I love to run! I’ve even paid for the pleasure of running triathlons and marathons.  There’s something about it that makes me feel completely alive, exhausted and energized all at the same time.

These last few years, I’ve struggled with some health issues that haven’t made running easy, but I still love to attempt it.

A few weeks ago, on a crisp winter morning, I was struggling up a particularly daunting hill with my husband on our morning route. I was thinking about how I hadn’t had time to eat anything for a fuel that morning. I saw the hill and immediately my mindset went into excuse mode.

“It’s the end of the run. You’re already out of energy. You haven’t eaten anything and your muscles are too tired to keep up this pace. You should just walk the rest of the way and give up.”

Does anyone else have that little nag in their head? Man, if there was a way to evict her, I would be all over it!

I call her my Sweatpants Fairy… because if I listened to her I wouldn’t be able to fit into anything but sweatpants. She’s the one who tells me to eat things I shouldn’t, to be lazy when I need to move, and to stop when I still have more effort left in me.

I almost succumbed to her reasoning. Then, I shut her down with this inner rebuttal.

“I may not have had breakfast yet, but this hill is gonna be my breakfast! I love fresh asphalt in the morning! I’m hungry! Feed me some hill!”

Since I couldn’t breathe enough to explain myself to my husband, I just started muttering “yum, yum, yum” under my breath with each exhale. We’ve been married a few years over a decade now. This very patient man is now quite familiar with my craziness exacerbated by the fact that all the blood is leaving my brain and moving to my leg muscles.

You know what? Using my hunger as a reason to succeed instead of a limitation to quit made all the difference. With each step up, I visualized that hill fueling me. We set a new PR and I got to the top of the hill without walking.

When we were finished, he asked me what I was doing muttering to myself.

“Oh, nothing! I was just eating the hill since I didn’t have breakfast this morning!”

How is Running Like Business Start Up?

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Just as we are trying to push our physical bodies back into shape, we are trying to resurrect our careers from the embers to an entirely new direction with both a real estate investment company and writing business.

With any business start up, there are often mountains to climb. You get tired. Your legs and lungs burn. You don’t see any results from your work. You try things that aren’t successful. You want to quit.

“You don’t have enough money! No one will believe in you or invest with you! You will make a stupid decision and fall flat on your face and everyone will laugh. You’d better just run back to the safety of a regular job where someone else tells you what to do!”

This time, the Sweatpants Fairy wears a corporate suit and beckons me into a cubicle with sickly florescent lights flickering above the swivel chair. It’s still the same voice, just a new look.

Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty.

These feelings are my inner hills. I have to decide if I’m going to let them stop me or use them to propel me to greater passion and productivity.

If you are starting up your own business, or getting back into shape, you will face those obstacles too. When they come – and come they will – you will  have to decide if you will use them to justify failure or make them fuel for your inner fire.

Every day, it’s a decision. I’ve made my choice! Now, who’s hungry?