The Power of Missions or: How You can Help Me Train!

Benny the Irish Polyglot runs a blog called Fluent in Three Months. Like Svasti’s blog and a few others that I follow, I never miss reading one of Benny’s posts. Benny posts mainly about language learning, giving the bird to those who try to tell you that language learning is hard and something for which you need a supernatural talent. I am in total agreement with Benny on this: I love learning languages and it isn’t as difficult as most people make out that it is.

From time to time, Benny posts on other topics, too. The concept of ‘missions’ rather than New Year’s resolutions that I wrote about back in January came straight from Fluent in Three Months.

A few days ago, Benny put up a post on motivation called: One Simple Step to Improve Chances of Success in Any Mission. This post was about using blogging as a motivational tool to set and complete goals. Here’s a sample, but you absolutely MUST head on over and read this punchy, wholesome post:

…how is their blog and approach different to the vast amount of rubbish that you can find on blogger?

Well, they have worked on building a community around their goals. Rather than complain about how hard it is, they focus on the positive and share their tips on how others can achieve the same goals, and they engage readers to comment and keep the discussion going. Those readers will have their own experience and advice to share, especially if they have similar goals – through sharing, everybody wins.

Apart from the community, there is also pressure to achieve what you said you would. You are publicly announcing it to the world, rather than just to a couple of buddies next door. It’s a mind-altering thought that an Internet-enabled villager in Africa, or a rich billionaire, or a tango instructor in Buenos Aires, or a cook in Moscow can access your claim to reach your objective. The whole world is watching.

I have to say, that I’m guilty of doing this – if ‘guilty’ is the right word. Looking back over my past few posts, I’ve reached out to the blogging community and sought help, support, a shoulder to cry on, sympathy, a soapbox to preach upon about my recovery from depression and the disconnection I’ve felt from my real self.

The blogging community hasn’t let me down. It’s been just like the post Brooks wrote a couple of weeks back about the positive, supportive power of the yoga blogging community.  To steal Brook’s title, blogging really is a life-enhancer!

So now it’s time for me to come clean – and reach out to the blogging community again. My last couple of posts have been about my need to take a shamanic journey inwards, starting with fine tuning my outer vehicle. As I said yesterday, as others love watching TV, I love exercising and finding my body’s edges and challenging them. I’ve got a couple of missions and I’m going to go public with them.  I’ve got two missions I need encourage with.

The first mission is my Body Pump weight targets.

By June 2010, I want to be lifting:

  • Squats: 30kg (current weight: 20kg)
  • Chest Presses: 20kg (current weight: 15kg)
  • Back and hamstrings: 20kg (current weight: 15kg)
  • Triceps: 15kg (current: 10kg)
  • Biceps: 10kg (my least favourite Pump track and weakest body part. Current weight: 7kg)
  • Lunges: 20kg (current: 10kg)
  • Shoulders: 12kg (current: 10kg)

Before you say: but 30kg on squats isn’t much, remember that I’m not doing meat-head exercises in the weights room where you get to rest for as long as you like after pushing out a measly 8-10 reps. That 30kg weight is on my back for 5 continuous minutes whilst the music is thumping away. If what I’m talking about here is all Greek to you, go here to learn what Body Pump is and why it’s the world’s most popular group fitness class.

My second mission is to run a half marathon by August 2010.

I’ve race walked half marathons several times (bragging time: in 2003 I won the racewalk section of the Alice Springs half marathon and broke the club record by 20min. When I say that I won, I mean I came first out of both men and women! Pinch me cos, I can still hardly believe it!). However, I’ve never run a half marathon – only a couple of 15km races. For years, the half marathon has remained a life long goal that I am yet to achieve.

My Plan and How You Can Help:

Firstly, I’m going to give my targets their own widgets on the blog. I’m going to put them out there, for every one to see. Especially me.

Secondly, I’m currently running 5km in my sessions (I’ve used Couch to 5km), but I need to find a realistic half-marathon program. This program would be ideally linked with an iPhone application. So if you’ve any 21K programs or iPhone apps to recommend, leave a comment.

Then, I also need some cross training encouragement: Body Attack on Thursday afternoon and Step on Friday afternoon. Simply putting this out here in public helps. So here it is again, for my benefit: Thursday afternoon Body Attack, Friday afternoon Step. For my Pump goals, I need to do three Pump classes per week.

Lastly, every Friday, I will post my training week in week in review.

Help me out: By commenting, encouraging me, and even joining in with me.  Missions are fun, but as Benny has said, it’s the community that gets you there, along with the subtle pressure of just letting others know what you’re doing and how far you’re come.


7 thoughts on “The Power of Missions or: How You can Help Me Train!

  1. YAY!! I agree, putting it out there totally helps. I believe in you fully, you CAN do it!

    My fiancé went from video gaming couch potato to the 5k, then a few months later worked up to his first 10k run. He was so proud- and he DID it. You will too! I’ll ask him about ipod touch aps (he LOVED the nike ipod touch ap, especially since you can measure speed etc with the little dealy in your shoe!).

    • Hey there,

      It was great to hear about your fiance’s experience with iPod running apps. I was a huge anti-iPod person until my husband bought an iTouch and then I was a convert. The C25K app is great, and there’s a C2 10K app that’s just been released. I use an app called ‘Run Buddie’ as well for interval sessions and longer sessions. And, of course, I listen to audiobooks which really helps on longer runs.

      So many people have told me about the Nike iPod app, I’m just going to have to try it out. My daughter’s had a trial and she was very impressed.

      Thanks for the comment, I love it when people leave comments!

    • Hey Bob,

      Thanks for all you comments and support.

      Do you know, I just realised that I HAVEN’T linked you in the blogroll. That’s unforgivable. I thought you were there but…

      I’m fixing it right now!

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