Practical Tips to Help Get You Through Your Next BIG Challenge

What 70 minutes of pain taught me about working through a BIG challenge

No doubt you have a challenge that you face every day. It could be in the ‘OK I’ve just gotta deal with this’ category through to ‘what the hell was I thinking’ extreme.

You may know that I’ve become a ‘born-again’ jogger. Following a ‘health epiphany’ a few years ago, it was clear to me that serious lifestyle changes were needed if I was to make it to 50 or beyond.

I’ll try not to overly bore you with the detail of the challenges I experienced along the way – suffice to say that my physio has benefited greatly from my decision and it gave me a first-hand insight into the inner-workings of the health system!

Fast forward several kilos, many kilometres covered and stretching routines endured…

On the weekend I (along with 35,735 others) completed the HBF ‘Run for a Reason.’

Here’s what I learnt that helped me overcome a BIG challenge …

1. You’ll always have supporters

Even amongst a huge crowd (I was amongst 15,000 people doing the 12km run) I unexpectedly bumped into people I knew. They were there either to do the run or support friends and family. This was a huge boost, as I felt they were there supporting me as well.

2. Preparation will never be perfect

Even though I’d done a lot of training for this run, there were some hiccups. I like to do a heap of stretching beforehand, but due to the crowd, space available, and all these people I kept bumping into, I basically ran out of time to do my normal pre-run routine. I just had to go with what I had and make the most of it.

3. Show patience and graciousness

With 15,000 people in three waves on the same course, there were some congested moments. It taught me that sometimes, even when you want to burst away from the pack, you need to be patient, allow space for others and be gracious when things get tight. At the end of the day, we were all trying to reach the same end point, even if we had differing motivations.

4. Sometimes it’s just a matter of pushing on

At the 10km mark I was hurting. I’d done the distance a few times prior in my training, but this was hard going! My legs felt like they were full of cement and I was in the struggle zone. I looked at all the inspiring people around me and knew that we all had to just push on and see what the next few hundred metres would bring. Sure it may not be my best time ever, but I would get to the end of the line.

5. Your efforts will support others

At the 11km mark I jogged past Yvonne (her name was printed on the back of her top). She was doing it tough and was being encouraged by a running buddy. “Yvonne, you’re looking good, let’s get there!” I urged. Her face lit up, as did mine and this helped us both to keep moving.

6. Celebrate and reflect

I was lucky that just after we finished, I was able to catch up with my running-buddy, Di, to Your next BIG challengecongratulate each other on our achievement and have a laugh about what we had endured along the way. It was great to acknowledge the reward gained for effort made.

My wife Georgie and I later indulged in BBQ pork and a delightful Adelaide Hills pinot as a way to round out the celebrations – very civilised!


Final thoughts…

I encourage you to look forward to BIG challenges and give some thought to what will get you through, along with reflection afterwards as to what made a difference. It helped me and I’m sure it will help you!

PS – A HUGE THANK YOU to all the volunteers, sponsors and organisers that made the #hbfrun a mega success! You’ve made a difference to lots of lives in lots of ways!

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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