As an athlete, you know how important practice is. Without practice, you’d never be ready to compete at your very best during game time. That’s why I spent four months practicing for my first marathon by running mile after mile after mile.
Even after all that practice, though, I was still scared I wouldn’t be able to finish the marathon on race day because I had never competed in any kind of race before. (Last week I told you about the scary nightmares I had for several nights before the race.)
So when it came time to step up to the starting line the morning of the race, I was still scared. Strangely enough, however, that fear slowly went away as I started actually running the marathon.
My parents waved me on at mile two and mile four. I knew I wouldn’t see them again until the halfway point, so I smiled, waved and kept going, counting down the miles.
Each time I passed a mile-marker, I was more motivated to find the next one. But as much as I loved watching the numbers grow, I looked forward to the water stations the most. (The water stations were set up every two miles along the course.) I gulped a cup of water or All Sport at each one. The urge to hug the volunteers handing me the fabulous liquids grew stronger with each station.
I reached mile 13.1 faster than I expected to. My breathing was normal. My pace was steady. And I only had half the original distance ahead of me. The race was going better than I could have ever imagined. Even if I took a little longer to run the second half, I’d still finish in my goal of four hours and thirty minutes. I’d even be able to sprint the final stretch like I had always dreamed of doing.
For an added boost of confidence, I spotted my parents in the crowd and waved. They waved back, and I kept running with only 13.1 miles to go.
What I didn’t know was that the real challenges were about to begin.
At mile 15, my feet started complaining. Then both my knees started to hurt. My muscles didn’t want to be left out and started doing some complaining of their own.
I was sore. I was tired. I was ready to quit. Especially when I didn’t see the mile-marker for mile 16 where I thought it was supposed to be. I figured my pace had gotten super duper slow and that I would never be able to make it to the finish line. Until I finally saw the marker for mile 17. (I somehow missed the 16 mark altogether.)
I was so happy to see the number 17 on that sign that tears of joy filled my eyes. I was making progress after all. Slowly and painfully, I was making progress.
The pain, torture and agony stuck with me throughout the next six miles. Up hills. Down hills. Around curves. Through grass. I was starting to believe that even if that finish line did really exist, I was now running way to slow to ever find it.
And sprinting the final stretch? What a fantasy. I was going to be thrilled just to be able to cross the finish line on my hands and knees.
Suddenly, 23 appeared on a sign beside the road. The war between my muscles to decide what part of me hurt the most quieted knowing I only had three miles left.
I was almost done.
More people lined the streets the closer I got to the finish line. They clapped and yelled and cheered. They still thought I was a runner. Maybe they were right. Maybe I’d prove it.
As I closed in on the finish, my feet and knees and muscles banded together for one last burst. I passed other weary runners.
The crowd noticed.
They called out my number.
I sprinted faster.
The finish came in to view.
A few more yards.
A few more feet.
I was done.
I finished a marathon.
It took me four hours and thirty-one minutes, but I was done. I just made a dream I once believed impossible come true because I kept going even though I was scared, doubted myself and just plain hurt the last half of the race.
When it comes to living your dreams “on the field” or off, you simply need to keep going. That’s how you reveal the CHAMPION in you.
To your sports dreams,
Last week we talked about making your characters seem as real as possible. I explained that one way to do that is to give them a past by writing some super short stories about things that have happened to your characters before the story starts. These aren’t stories anyone will read; they’re stories to write so YOU get to know your characters better.
The better you know your characters, the more real they’ll seem in your story.
Which is why today we’ll talk about another way to make your characters seem more real: give them a future. In other words, set some goals for your characters.
Here are five goal-setting ideas to get you started:
1. What is your character’s BIG DREAM? Why?
2. Who is someone your character would like to meet? Why?
3. What is one thing your character wants to do that she’s never done before? Why?
4. Where is a place your character would like to visit? Why?
5. What is one thing your character would like to have? Why?
The more you know about what she wants and why, the more real she will seem in the main story you want to tell.
It’s ACTION time. Go write something about your character’s future. (While you’re at it, answer those five questions about yourself, too!)
