Celebrate every little win

Celebrating success comes in different shapes and sizes.

Yesterday a friend posted a gorgeous photo of a cake she made for her daughter’s 6th birthday.  An amazing creation featuring a rainbow, little fairies and a castle.  A total win for her.  I celebrated her success.

One day in January while I was on leave, I walked into a local business and there behind the counter was one of my adult literacy students.  My eyes well up with tears and I had to put my sunglasses back on.  He’s in his late 20s and he had secured his first job EVER!  He’d been working on a qualification all year; all the time and effort finally ended in a win.  I celebrated his success.

Almost every day I read along with many blogs and hear about wins and successes.  I like the post, or put a comment and even if I don’t, I think wow, amazing, and I celebrate the success.

Those fast runners who I see at fun runs and parkrun on a regular basis.  I look at them and think, oh my goodness, how amazing you make running look.  You look like you might have been born with your running shoes on.  I’m in awe!  But they still have to put the effort in and keep training to achieve their goals and keep going the distance.  I think they are amazing and I certainly celebrate their success and love the example that they set.

I’m also in awe of beginner runners like me.  We put on our running gear and often we feel like we are playing dress up.  We go to the start line of our first few fun runs and feel like we should apologise for being there.  Unlike those fast runners we often make running look HARD!  We scrunch up our faces, every breath sounds like it is our last, our style can be laboured, clumsy, certainly not fluid!  But I’m in awe.  We try.  We keep trying.  We fail and have bad runs, but we still put our shoes on the next day and try again.  Every time I see a beginner runner I want to clap and cheer because I know how tough it is to keep going.

Celebrating success?  How do we do it?

I know how I do it.  I like to sit back and reflect on how far I’ve come with running.  From my first little goal of running to our hay barn (200m), to the next one of running to the silo (500m), to the next one of running to the cattle stop (650m) to finally running all the way to the letter box (1.2kms) – I like to look at how far I’ve come.  Nearly three years ago I didn’t entertain the idea of running 5kms.  I couldn’t!  It didn’t seem achievable.  Now I know that I can do a slow 10km run without too much effort.  THAT IS AMAZING!  The unsporty woman can run 10kms without too much effort!!!!  It all starts with little steps, little goals and then building up to bigger ones.  Celebrating success is so important.  When we hit a wall, we can look back and see how far we have come, pick ourselves back up and keep going.

Yesterday I achieved a mountain of a goal, I ran 5kms in the 25 minute range – 25:45.  I honestly didn’t think I could but I did.  Why have I been able to do this?  It’s only because I’ve put in the time to train, train, train and train.  I’ve been doing bootcamp twice a week, stretching every day and running six days a week.  I’m not built for speed that’s for sure.  And the distance and getting to the end are always the most important thing.  Doing 5kms in the 25s is just a bonus.  An extraordinary win that I wasn’t really expecting.

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Yesterday I didn’t even set out to do it.  It was at parkrun and it was lovely and cool (about 15 degrees C).  I felt rested and pretty well physically and mentally.  I didn’t have my GPS watch because it was back in for repairs.  I ran out and listened to my body.  At about the 2km mark I caught up with a big tall man who was striding it out nicely.  I thought I was gradually going to keep gaining on him but we kept in pace together.  I didn’t look sideways but kept looking forwards and running my own race.  Each time I thought he was slowing he got back up to pace, each time he started to gain on me I managed to get back  into stride with him.  At the 4km mark I started to gain on him a little and then not because he was there but just because I had the energy I got in front and finished just before him.  I went and introduced myself to him afterwards and told him that I didn’t mean to use him as a pacemarker!  He didn’t seem phased.  I asked him what time he thought he had done and he said 25:45.  I couldn’t believe it!  When the official parkrun results came out he had finished with a time of 25:46 and me 25:45.  It was one of those things.  The conditions were right on the day, I felt good and the nagging doubts in my head didn’t get a voice.

I had a big win yesterday.  My own new 5km personal best.  The wins are so wonderful!  But it is just as wonderful to be able to lace up my shoes and run, fast, slow, just run.  If I can achieve little wins in running, honestly anyone can.  We just have to give it a go.  I’m going to celebrate my success right now with a 10km Sunday run.

Happy running 🙂

10 thoughts on “Celebrate every little win

  1. Ah, so you also got a parkrun PB? Well done to you too 🙂 It was a good day for it it seems, even if our respective parkruns are in very different parts of the world!

      • Hehe, well I guess we all have some barriers to overcome – be it the cold in my case, or heat in yours. I don’t do well in heat so couldn’t imagine running in scorching conditions like you have. Well, fortunately/unfortunately (whichever way you look at it!) it’s another grey and cloudy day here in the UK, so I have to get out and run! Well done on your PB again!

    • Thanks! Honestly it was only a dream for me too. Just by getting out there and putting in the time we improve little bit by little bit. I don’t think I will get any faster though and that’s ok. It’s about having a go 🙂

  2. That is such a great result! It’s so good that you are winning but that winning isn’t the point exactly. Just getting out there and running your own race, and being completely awesome almost as an afterthought 🙂

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