists and have podcasts to listen while training.
And the game-changer was when I began to embrace the “rest day.”  This is affectionately referred to as the most difficult of training days among many runners!  Now this day was moving from the obligatory day of not running into a gift in which I purposely could choose something differently.  Sometimes it was extra sleep, or a leisurely, cooked breakfast.  On other days, it was extra time playing in the dirt (gardening) or extra time playing the piano.
Now, almost a year later, I ran a half marathon with my best race time ever!  So much of the time, the changes needed in life can be simple, like “smile more!” Yet, the simple is sometimes not easy.  This simple coaching feedback has helped me move from obligatory to joy that seems to multiply at every turn!
Do you have something that you absolutely know that you want, yet the seemingly easy way to obtain it (job, relationship, sex, money, etc) seems too far out of reach?  Or maybe your desire is clear and the path is covered?  Reach out and let’s chat!  Sometimes the major transformative step is easily seen by a coach!
And, of course, if we happen to meet along the path, remember to smile at me!

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