It has been a roller coaster of a week for me and as usual the weekend just wasn't long enough. Work is keeping me on my toes with something different going on every week. The other day while planning out my calendar, I realized I will only be in my office for 8 days the entire month of April. Eight!! Yowza.
I don't usually like to talk about my job here because there's a touch of sensitivity involved, so please pardon the ambiguity but I have some thoughts I'd like to share. A few weeks ago I was told I'd be participating in an "orientation" of sorts. This orientation includes people of various disciplines who have been working for our employer less than 3 years. Curious as to what to expect, I asked several coworkers about their experiences with the program and learned that due to the nature of our job there was an "optional" physical fitness assessment involved. My first thought was "Noooo!"
When I inquired further and found out that we were expected to run 1.5 miles in less than 12 minutes, my next though was "Hellllll noooooo!" I am still new to running and am struggling to run a solid mile without having to take walk breaks. I felt destined to fail. My mind raced back to my childhood, when I was overweight and hated gym class passionately. I was always the last person to finish the state-required mile run, mostly because I defiantly walked the entire thing.
Fast-forward to the present where I imagined myself running in slow motion around that track while my coworkers stood at the finish line checking their watches in boredom. Saying that the thought made me anxious is an understatement. After much reflection I decided to ignore the time requirement completely and focus solely on running the distance. I didn't care how long it took me or what anyone else thought, I was going to finish the run.
One day I brought up the topic of the assessment to a coworker, who looked me square in eye and said "You know it's optional, right? I'm not going to participate." Record screeches, party stops, what?! The thought of opting out of the assessment never crossed my mind. As I looked my coworker in the eye I was more determined than ever. "I'm doing it." I said. This was about more than wanting to be a team player, more than a run around the track. This was something I never would or could have done back in grade school or at my heaviest, 60 pounds ago. I was going to do it for the old me, for the new me, and for future me who will look back on this experience and smile as I meet my goals of running a 5k, 8k and half-marathon. I began what I'd like to think of as endurance training and made some great progress.
This past Thursday we had a group meeting to discuss our agenda for orientation. I read through the details of nearly three weeks worth of activities and nowhere did I see mention of a fitness assessment. As the team leader began going into more detail about the upcoming weeks, we learned that the fitness assessment would not be part of the program going forward. A large part of me was relieved but there is a hint of disappointment in there as well.
I'd like to think that everything happens for a reason and that maybe this was a test, a test that I believe I passed with flying colors. I didn't allow myself to be defeated by a goal that felt unrealistic. I adapted my mindset and created new goals rather than taking the easy way out and watching from the sidelines. Even though the reason behind the goal itself has been removed, the goal remains. I'm in this to win it and failure is no longer an option.