It all started with a puppy…

a.k.a. What do running a 5K and life coaching have in common — it’s one step at a time.



It is amazing how prepping to run for my first 5K has been a deep journey into my own mindset and belief structure.


Amazing how it correlates with coaching, and all aspects of my life really.


One of my mentors used to say “how you do anything, is how you do everything”. Well, there is a tremendous amount of truth in that statement. I have seen it for years in my clients, and in myself.


We may “get” something in one area of our lives but then don’t see how it relates or connects in another.


But just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.


There are a few layers that came up for me when preparing to run the 5K and the journey even to getting to the place where I thought, “hey I want to run a 5K”.


I am 60 years old and this is the first time I have run a race since high school. So for me this was a great accomplishment and quite a journey, mostly in my own mind. Physically it took some work as well.


It all started a little over a year ago when we got a new puppy. Well guess who needed to be walked every morning? And guess who got the fun job of doing that? Me!


When I started walking him in our neighborhood, which is as much uphill as down and almost no flat, I couldn’t make it up the long uphill section without stopping for a short break. Clearly I was not in the best shape of my life at this point.


Over the last few years with twins, now 6 1/2yo, I didn’t always get enough sleep, I didn’t always eat the best, and add to that “The Covid Journey” it all left me in probably the worst shape of my life with an extra 15 pounds, mostly around my middle.


So, the puppy (name Kenzo) got me moving consistently again. Gradually, step-by-step, day-by-day I started getting in better shape. I could walk the one mile loop without stopping to catch my breath and felt myself get stronger.


Then I felt myself saying “hey, maybe I could jog a little bit of the walk and see how it goes”, and I did. Yeah! And it actually felt good to be a bit stronger in my body again.


Additionally, I started working out at home a few minutes at a time 4-5 days a week. Literally it was just 5-10 minutes. That was the time I could squeeze in while the girls were in their bath, and mom was in-charge!


I knew I wasn’t going to create time to go to the gym several days a week. So I decided to just start by doing a few exercises in that time frame.


As I had mentioned our twins are 6 ½ and I am 60, so I have quite a few years of fatherhood ahead of me. And I want to be in good shape 12 years from now when they graduate high school, and long after that. I knew I needed to get started doing something. Start small, think big!


Then about 4 months ago I got the idea to do a 5K. I realized that to stay motivated, I needed a goal. Something good to shoot for. It would keep me moving forward on my health journey.


I also began sharing about this goal with my wife, and a few key people who I knew would cheer me on… and hold me accountable!


Since I knew my endurance was already increasing, I decided to focus on doing 1 mile in my neighborhood as a way to start running more. There is a short uphill section that I could do then turn around and walk down because that was easier on my knee, and it gave me a chance to catch my breath. At that point I could do two up hills and back down, each up and down was a quarter of a mile.


Fairly quickly I got to where I could do that four times, Woohoo, One Mile!!! I was on my way.


Then I did the whole one mile section around the neighborhood 3 times (=1 mile) at a walk. Three miles walking, now I knew I could do the distance. The next day I did the one mile run piece and ended up with an injury. I felt frustrated and demoralized.


After nursing the injury myself for a couple of weeks I realized I needed help. So I went to my acupuncturist who was able to help it immediately. Along with some new leg exercises, stretching, and also some clear awareness around my gait and how I was moving got me back to running again in a couple of days.


This is where having a coach comes in or at least a healthy amount of selfawareness and willingness to look at your own shit.


A month out from the race I was doing pretty good. I knew I needed some help from someone who actually runs and knows what they're doing. They helped create a training plan for the four weeks prior to the race. Now I knew what I needed to do each day to get myself to my goal. I put the plan on the family calendar so everyone would know what I needed to do each day. That way they could support me and help me stay accountable.


July 30th arrived, race day! I was super excited to make it to this day. My family was super supportive and a great cheering squad. I finished the race at a good pace. I was really proud of myself and my results, which were a little better than I had anticipated. Wahoo!


There was so much to learn along the way, and plenty of conversations in my head with the part of me that was looking for an easy way out. Thanks to over 20 years of personal work, mentors and coaches I can mostly work with my thoughts and get the results I am looking for. I still have support in my life and always likely will.


So how does running a 5K correlate to personal coaching?


Here are the big takeaways:

  1. Big results come from small steps

  2. Having a goal keeps you motivated

  3. You have to overcome that voice in your head, over, and over, and over again

  4. Accountability is key to achieving your goals

  5. Setbacks will happen, take care, take stock, and start again

  6. We’re not meant to do it alone; ask for help and get support

  7. It’s never too late to start

  8. Celebrate and savor your successes!

These are just a few of the main things that you can learn from your journey and working with a coach is so helpful to achieving our goals.


Are you clear on your goals?


Do you have a plan?


Are you ready to ask for support and make them a reality?


I will go into more details on the takeaways in upcoming posts.


If you would like to connect with me, click here to chat.


Love and blessings,

Ezra


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