By Dr. Tim Maggs
In April, 1982, I sat in an Orlando restaurant, hoping my Boston Celtics would survive a playoff game against the Philadelphia 76’ers. The game wasn’t on television back then, so the best you could do was sit and hope. At about 10:30 pm, over the loud speakers, I heard, “For all you Philly fans, pack your bags, we’re going back to Boston”. As a lifetime Celtic fan, these words and those thrilling moments have never left me.
Fast forward 20 years (April, 2002), and here I am preparing to run my 3rd marathon since coming back from my 14 year, injury-laden hiatus. The Vermont City Marathon, held in late May, would allow me to continue my new quest of 2 marathons per year. It was a perfect day for a marathon. I finished in a comfortable 3:30:10. My objective, the same as my 2 marathons of 2001, was to finish and enjoy myself along the way. And, that I did.
But, along the way, a funny thing happened. The Boston Athletic Association changed their qualifying times for the Boston Marathon, and for my age group, the time was now 3:30. Oooh, so close I thought. I wondered if a few Our Father’s and a couple Hail Mary’s might encourage someone to forgive me 10 seconds, as the thought of running Boston again was a goal way beyond what I ever imagined. Knowing I may never get back to this point again, I had to do everything in my power to figure out how to get qualified. So, I called over to the BAA, and to my surprise, 3:30 means anything under 3:30:59. I couldn’t believe it. I qualified!
The Sky’s The Limit
Much to my amazement, I’m now qualified for the 2003 Boston Marathon. What a gift, since for so many years I couldn’t fathom running more than 5 miles at any one time. If all goes as planned, I hope to find myself at the finish line of the Boston Marathon at about 3:15pm on April 21, 2003. I’ve actually set my goal at sub-3:10. So, I’m really putting myself out there with this one.
What I learned through this entire process is that anything is possible. Anything at all. Many people never get to realize their potentials in life because either they never knew or somewhere along the way they forgot that life holds limitless opportunities for all of us. Every action starts with a thought, and every success requires action. All of us need to continually be reminded that we need to dream. We need to take the lid off our stagnant, robotic thinking, infuse some passion into our blood stream and write down a goal that is above our normal thinking and beyond our wildest dreams. Running the Boston Marathon again for me always seemed like a fools wish, but subscribing to the theory that anything is possible now has me on the brink of attempting it again.
For 2003, I’m now encouraging, even challenging, everyone I meet to dream bigger next year. Pick and write down a goal that is outside of your normal comfort zone. Pick something that you would never have considered, if not for reading this article. You’ve now been shaken into dreaming again. Once you decide, make it real and commit to it by writing it down and telling someone you trust what you intend to do. If you’d like me to put it on my master list, just e mail it to me. Once you’ve committed, now list the action steps needed to reach your goal. And, read it everyday and DO those things needed to get you there. If coaching or guidance is needed to help you reach it, then find someone who has the knowledge and get them to help you.
The goal here is to get and keep all of us pushing our envelopes in life so that comfort never becomes part of our vocabulary. Comfort equals weakness, and when I’m sitting in my rocking chair talking with my great-grandkids someday, I want to have enough stories to tell. The only way that can happen is to continue striving big, and to live in a world of discomfort, for that’s the only way to get there.
God Help the Masses
Statistics show that 70% of the population doesn’t exercise. Sit in a bus station or an airport someday, and look at the prevalence of obesity. At 160 pounds, I wake up some days feeling like a slug. What does a 5’8”, 270 pound person feel like? Are they reaching their optimum goals? Probably not. And, feeling good about yourself is the very beginning of helping others, and helping others is what this life is all about.
So, regardless of where you're starting from, subscribe to this program to reach your unreachable goal in 2003. Join our "Going Back To Boston" team, and all of us can celebrate next December 31st, on me, for making our life, as well as so many others, that much better. Let me know your goal and I'll let you know our site for celebration.