The better U program at the University of Guelph started a few years ago and I was lucky enough to be invited to coach this group of determined employees of the university with a common goal of exercise, eat well and get better overall in our daily life.
Participants learn to warm up and cool down before and after excercising and at the end of the program they are able to run / run-walk 5 kilometers.
Yesterday I was invited to open this year program with a speech about the experience of swimming across Lake Ontario and what I've learned from it.
It was a fantastic experience to be there sharing my thoughts and the wonderful images that Jim Rankin shot at the time. (If I am able to tell the story the way I do it is only because of his wonderful work!)
Started sharing the fact that I felt I was way out of my comfort zone and my little routine and that is the first step for achieving something. Getting out and try something regardless of the outcome. You will learn from it and eventually will get better at whatever it is you decided to do.
At the end of the chat, I believe that I re-affirmed to myself and everybody else in the room a few important simple concepts:
1) Shouldn't be a reason for not exercising at least 3 times a week even if it is a very short period of time.
2) You must have a goal that gets you out of bed every day.
3) With the right motivation and the right work ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
4) Serving a cause bigger than yourself makes it easier to achieve your goals; people help you if they believe in what you do and is even better if they share your beliefs.You can get a lot of energy from others if you are open to it and prepared.
5) No matter what you do, you must enjoy it. We all know that things can go wrong, get hard turn painful. It is the joy for what you do the first tool you use to overcome the obstacles.
6) All of the above is simple (not easy) focus on what is really important and do not waste energy on things that are not getting you closer to your goal whatever that is.
Thank you to all the participants for your kindness and attention.
Thank you to the Occupational Health and Wellness at the University of Guelph for the wonderful opportunity.