“Concentrate on small segments of your race at a time. For example, rather than obsessing about the distance that remains, simply complete the next mile in good form…try another, then another, until the race is done.” -Jerry Lynch (baseball player)



It was one of those moments when I was a bit late to the conversation between my friends. Everyone was super pumped and they were getting excited about a group activity, I got caught up in the excitement, and BOOM, I agreed to something ridiculous.

That’s right… I agreed to something I absolutely have very little chance of completing: a Tough Mudder race. Usually several states have the chance to host this intense race so we were excited that Minnesota was hosting one this year.

The kicker, however, is that the town I live in was hosting the race. Good old Hugo, Minnesota. So, I was easily convinced with peer pressure, “It is a sign, we HAVE to do it.”

One truly does not know what one of these races entail until they watch a video. The general idea is about a 10-12 mile run with some intense obstacles involved. By intense obstacles, I mean LIVE wires hanging inches above water or creating a chain of people to get over a 20 foot wall or jumping off a cliff into a giant pond of iced water.


My husband is a very routine and seasoned runner. Very seldom will an evening go by that he does not squeeze in a few miles of running, so this event is not going to affect him much.

On the other hand, I may have gotten a reputation for being a routine relaxer. I have always attributed this to his desk job versus my running around job, but the reality is that I am out of shape and have become lazy.

For Christmas, Andrew got me some amazing running shoes. It was the first time in my life that I actually owned a pair of shoes that were designed for running. However, winter was pretty cold this year and I barely set foot in those shoes.

Luckily, it was 60 degrees today, so for the first after a long, cold few months I knew it was time to dust off my running shoes.


Leaving for my first run, I was ecstatic. I used to run 10k’s and 5k’s without any issue. Just last year I ran the 7 mile stretch of a marathon relay. Turning on my music, I started my run with a little of P!nk’s “Get the Party Started” because it is the best pump up music I can think of. It was not long before I started struggling, P!nk wasn’t even to “I’m your operator, you can call anytime…” I was completely out of breath. My mind was so ready to run far but my body was not.

As I looked down, struggling for motivation, I realized I had been doing all the basics wrong. My shoulders were slumped over, I was staring at the ground a few feet in front of me, my breathing was not calm. I ultimately was setting myself up for failure.


As I stood there, I realized I needed to start my run over in my head, I looked up into the horizon and saw the beautiful trail I was missing. I took a deep breath, put my shoulders back, then took off towards home.

The last part of my run was much better, it was not up to the caliber that I had envisioned in my mind, but it was significantly better than how I started. The tools were there the whole time, I just accessed them too late.

The same lesson can be relevant when working with families pre-planning. Think of them as your body and you as your mind. Although you would love to be able to control them and have them finish the race right off the bat, sometimes they are not in a position to run the whole race in one time.

Like I could not control my body on that first run, you cannot control every client on that first appointment. They may need several consultations and they may need to be given the right tools over a period of time.

Remember, you can be a mediocre professional and let them control the pace without guidance, or you can be a wonderful professional and give them the tools to get their arrangements in shape and plan appropriately.

You will get them to the end of the race, it just takes the right training. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.


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