Here are some thoughts about the importance of taking the first step, from Ever Better Podcast host Lisa Conners Vogt.
Recently a friend of mine was thinking about joining a gym. So I listened as she worked through a series of questions that stopped her cold. She was caught in a tailspin wondering . . .
“Which gym should I go to?”
“What are people wearing to the gym these days?”
“Do I have to get new clothes? What about sneakers?”
“I’m sure I don’t have the right sneakers or workout clothes.”
“I don’t look as good in yoga pants as those women do. Is there another option?!”
“If I join a gym, what will I do there? Will I do classes? What’s Zumba? What’s Pilates?”
“I’d probably be one of those people who pay the monthly fee all year and never show up.”
“When would I go? I’m too busy already!”
Does this sound at all like your thought processes? Are you in the same tailspin? It could be about taking a college class, playing a musical instrument, finding a new job, starting a business or trying online dating.
Each of these ventures involves a lot of steps—if you stop to break them down. But if you do that, you risk getting caught up in a million details and never taking the first tangible step. But here’s a secret: You don’t need to know exactly where you’re headed or even how you’ll get there. Once you get started, if you like what you’re doing, you’ll find your way.
Tim takes the first step
About 18 months ago, my husband, Tim, who has always worked out, wanted to improve his cardio fitness. A few of his friends at work were running, as was his brother, and two of my brothers. And in our area, you can’t drive down the street without passing a group of runners, regardless of the weather.
So Tim thought about running.
He did a lot of reading online and talked to others who ran. Our chiropractor suggested that he start very slowly with short distances and not worry about speed. He suggested mixing walking and jogging to let Tim’s body adjust to the new workout.
And one day, Tim was ready. He stopped researching and decided to start running.
He started by doing a circuit through our neighborhood of about one mile.
He ran and walked and ran and walked. His first time out was more walking than running. And so were his second and third.
He wore the same clothes he had been wearing to the gym. He didn’t buy special sneakers. He just went with what he had. And he kept at it.
The first time he ran through the whole neighborhood without stopping was a big milestone!
And then he added a second loop and was eventually able to run two times around without stopping.
Soon, he felt strong enough to venture outside the neighborhood.
His running wardrobe grew. He bought new shorts and a few shirts. Several said “Run” on them. I think they may have given him an extra dose of confidence.
It got cold and he got a hat and gloves and running tights.
And then, about 15 months in, he signed up for a 10K, which is 6.2 miles.
He hadn’t run that far yet, but he was getting closer to that distance every week, and now he had a new goal.
The week before the race he ran 6 ½ miles—3/10s of a mile farther than the course distance.
On race day he ran with 22,000 others over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Annapolis, Maryland, to Kent Island.
That was a great milestone!
This past Christmas, Tim got a special watch to track his miles, his times, his calories and who knows what else! And now he’s up to 8 miles.
Because he started slowly and adjusted, he’s never been injured and he’s continuing to build his distance and speed.
His new goal is a half marathon. That’s 21.1K. And I know he’ll get there eventually.
When I look back on this running journey that he’s been on, I’d have to say that his biggest milestone was taking the first step out the door.
He didn’t have the right sneakers, shorts, shirts, watch, hat, gloves or socks. But over time, he figured out what he needed.
He didn’t get caught up in figuring out all the details before he got started. He consulted with a doctor and then he stepped outside and TOOK the first step!
I mean, he LITERALLY TOOK THE FIRST STEP!
As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
That’s what Tim did.
Don’t get sidetracked by thoughts about what others might think and whether you’ll fail. Who cares what anyone else thinks! You’re doing this for you! And, you’ll be better off for it.
—Lisa Conners Vogt
I’d love to hear about how you took your first step to get on your way! Visit the Ever Better Facebook Group and share your first-step story to help motivate others.