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Digital Running Club » Columns, Downsizing » Achieving A Goal

Achieving A Goal

Perhaps you’ve been there – once, a few times, or even several times… or perhaps you’re contemplating it right now. Laying the groundwork to achieve a new goal. Although I thought about it several times, wondering when the moment would come, this was one of the rare mornings that I didn’t think about it. SO… I was surprised when today became THE DAY!

Leading Up To This Moment…
Last November, Coach Brian agreed to coach me. Unlike his other running clients who had race goals and perhaps dreams of participating in marathons, my hope was to become comfortable with walking and to start dropping weight. With partial numbness in my feet due to chemotherapy and weighing well over 300 pounds, I had a fear of walking any great distance without being able to reach for something should I go off balance.

I still vividly remember that very first mile. It took close to a half hour and I had to stop six times. Thus, my first goal was to be able to walk a mile without taking any rests along the way. When I reached my goal, it was a BIG accomplishment!

Fast forward a bit to another goal—walking my 100th mile, which I had the privilege of doing so in Florida with Coach Brian, his wife Raffi, their two daughters and a few other people. That walk also was my first 4 mile walk. Not being used to the Florida heat, the final mile was challenging for me. When I completed the walk, it was a HUGE accomplishment!

Several other goals have been accomplished as well… walking 3 miles in under an hour, walking 6 miles, and losing 50 pounds (soon to hit 100 pounds).

Yet, one goal has sort of been lingering. Coach Brian and I discussed it a few times. In fact, a couple of weeks ago he thought I was ready to attempt the goal, but then a foot issue occurred. The only other person that I talked to regarding my goal was my friend Kathy. She was chasing after the same goal and had recently accomplished the goal. I wanted to know how it felt, and it made me want to achieve the goal that much more! At least once a day, if not several times a day, I wondered about the goal. I felt as though I were the horse with the carrot dangling out in front of it—the goal was just taunting me, begging me, to chase after it.

However, my left foot has been preventing me from achieving the goal. I had to stop walking for a few days due to a pinched nerve in the bottom of my foot. I had just gotten back on track when I experienced gout for the first time. After missing a few more days of walking, I was finally able to walk 2 or 3 miles a day last week and 4 miles today.

This Morning’s Walk…
At 6 AM I sat out by my pond, sipping on a glass of water and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. I wondered what this morning’s walk had in stored for me. Would anyone be joining me? Would I see any animals? Would I have just minimal pain? Would I get caught in the rain again like last weekend when Shelley, Debbie and Michele walked with me?

I drove to our usual meeting spot and waited until 6:30 AM. I didn’t think anyone was able to join me this morning, but just in case, I wanted to start from the usual spot. Not seeing anyone, I started out on my favorite Saturday route.

The temps were in the 60s, the sun was shining, and every once in awhile I felt a breeze as I headed south out of town toward the country. Every now and then I noticed the silence. I heard birds off and on and even the peepers. Sounds that I hadn’t noticed the week before when chatting, laughing and singing with my friends. My mind was thinking about what I was doing for the weekend. In the afternoon I was going to a birthday party for a two year old, and tomorrow would be church, working on a project and getting some work done around the house.

As I walked South Main Street and headed toward Stannards, NY, I was thankful that my left foot felt pretty good. It was still tender, but not painful. As I walked a couple of inclines, I was happy that I wasn’t breathless and thought, “Today’s going to be a great walk!”

Every so often a car would drive by.  A minute or two later, I would become aware of the silence again and it would cause me to stop thinking about whatever was on my mind.

Rounding a bend, I saw Wedrich Road, which was the next stretch of my walk. I love this road. There are a few houses at the start of the road and just one house at the midway point. At the end of the road is a favorite spot—Gypsy Lane Bridge. I usually only see a car or two while walking the road.

As I walked past the few houses, I guzzled water from the water bottle that I carried with me. I remember thinking that I wanted to walk the 1 mile road as fast as I could, with the hopes of keeping the first three miles under an hour. Yet, that’s when IT took over.

