And some of you may remember, seven years ago when I announced that I would tackle the Camp Pendleton Mud Run, a combination 10K and obstacle course, not only did A LOT of people look at my middle-aged obese body and laugh, but they laughed right up until the day of the race. Some even expressed concern that I would hurt myself. Well, they weren't laughing after, when I not only finished the race, but managed to come in just under the official cut off time.
Now I'm looking at living in a camper van and traveling the country when I retire in under two years. At first a few laughed. A couple even told me I was nuts. But most people have learned by now that when I set my mind on something, chances are VERY GOOD that I will accomplish that goal. Even some of the earlier skeptics have changed their tune seeing how much research and planning I'm putting into this goal. I have a whole community behind me now, cheering on this plan.
Okay, now comes the downside of setting and announcing personal goals
There have been things I've said I was going to do that I haven't. I don't have a 100% completion rate on my goals. Not by a long shot.
I once said I was going to do a marathon, but cast it aside because of my arthritic knees and the time involved in training. I said I was going to clock 2,016 miles in 2016, but am going to fall way short of that goal, even though I have been putting miles on my exercise bike and in walking. And let's not forget how many times I've said I was going to lose weight - too many times to mention - yet I'm still determined to do that. That one day, whatever is in my brain throwing a strip of nails in the way of that goal, will be emotionally doused, allowing me to turn that goal into an accomplishment.
I believe in putting my goals and dreams out there for people to see. I believe in letting my freak flag fly, high and proud.
A lot of people don't like talking about their dreams because they are afraid of being laughed at if they fail. Or they're afraid people will think they're weird or won't like them. Or that people will judge them. Yes, that is going to happen. I guarantee it. Because some people are real shits.
But here's the thing - who freaking cares if people laugh at you or judge you? Is it going to kill you? No. It's not even going to give you the sniffles. Still a lot of folks want to fail in private, so no one will know, except them. I think that's a sad and lonely place to be. It's like hiding your life energy under a bucket. It's setting yourself up for failure, whether you realize it or not.
If you don't have the cajones to put your goals and dreams out there, even to a small private group of friends, then you don't have what it takes or the tools to tackle then, win or lose. It's denying who you are. There's something both frightening and liberating about saying THIS IS ME AND THIS IS WHAT I PLAN ON DOING. SO THERE!
And you might be surprised by how many people don't laugh and instead give you their full support. Support that will give you great energy and strength, and make the path a bit easier. And if for some reason you don't hit your target, those same people will be there to pick you up, dust you off, kiss your boo-boo, and set you back on your way. And those same people will be at the finish line, cheering you across it.
So let your freak flag fly. Wave it high. Wave it proudly. Announce your intentions to the world, then go forth and make it happen. If you don't, you will spend your life holding onto what-ifs like a box of broken china. And how sad is that?