Improving Your Wellbeing One Step at a Time

 

On May 4th, I completed my third 7 Sister Trail Race in Amherst, MA. Yes, there were, "May the 4th be with you!" signs along the route. I don't believe words can sufficiently describe this race, but if you look up the competition at 7sisterstrailrace.com, it says, "12 miles of technical, singletrack trail on an out-and-back course with over 3,500 ft. elevation gain, following the ridge crest of the Holyoke Range. It's widely considered the most challenging trail race in the Northeast". It was not easy for me to complete, and it made me think about individuals' wellness journeys.

Does your wellness journey ever feel like that? Super Challenging? Are you not feeling "trained" for it? Do you not have the correct mindset around tackling the challenges you see coming up along the way? You want to "compete" because you know you could feel better than you currently do and want to change for the better?

You aren't alone. I believe everyone wants to feel their very best. However, it certainly can feel like there are steep mountains to climb to feeling and looking better.

Healthy strategies may have been tried before and were hard to sustain. We are up against genius marketing from the food industries, some outdated diet advice and top it off with our busy, stressed lives….can you relate?

I signed up for the trail race with my bestie from high school and my boyfriend. We made a fun weekend of it. We had a great time driving out to western Massachusetts the day before the race. We even grabbed my friend's son at UMass and had a yummy and enjoyable pre-race dinner together.

If you are planning on improving your wellness, make a big deal about it! Ask friends to join and working with a coach gives you an even better chance for fantastic success. Working towards a goal with others is fun and a win-win. They will be there for the achievements as well as the tough times.

After the race, so happy to be on flat ground!

Having others on your journey increases accountability for your actions, and that can lead to greater success. I know for a fact that the likelihood of me driving 3 hours to that mountain range and running the trails alone is about 0%. Verbalizing and achieving goals with others goes a long way.

The beginning of a race, like a new wellness endeavor, can be exciting and scary. You are just pumped to get going! Then you hit a point in the race where you feel comfortable and then suddenly the mountains, that have been present all along, seem steeper and a burden. It's the same with your new wellness journey. You are excited to start and do fine until a situation arrives that may derail you. Social engagements, stress, cravings, and so much more can be small hills or mountains for sure. Just like running mountains, there are strategies to get through wellness obstacles feeling good about yourself.

The last two miles of the Seven Sisters are a steep climb up and a steep decline to the finish. At this ten mile point, most of the runner's legs were fried. I saw many runners stop and simply shake their heads while others mumbled about how they thought they had trained well. There were times when I simply wanted to stop and sit down during that grueling section of the race. During those periods, I tried to stay as positive as possible and, like everyone else, knew the only thing to do was finish. There was no other option really, no vehicles were getting in there and no one would offer to carry me out. My internal chant was set at "one step". Finishing the race was on ME.

Your health is YOURS to own. No one can improve your wellness for you. However, working with a wellness coach can give you the tools you need to help overcome barriers and continue on the journey feeling amazing about yourself and your wellness.

Just like those last few miles of the race, reaching towards your peak physical and mental wellbeing can come from breaking down the process, taking it one step at a time. Wellness coaches are trained to know how big your strides could be along your wellness journey. Sometimes you will leap along the trail and other times will be "one step" small changes to slog up the steep inclines. Regardless, all new implemented habits will add up, and when you aren't able to commit to one, you don't necessarily need to be back at the starting line. The pace and even the path can be adjusted to ensure success! And when the going gets tough, as your wellness coach, I will be there to cheer you on and chant "one step" along with you.