Three years ago I ran my first 5k (3.1 miles) and was beyond thrilled to have finished. But as I realized how far down the pack I was I had an urge to be faster.
Last year I did another 5k race (there were a few more in between with a few more PR's set) and got a new personal record (PR) time. I was thrilled. For about a week. Then I wanted to be faster.
Two days ago in a training run I beat my old 5k PR by a minute and a half. But yet again, it just opened another door to the possibility that I could be even faster.
I am a very competitive person, and my biggest competitor is usually my own drive to improve my running.
Fitness is one of those things that can't ever be checked off the list as done. Getting to your goal weight or fitness level is a fantastic achievement, but without maintenance it will disappear.
It's an unsettling feeling to finish what you set out to do, reach your goal, and not have the feeling of being done.
As we learn, grow and improve our goals need to do the same. Sure they need to be goals that are reachable and we can accomplish, but a new goal needs to follow or you will quickly find yourself sliding back down the slope.
If you find yourself stagnant in fitness or bored with your routine ask yourself what your goals are. If you don't have any, make some. If they discourage you because they seem too far out of reach, change them or make stepping stone goals to get there. But make them!
When I achieve a goal I have a great feeling of accomplishment. It feels good. But instead of getting discouraged by that part of me that wants to do better, I have learned to embrace it and use it as a tool to reach even higher.
I still have a lot of years ahead of me, I can accomplish a lot of things as long as I keep trying.
(Please don't tell me that this principal works with housework. I'm still convinced that I'll be able to check that off my list someday.)
Amy N. loves to run, play the piano and talk, a lot. With a cycling husband and two active boys she is always on the go. You can read about their adventures here.
*Photo via a4gpa on flickr