MODESTO -- Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get fit.
Seems easy enough, right? But what exactly is fit?
What it means to me might not be the same to you. When I started my road to fitness, just over three years ago I weighed about 30 pounds more than I weigh now. I could barely run a mile. I was out of shape.
What I needed and what everyone needs is a goal.
So after about a month of running, I signed up for the Thanksgiving Day 5K in Modesto.
It was signing up for this race that really started me on my journey to fitness
and eventually a marathon.
It was having goals first to complete a 5K race, then a 10K, then a half-marathon and finally a marathon that helped me get to where I am now.
Never in my wildest dreams, when I first started out, did I think I could run a marathon. But I thought I could do a 5K, and I did. Then I thought I could do a 10K, and I did.
It wasn't until after my second half-marathon that I considered running a marathon.
Having a goal is key to starting the journey to fitness. And saying "I want to be fit" isn't enough.
Here are my tips on coming up with good fitness goals:
It has to be specific. Don't say "I want to run." Instead, pick a race and sign up for it. Having a date on the calendar gives you extra motivation to stick to your training.
Make it fun. If you're not into running, maybe you're a walker. Or a cyclist. Or a basketball player. Or a Zumba dancer. Find your passion and set your goal.
Make it realistic. It's critical to know your current fitness level and limitations. You can't go from not running at all to running a marathon. If you're starting from the couch, a 5K is more realistic.
Make it specific: Whether it's a distance (a 10K or a half-marathon), a set time (beat my PR by 2 minutes) or an amount of endurance (last an entire aerobic class without stopping), your goal must be attainable and specific.
Write it down: Get out a calendar and mark down your goal. Having it written down makes it real.
Make it public: Nothing gets you motivated as much as the pressure of having others know your goal. There were many times during my marathon training that knowing readers were following me was the extra motivation I needed to keep going.
Share your goal with family, friends and post it on Facebook. It's instant accountability.
So set your goal and start working toward it. The journey to fitness starts here.
Reach Jim Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @Mission26point2.