Stay The Course – Guest Blog By Anna Townsley

Stay the Course

This is a Guest Blog by Anna Townsley.



So what do you do when life throws you that unexpected curve ball that conveniently interrupts your goals and plans?  That is something I have been addressing this week as we had a large and dangerous wildfire breakout in Colorado Springs – my home area.  Because of the beautiful mountain range that boarders our city, the fire is extremely close, but thankfully not in the main city area.  While what I am about to address is a VERY minor curve ball in comparison to many of my friends who are currently evacuated or have possibly lost homes, I thought it was a great example on how to get creative in order to reach our goals.

My curve ball involves my current 90 Day Challenge – “the Incline.”  The Incline is a popular place here in Colorado Springs, more specifically the Manitou Springs area.  It is a bunch of old cog railroad ties that go straight up the side of a mountain.  It is a one-mile hike to the top, about 3,000 steps, and increases over 2,000 feet in elevation.  The elevation is a big factor – this hike is quite a workout.  Very few people can do in less than 30 minutes, and it takes me over 1 hour to reach the top.  My Challenge goal is to get my time under 40 minutes.  To reach this goal will require a lot of physical and mental training and conditioning.  Well, 37 days into my challenge is when the fire broke out.  The fire has not yet reached the Manitou Springs area but is just north of it.  The good news is it looks like that area will be spared from the fire, but at only 10% containment and bad smoke conditions, hiking the Incline is out of the question.

So the question this week has been what to do with my current goal – change it, or keep it?  Either is perfectly acceptable answer, but what I have realized is that an important factor in reaching goals is keeping a definitive course in front of you.  If you have to change your course, change it, but do it quickly and know where you’re headed.  My first immediate answer was to keep my Incline goal and just do training in the gym for the next week or two, but when the fire took a huge turn for the worse three days later I once again had to reevaluate my decision.  I truly love this current Challenge goal, so I have decided to stay the course, keep my goal, and do the best I can with gym training all the way to the end of my 90 days.  I do this with the hope that I will be able to return to the Incline before my 90 days are up, and worst case if I can’t, I will have had 53 focused days at the gym!

As I have reflected on this week and my goal, one thing I have come to realize is that curve balls happen, and they especially seem to show up when we have goals we working towards.  If fact, I tend to think that curve balls are part of the process, as they test how focused we really are on our goals and what we are willing to do to reach them.  Do we get let them take us out, or do we get creative and find new paths to take in reaching our goals?  Due to the elevation gain on the Incline, gym training really isn’t the same.  Even if I am able to go back up the Incline within my 90 days, I definitely won’t get to hike it as much as I had planned, so I need to be really focused on my gym workouts.  I don’t find the gym nearly as exciting, but I would love to be able to say I still reached my Incline time goal with barely any training on the Incline itself – so off the gym I go!

What are the goals that you are working towards?  What are the things that are important to you or that you desire to accomplish?  I’m pretty sure I can guarantee that some curve balls will come along the way, so what I leave you with is this: throw the curve ball right back – get creative, find a new course, reach your goal, and show the world that nothing gets in your way!

Update: While I am not longer involved with or promote Visalus (due to changes in the company that I can no longer support), my time with them was transformational and filled with great results and experiences.

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