I have this thing I do when I have a goal that I’m not quite sure I can achieve.  I tell everyone I know about it.  I call it the “shame factor.”  The extra added pressure of not only letting myself down if I fail to succeed, but my public too.

It doesn’t always work.  Sometimes it gets overtaken by the “sarcasm factor” (tendency to mock my failure for the amusement of my friends and family).  But every once in a while it serves its purpose and helps me push myself to realize a goal I might otherwise give up on if I knew no one but me and the trees was aware of the fact that I was even aiming for it.

It worked with dating.  Back in late August when I wrote this post, I had some serious doubts about my ability to follow through on my objective of wading back into the dating pool: years of knowing that flirting couldn’t lead to anything since I was already taken had me questioning my ability to do my part to move from a crush to a connection; fears of rejection had me convinced that no one would want someone who had failed so spectacularly at long-term once before . . . I had an endless list of reasons to want to put off the challenge of trying to date again.

But I knew the longer I avoided it the harder it would become to start.  So, when I began my adventures in online dating last November, I posted about it here, talked about it with my friends and family (shout out to my parents for not freaking out about my stories of meeting strange men for coffee) . . . heck, I even facebooked about it.  And I am not normally one of those people who shares an abundance of private info about myself on FB.  Several months and a half dozen or so dates later and while I’m no longer posting about it (sorry for those interested in dating stories; will post about it again if anything particularly interesting / amusing happens), I’m happy share that I’m over doubting myself and what I bring to the dating equation.  I’m not perfect, but I got some definite game 🙂

So, time to put the “shame factor” to a new purpose.

A month ago I signed up for the Ottawa Race Weekend 10 km run

A week later I signed up for some personal training sessions to help me reach my run goals.

They are:

(1) To stand at the starting line up on Saturday May 26 at 6:30 pm and feel confident in my ability to tear the course up

(2) To cross the finish line less than an hour later. 

(3) To wake up the next morning and feel the kind of sore you feel when you’ve given it your all . . . not the kind of sore you feel when you’ve failed to train properly.

For some of you, these goals may not sound particularly ambitious.  Heck, during some of my fitter periods over the last few years (like the winter of 2009 when I was so into running that I temporarily became one of those people who run outside on even the freezing cold, minus 20 degrees Celsius plus wind chill days) I wouldn’t have thought so either.

But for current me, the me who is a little bit sore the day after running 5 km on a treadmill in 35 minutes, the road from now to May 26 sounds like the perfect challenge.

So, there it is.  My objective stated publically for all to see.  Hope you don’t mind me using you in my attempt to keep myself accountable for sticking to the plan.  Wish me luck!


Postscript: Beyond wanting to succeed for myself, and all of you, I am feeling quite motivated by wanting to make my new trainer, Tess, proud.  She is awesome.  Check out her and her friend Jess’ fitness and food tips on their blog here, or read their recent article on getting fit in 12 weeks in FAJO magazine here.)