My daughter is always suggesting new applications for my phone, so under protest I downloaded MapMyRun, one of a series of fitness apps. Being in my fifties and barely finishing 2.5km each run, my attitude has been to do it while I still can. Logging my performance was in the past, when I ran thirty miles per week, almost thirty years ago. A running app is fine if you’re training for a half marathon, like my daughter was my belief/story loop – and I almost stuck to it. Then another internal voice interrupted the conversation. Give the app a test run.
As a lifestyle strategies coach, it’s my passion to discover new empowering ways of doing things. After entering my name and a few other details into the app I set off, delighted to see 2.70 km logged on completion. Two days later, because of a bit of childlike excitement that my new app has a female voice that actually talks to me during my workout, I thought a shorter route would suffice – just to hear her voice. This is where it gets interesting. When the App Lady voice told me the run on day two clocked a tiny bit more distance at 2.86 km, at a faster pace by a few seconds, my inner coach started a monologue. I chose the route, mistakenly thinking it was actually shorter than the run I did the day before, and had I known at the time, it might have stopped me finishing… you probably know the nonsense dialogue that goes on in the head, talking the self into and out of whatever it is.
Meanwhile, App Lady was getting to feel like a friend, one who was deserving of a slightly longer run for day three. Though the heart was willing and kept a steady rhythm, the rest of my body was taking a beating. I assumed my longer run would probably be abbreviated, but App Lady clocked me at 3.24 km.
By day three, secretly elated by beating my own record and self imposed limits, I started to see all kinds of possibilities for charity runs – 5k’s, 10k’s ½ marathons, triathlons – now steady on… My story about what I thought was possible for my age, and whom might be more deserving than I, of App Lady’s friendly voice, transformed, rearranging inner resources we all already have -for getting what we really want. When people push past perceived limitations, suddenly options of all kinds seem to present themselves. This is in no way a suggestion that all 50 + people get out there and start running. If exercise is new for you at any age, consult your doctor first. But you can get off your you- know-what now, and get your brain fit, pushing limits a little – with something you already know how to do – for a lot of change. What would it be like today, to reach a new level, of possibility for what you really want?