To your writing dreams,
You know you’re a Dream Doer if you imagine great things and take action to make those things happen.
If you’re a strong Dreamer, imagining those great things is easy for you. You love to imagine who you can be. What you can do. Where you can go.
In the imagination of a Dreamer, anything is possible.
But fear makes it tough to live your dreams. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of success.
As long as you let that fear stop you and prevent you from becoming all that God put you on earth to become, you’ll remain just a Dreamer and never become an unshakable, unbreakable, unstoppable champion Dream Doer.
When you choose to be satisfied with who you are and just dream about the things that are possible, you’ll never find a way to do what you dream.
Maybe, however, you’re a strong Doer. For you, taking action is easy. You’re always on the go and doing something. You are constantly busy.
But you may not always be busy doing something productive because of distractions. Lack of focus. No concentration.
Because even though you do things, you don’t really get anywhere. You just move from one thing to the next without planning or stopping to really dream of the possibilities life has to offer.
So Dreamers dream but get nothing done.
Doers do but get nowhere.
But a Dream Doer? Now you’re talking success.
A Dream Doer has the courage to imagine great things AND take action.
A Dream Doer makes the most out of life. A Dream Doer sees what she wants, believes she can get it and takes action to achieve her dreams.
A Dream Doer is a Champion.
So what about you? Are you a Dreamer? A Doer? Or a Champion Dream Doer?
To your dreams,
What AWESOME things did you do this week?
Did you make a great grade on a test or project? Did you meet a new friend? Did you help a friend?
Did you FIND a WAY to DO what you DREAM?
Leave a comment and share one, two, three or ten of your top successes this week!
To your dreams,
P.S. Here are my top three successes:
1. I visited a friend in the hospital and made dinner for his family.
2. I wrote 19 pages of an ebook that shows you the 7 steps to unshakable confidence, unbreakable dreams and unstoppable success (I plan to finish the ebook for you next week!).
3. I passed my test and became a certified shift supervisor for my job at Starbucks.
Did you know that your life is your choice?
So what do you choose to do with your life? Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go?
What if you could live with unshakable confidence in yourself? How would you feel? What would you be confident about? What if you were confident about your school work? The sports you play? The hobbies you have? What if you believed in yourself enough to always walk into the cafeteria with your head held high, never wondering what other kids were thinking about you? What if you believed in yourself enough to speak in front of people, to see how valuable you are as a person, to try anything you set your mind to? What does your life feel like when you live with unshakable confidence?
Now can you imagine having the power to dream up unbreakable dreams? How do you feel when you have the confidence to set goals and chase those goals knowing you have what it takes to make your dreams happen? What would you have the courage to try? What actions would you take everyday knowing your dreams are unbreakable? What does your life feel like now when you unshakable and unbreakable?
Can you add the final piece of the puzzle: unstoppable success? How much more confident do you become when no obstacle stands in your way? What goals do you achieve? How does it feel to get what you want? Be yourself? Be trustworthy? Be passionate? Be focused? Be involved? How does it feel to always find a way to do what you dream? What do you have? What results do you get? What thoughts do you think? What beliefs do you believe? What feelings do you feel? What words do you say? What actions do you take?
Ready to put the whole picture together?
You feel secure in who you are. You believe you are valuable and special. You believe you are worth being around. You believe you can make your own choices, choose your own future, control your own life. You still respect your parents, teachers and friends, but you also respect yourself enough to stand up for yourself, to do what is right over what is easy or popular, to say what you mean, to be honest, to be strong.
You set goals and achieve them. You enjoy the results. You get the best grades you are capable of getting. You excel in your activities. You always give your best and you find that one thing you’re better at than everyone else around. You find a way to shine, you find friends to belong with, you are you through and through.
That’s what your life looks like when you are an Unshakable, Unbreakable, Unstoppable Dream Doer. That what your life feels like when you always find a way to do what you dream.
But how do you get there? How do you find your unshakable confidence? How do you dream up unbreakable dreams? How do you live with unstoppable success?
Stay tuned because the answers are coming…
To your dreams,