By Randy Pierce
I am choosing to use 2014 to reach for many goals, some of which are known to me and some which will be developed along the way. In fact, the ability to break larger goals into smaller pieces is an essential part of success. I call all of these goals “positive adversity.” I find the lack of challenge leads more likely to stagnation. Similarly, in my “practice makes better” (not necessarily perfect), I want to develop the skills and tools through my goals such that I’m prepared to better manage the other types of adversity which are all too common in life. Setting goals leads to achievement and celebration of success and it also develops the skills to ensure that future challenge may be easier to overcome. It is part of why I believe so strongly in encouraging everyone to set goals and strive to reach them.
One long-term goal for me is to run the Boston Marathon in April of 2015 in celebration of 2020 Vision Quest. Quinn gave running back to me in the days when I was unable to walk even three steps. Many small stepping stones were part of the progress to reach where I am today and many more steps will be involved in striving for the next success. Training is an essential component; I’ve lost Quinn as a running partner which is only the smallest part of that impending greater loss I know is coming soon. Much of my training will have me at the YMCA of Nashua as I run five days a week, cross-train a sixth day, and rest on a seventh. Research and knowledgeable guidance have reasonably set this schedule to bring my body to the best preparedness. I hope to find volunteers to run outside as often as possible since the treadmill isn’t my ideal, but I have the baseline approach set up and scheduled.
On April 6, I will undertake the Great Bay Half Marathon in Newmarket, NH. It will be my first half marathon since going blind. It will be a great day with many friends and much celebration as well as a measuring stick for the progress of my training. In order to qualify for Boston as a VI (Visually Impaired) runner, I must complete an approved full marathon in under 5 hours. This means my half time should be better than 2:30. I’m also signed up for that qualifying marathon attempt on May 3, 2014 at the Cox-Providence marathon in Rhode Island.
These are goals I’ll approach every day in the 15 weeks until that marathon. Diet, exercise, and the mental-emotional challenges of pushing myself are choices I’m undertaking for a goal which I personally value. It will involve getting encouragement and inspiration from many folks along the way and probably a fair bit of community support in a host of ways. I hope many of you will be part of that progress.
This still is only one of my goals broken into some smaller parts. I hope to build and grow many other goals, including many outside of the athletic realm. I hope to hear and support the goals of many friends and members of the 2020 Vision Quest Community. Perhaps you’d take a moment to share one of your goals or to suggest a goal for our consideration? I’d welcome the chance to share some of the incredible support which has already taken me to incredible heights literal and figurative. “Believe and Achieve” is a mantra I support along with the perseverance and hard work of practice and problem solving which should be part of the team of skills brought to bear on all our goals!