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One Small Step

R.E.D.One of my goals for 2010 is to run 1,000 miles. Another is to complete my first marathon. Both – no surprise – are requiring me to run far and run often. When I chose these goals I assumed that the hardest part would be finding the strength to push ahead as the distance steadily increased through my training program. Surprisingly that is not really the case. What I am discovering as I cover longer distances, steadily build my endurance, and become a stronger runner is that the hardest part is simply taking the first stride.

It is the same challenge, day after day. Get up and go or sit on the sidelines. 100% up to me. If it is the morning, do I hit the snooze bar 10 times or get out of bed, lace up my shoes, rub the sleep from my eyes, and go. If it is the evening, do I put the kids to sleep and plop down in front of the television or do I head out the front door and run. One decision. One small step. One choice that will determine my fate. If I say yes. If I take one simple stride, all that follow come very easily. It all starts with the decision to take the first step.

Why is this so? I suppose one could look to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion which says that “every body will persist in its state of rest or of uniform motion (constant velocity) in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.”

It is always easier to do nothing. To find an excuse not to run. To put it off until tomorrow. To make the decision not to move. Getting yourself in motion requires you to exert considerable force. However once you have taken that one tiny step to overcome inertia, it is incredibly easy to keep going.

Whether you want to run a marathon, improve your community, learn to play guitar, start your own business, create a blog, write a book, go back to school, find a new job, spend more time playing with your kids, whatever… realize that you are probably just one little step away from making it happen. Just one step can change everything.

It’s just one step. Take it.

Isaac Newton, The Principia, A new translation by I.B. Cohen and A. Whitman, University of California press, Berkeley 1999.

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