Bourbon Street Running Club, I chatted with the ladies at our front desk on my way out. Felecia was telling me how she'd been walking and working out regularly at the Legacy Center. I asked her if she was feeling good and enjoying working out, and she replied "Yes, but I'm not hardcore like you." I kind of laughed at that, and headed on to run club.
While we were running, I told Kathy about the conversation and she said she'd had similar conversations with friends. It kind of got me thinking. I certainly don't think of myself as hardcore. I run three or four days a week, depending on what I'm training for. I do a weekly boot camp at church and try to get to the Legacy Center to lift weights a couple of times a week if I can. But hardcore? I've only been running for a little over three years.
Sure, I've run a marathon, and eight half marathons. But I run at about a 13 min/mile pace when I do those. And I'm barely faster when I run 5Ks: 11ish min/miles. I still haven't managed a 5K in under 30 minutes, although I haven't really been trying to get faster either. I don't have an easy pace, a race pace, or anything in-between. I basically have three speeds: Stop, Go, and I see the finish line!
I have friends who are hardcore in my mind. Friends who've run Boston, friends who run every day, friends who do things like Spartan races where they jump through fire, and friends who've run ultra-marathons. Laura is hardcore. She follows really tough training schedules in addition to teaching group exercise classes so she almost never has a rest day. She's way faster than I will ever be, and she does those crazy vertical races up the sides of mountains.
But are those things really what hardcore is about? Running Boston isn't something I dream of doing. Jumping through fire? No thank you! I don't want to run every day; there are too many other things I also enjoy doing. I might be thinking about an ultra-marathon (spoiler!), but I haven't set that as a goal yet.
Might hardcore instead be about setting and achieving goals that are important to you, whatever that looks like? When I first started running, my goal was to run three days a week and make that a habit. Check. Then I wanted to run a 5K. Check. Then a half marathon, then a full. Check and check. At first I really struggled with strength training but I knew it was important to help me run injury-free, so I made it a goal to find something I would enjoy that would help me make strength training a regular habit. Check. Going a little farther back now. Getting my Masters degree. Check. Buying my first house before I turned 30. Closed on it three weeks after my 29th birthday.
None of those things was easy. And none of them just happened. I set goals and planned out how I would reach them. I had successes and setbacks. I had to reevaluate sometimes, and even set some goals aside when they were no longer appropriate.
Of course my ultimate goals are to serve and honor the Lord, love
and care for my kids and my family, be a good friend and make a
positive difference in the world. Everything else I want to do will
always be filtered through those goals first. Those will always be in
process and never checked off until I go Home.
So yes, I am hardcore. And so is Felecia. And so are you. So set those goals, whatever they are; and tell people about them. Post about your progress, and celebrate when you check off a goal. And don't be shy about letting people know. Whether it's running an ultra-marathon or walking around the block, doing
an unassisted pull-up, going on a mission trip, or going back to
school; you will inspire someone to do something they've been wishing
they could do. I guarantee that even if you don't hear it, someone is going to see what you do and say "I want to do that too; that's hardcore."