I’m an Anne Lamott fan, and there are two passages from her book, Bird by Bird, I have always held dear:
“Thirty years ago, my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.”
A lot has been written about goal setting. There are books and seminars and retreats and gurus. But what I’ve found to work, both personally and professionally, more than anything else is the simple premise of daily dedication combined with a willingness to be vulnerable and even fail.
What if we set goals while being free of fear?
What if we chased success, but also knew failure could make it an even better story?
What if we always remembered, as Lauren Fleshman says, that the best of sport is a playground, not a proving ground?
So it’s 2018.
And we’d like to get things kicked off - and ask for your help in creating a community "Prologue." In literary terms, a prologue is not just an introduction, but more importantly, a setting of the stage. It’s the pause before the first step. For running goals, we see it as a gathering of ideas and information – and dreams and thoughts. It can be for the year, or simply the near term. It can be big and dreamy. Or it can quiet and personal. It can be something you share. Or it can be a secret note to the self.
But there is always a goal. And a moment of knowing…when you go from turning it over in your head, like a smooth rock found on the beach, to something you can see with your eyes, and feel in your heart. Something that lights the horizon.
The last couple weeks of 2017 had me dreaming about goals in a way I hadn't done in awhile. My eyes lifted, and I got excited to refresh the things that fuel me (writing; could I do it daily or weekly?), to see the people that inspire me (run lovers; as a brand, could we show up big for our team, our community?), to keep fighting for equal rights and visibility (feminist voices rising), and yes, to do those small, bird by bird activities that ultimately form the bigger picture.
Prologue. The start of a story. The story of 2018...
We hope you’re scheming and dreaming on some goals for 2018. To help you on your way, look for limited edition Prologue cards in web orders starting this week. Or download here.
Dream them and write them. And share with #MyPrologue. The story is just beginning, and we can’t wait to hear yours.
Happy New Year friends! I hope to see you on the road, track, and trails sometime soon.