Over the last year-and-a-half or so, I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with the typical grind. Go to work, come home and veg out, maybe try to accomplish something, go to bed. repeat. But I’ve finally come up with a plan. If you’ve read the About section of my blog, you already know that I believe we all have specific strengths, but not only that, our separate skills can all augment each other to mold us into really interesting and awesome people. This section of my blog is going to focus on developing skills, one month at a time, and seeing how I can use them all to better myself in some way. I don’t know what the result will be,or how my desire to acquire these skills will translate into actionable results in my life, but hey, it’s better than what I’ve been doing.
I’m going to pick one goal to accomplish, or one skill to master, every month for 12 months. Ok, maybe not master, but I’m going to spend at least 5 hours per week trying to learn or accomplish each one as much as I can. Each of these skills will be unique, and as unrelated to the others others as possible. My hope is that I can learn something from them all, and let this experience give me an overall broader perspective and understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to lead a fulfilling life. Last, I will spend no more than $75 per month to acquire this skill. I want to keep up with my current financial habits, and I want to give my readers the chance to follow along without it being a burden on their wallets.
With that said, what will the first month be?
I’ve already made my decision and I’m choosing some low-hanging fruit for the sake of taking on a challenge that I’ve always had a desire to do: Run a marathon. Now, to get everything out in the open, I’ve been running recreationaly for the past year and a half, and somewhat competitively for a few years before that. But 2 weeks ago I decided I wanted more. I wanted a goal to chase after, and I wanted a challenge. In order to push myself to the next level I had to accomplish something I had never done before, so I signed up for a marathon on a whim, and train for it in 6 weeks. I’m currently 2 weeks in to my marathon specific training, and I have 4 more weeks to go. For those of you who are thinking of attempting this, more power to you, but remember that I had a lot of running under my belt before I made this decision. So there’s my half-hearted disclaimer. My progress has been great thus far, as you can see below in my training log. I have planned out the rest of my runs based on what I know I can personally handle, as well as bonafide marathon training programs. In red are the workouts I chose to forego or trim down, in green are the workouts I’ve completed successfully, and in yellows are those I have yet to complete. Recovery days and plain mileage days are not as set in stone, so they do not have any fancy-dancey highlighting.
What I’ve learned so far
I’ve always hated picnics and other passive outdoor activities, but loved camping and running outside. I couldn’t really explain this until I started spending way more time outside while running. For me, accomplishing something with my own body and mind, while enjoying the fresh air, sounds, and sunlight, are what makes the outdoors great. Whether it’s enjoying the view, or managing some tough footing on the trails, it just really lifts my spirits. Also, I’m overall happier, more alert, and hungry. Working at a computer all day will really kill your metabolism as well as your motivation. Both of these have been in full force since I have taken to the trails. I don’t dread the work day as much as I look forward to my next run, and that’s refreshing. I’ve also been able to manage my time orders of magnitude better than before. Rather than procrastinating all day just to do the dishes, I come back from my run motivated to accomplish even more. And that’s awesome. Last, the only thing I needed to spend money on were new shoes, as my old ones were falling apart. I was able to stay within my goal of $75 by finding a deal online, so that was definitely cool.
I’ll keep updating this as I go along, but in the mean time I ask that you post challenges you want me to take on in the future! Whether it be rock climbing or sword fighting, I’m open to anything. I hope that by following me on this journey you can find the motivation to do the same. And let me know if you decide to join in… I’d love to keep tabs on your progress as well!