Action is the special sauce to achieving anything. Everyone talks about positive thinking, which I am certainly a proponent of, however, very few people talk about positive action. Action is what separates the doers from the dreamers. Have you ever had an idea and thought, “This is a million dollar idea!” then you did nothing with it, and a year or two later you see your idea on some infomercial? What separated your idea from the person who produced the product? You guessed it. ACTION!
I love to run, but I never considered myself a runner. I didn’t have the physical stamina or the mental willpower to endure more than a thirty-minute jog. Nonetheless, I relished those 30 minutes early each morning, when the world was quiet and I was alone with my thoughts.
On the morning of April 1st, 2005, my thoughts matched the weather – gloomy. As my breath quickened during my run, I thought of Mike.
Out of the gloom came a crazy idea, a zealous, perhaps foolish, daydream. Suddenly, my mind flooded with possibilities, not obstacles. My adrenaline soared, and my legs bounded, pumping faster and faster. I ran faster and longer than ever before. As I approached Olmstead Street, my pace slowed to a walk as my thoughts continued to accelerate. My whole body shook with enthusiasm as I considered making my “dream” a reality. For a brief moment, I doubted. I wondered if this were fate’s version of an April Fools prank: Inspire an out-of-shape dreamer into running 1,200 miles, and laugh as he stumbles after mile two. No. With every step I became more certain.
I would take Mike and David to Orlando for an unforgettable vacation-movies, shopping, and excitement at the Mecca of magical thinking, Disney World. Then, I would embark on a run that would change my life forever.
As soon as I got home, I e-mailed long-distance runner Stu Mittleman and asked for his guidance. I knew that Stu ran a thousand miles in 11 days, and from San Diego to New York City. He replied to my e-mail within one day with his phone number. I called. He answered on the second ring. I explained my crazy idea.
Stu agreed to be my coach, and over the next few days he sent me a diet plan and a strict training schedule. Four months hence, I would run from Orlando to Chicago. For Mike.
I have had many crazy ideas before, what was different about this one, is that I took action right away. Tony Robbins talks about never leaving the site of goal without taking some form of action towards attaining it. This was the first step in a monumental undertaking, but without this first step, none of the following steps would have been possible.