Something New…
As I began to walk faster, it was as though I heard a voice saying, “You’ve been wanting to do this. You’ve been wondering if you can trust your feet in a different way. No one is around and now’s the time!” Before I realized what was happening, I was moving differently… sort of a trot or a slow jog! The experience was only for a few seconds. I heard a car in the distance and quickly went back to walking. Yet as I walked, I felt a smile on my face and couldn’t help but think of the joy that a toddler experiences the first time he’s able to take a step with no assistance.

After the car was out of sight and the silence returned, I tried IT again. I jogged for several seconds and felt overwhelmed as I realized that I was able to trust my feet! Just a few weeks ago I had shared with Coach Brian that I wasn’t sure I could attempt jogging because I feared my feet wouldn’t cooperate. Yet, here I was—jogging for the first time in 20 years!

Not wanting to push it, I switched back to walking. Again with a smile on my face, and now tears in my eyes, I also realized that I wasn’t breathless. I chuckled as I replayed the experience and thought how odd it felt to feel my body moving in an unfamiliar way. Another car went by.

With the bridge in sight, I wanted to experience it one more time. I began jogging and found myself laughing. With my water bottle in my right hand, I found that I needed my left hand to hold up my shorts! The shorts have an elastic waist and are loose on me. I do okay walking in them, but apparently the up and down from jogging, is enough to cause them to slip down.

When I reached the bridge, I put my water bottle down, hiked up my shorts, and thought, “Wow! Today was the day!  I reached a MONUMENTAL accomplishment!”

With a mile or so left to go, I began to walk the Back River Road and headed back into town. As I walked, I thought about others who have recently experienced an “IT” moment… such as my high school friends – Karen who finished her first half marathon, and Jackie who completed a triathlon, and my Facebook friend Tracy who just completed a trail race.

Although I probably jumped the gun by attempting to jog today since my foot is in a lot of pain again, the pain is well worth it. I’ve been waiting for this moment, and for it to sneak up on me has made it that much more exciting! Of course, I’m back to having to miss a few days of walking again as I heal (and yes, I will see a doctor), but I’m looking forward to my next attempt at jogging.

What is your most recent “IT” moment—achieving a goal that you’ve been preparing for – for months, or maybe years?  What “IT” moments are you dreaming about?

Keep pursuing your dreams!!!

Written by

Barb Bergerson lives in Western New York. She has a passion for helping people and getting to know their life stories. She teaches part-time in a jail, is a church administrative assistant, and enjoys freelance writing. Barb loves spending time with her nieces, playing games and relaxing by her pond. She’s excited about focusing on her health and getting back into the game of life. Get updates on Barb's progress on Facebook.

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11 Responses to "Achieving A Goal"

  1. Amanda says:

    Yeah! So proud of you :-)

  2. Shelley says:

    I have said this many times and each time I mean it so much. I am proud of you and you inspire me. Maybe I will try it next?

    • Barb says:

      Inspiration goes both ways Shelley. I’m impressed that you’re able to climb the hills near you. Who knows, maybe in the near future we’ll be doing our usual Sat. walk, but when we hit Wedrich Rd we’ll be able to jog it!!! We’ll let Michele lead the way for us!

  3. Cheryl Lewis says:

    Congratulations on your jog!!!! Six months ago this probably seemed an impossibility, you’ve worked hard to achieve this goal. I think it’s time to get new shorts!

    • Barb says:

      Thanks Cheryl. lol I have purchased new shorts (yeah, Champion brand!), but for the longer walks I tend to wear the old ones. You don’t know how badly I wanted to toss my water bottle so I could use both hands to hold up my shorts! Oh well, it gave me (and now readers) a good laugh.

  4. Patti says:

    This article made me cry! You are awesome.

  5. Tracy G. says:

    You are so amazing, what an accomplishment!!! I was grinning from ear to ear reading this. Thanks SO much for sharing the moment with us. Here’s to many more!

    • Barb says:

      Thanks Tracy. I am in awe of all that you do in terms of working, running…and balancing that with family life.

  6. Debbie says:

    That’s Great!! Hopefully I will join you soon again too.

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