Recently I posted on Facebook "Who wants to do a 5K run with me in the fall?" and the thread quickly filled with comments. Half the replies were "I'm in!" and the other half were from people with questions. When? Where? How much training? Perhaps, Only if, Depends…and it made me wonder if there are those who naturally jump in and work out the details later, and others who usually need the details and to assess what they think they're capable of before they decide. Often the fear of commitment is a fear of the unknown, of possible discomfort, of anxiety over our ability to see it through with aplomb, of having enough hours in the day to do the things we have to let alone the things we want to. I know that for most of my life I said no to countless experiences because it seemed too much of a stretch for me to try.
But ever since I started doing #SomeNerve Challenges I've realized the value of committing first and making the details work after. If I had known everything that would be involved in training for the 42-mile TD Five Boro Bike Tour I never would have done it. And yet, when I did all the training and made all the childcare arrangements and got up early to get to the startline and waited hours for the ferry going home, the reality was not an insurmountable burden. There wasn't a single part of it that was easy, but it was all worth it.
The quote above "When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." (Kenneth Blanchard) crystallizes this new way (for me) of approaching things. We all have commitments and obligations (work, family) that are not negotiable. We often end up roped in (or roping ourselves in) to additional commitments that are optional but depleting (hello co-op boards!). But could we choose to commit to things for our own sake—exercise goals, family time, fun with friends, new experiences—and accept no excuses? Is that too hard to defend or essential for a life worth living? We can't commit to everything but could we commit to something life affirming for us this season?
As for the 5K, I posted that no matter where or when it is, it's guaranteed it will not be convenient. The training won't be convenient either. We will always have work deadlines, sick kids, traveling spouses, and it will probably rain. It may be difficult. It may also be worth it. So the question is simply, Are you IN?
What will you commit to today? Tell a friend, form a group, set a goal, hold yourself accountable. And see what happens when you stretch for you.