Commentary

May 31, 2013

Setting goal, staying course reap reward

Master Sgt. Ida Bushey
56th Medical Group

I have always enjoyed running. In elementary school, I won countless field-day blue ribbons for fastest runner. In high school I ran track and cross country. Cross country quickly became my favorite. I was extremely excited when the U.S. Air Force did away with the bike test and started the 1.5 mile run to measure your aerobic fitness. I had mastered the 1.5-mile run and was queen of the 5k.

My passion for running was matched when I was assigned to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. My supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Abigail Esparza, also enjoyed running. She introduced me to several local competitive running events. She encouraged me to try a 10-mile trail run, but I was hesitant at first because she was pushing me out of my 3 to 5 mile comfort zone. Training began three months prior to the race, and we set a goal to increase by one mile each week. We completed the trail run, and it was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I was hooked. We went on to run that same 10-mile trail run for three years straight.

Next, we progressed to the 13.1-mile run (half marathon). Esparza and I tackled the new challenge just as we did those 10-mile runs. We set a goal, trained and stayed committed until race day — but I wanted more. I had been running all my life, but I did not feel like a true runner. I wanted to experience running a full marathon (26.2 miles). I shared my idea with Esparza to which she replied, “When we ran the half marathon I knew after that race I didn’t have another half marathon left in me. But, if you have the desire you already know what to do to accomplish it.” I immediately thought I must be in over my head. If my running mentor was unable to go to the next level, then how could I? So, I put that idea aside.

Within my first year at Luke Air Force Base, I signed up for another half marathon, mainly to see if I could complete a race on my own. All sorts of thoughts went through my head. Who was going to push me? Could I be accountable to myself? What if I became lazy and got behind on my training? In the past, I had Esparza there by my side and most days I stayed committed because I gave her my word. Then, I decided to make an agreement with myself. I used the tools Esparza gave me and set out to run a marathon. With that goal in sight, last fall I ran my third half marathon, but completing that race was just the beginning to my marathon goal. My plan was to build up from the 13.1 miles to 20 miles. The weekend following my half marathon I ran 14 miles, then 15 miles, then 17 miles. I topped out at 20 miles just before race week.

On race day, as I waited in my corral, I texted now Master Sgt. Esparza because I knew she would understand how big this was for me. I wanted her to know I used the same principles she had given me six years ago. I was grateful that her guidance put me within minutes of starting the race and tackling one of my lifelong goals. She texted back, “You rock!” and on Jan. 20 I finished my first marathon and became a true runner.

While training for a marathon, I found the meaning of being self-motivated. I was a good runner, and Esparza mentored me to be a better runner, but she could only take me so far. I learned that some mentors can only get you to a certain stage. In order to make it to the next level I would have to go it alone. I knew that I could not become complacent if I wanted to improve. Having a goal, a plan and being committed can be applied to every aspect of life — not just running. I challenge anyone who has thought about venturing out on a new goal to find their inner strength and stay committed to achieving those goals!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Mentoring fosters dreams, strengthens us

A few days ago while reading an online commander’s call, I came across an article dated Dec. 31, 2014, stating President Obama proclaimed the month of January 2015 National Mentoring Month. Although this topic is thoroughly discussed in our Air Force today, I felt compelled to write on its importance all the same. In a...
 
 

Have you joined the Air Force yet?

I enlisted into the Air Force in February of 1997. However, I didn’t join the Air Force until March of 1999. No, I’m not talking about the Delayed Enlistment Program. There was no doubt that after high school I would attend college. However, not having applied for any scholarships and realizing that I didn’t have...
 
 

TRICARE revises drug coverage for safety, use

WASHINGTON — Starting May 1, Express Scripts, the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, will screen all ingredients in compound drug claims to ensure they are safe and effective, and covered by TRICARE. This screening process is like the one TRICARE already uses for other prescription drugs, but it will now apply to the ingredients in compound drugs....
 

 
WHM

Chaplain’s thoughts …

  March is Women’s History Month. In honor of that I searched for some notable quotes by significant women for this article. I began my search in a rather old-school way; flipping pages in my “1001 Pearls of Spiritual ...
 
 
fo_LL

Fly Over: ‘LL COOL J’s PLATINUM WORKOUT’ and ‘Chappie′

In stores: ‘LL COOL J’s PLATINUM WORKOUT’ “Mama said, knock you out!” ~ LL Cool J LL Cool J is an award-winning hip hop artist whose songs have been heard all across the world. He has hosted the “Grammys” numerous...
 
 

Bring ‘invisible class’ into view

When I was a young boy, my father explained to me that there was dignity in work. He told me to always respect the worker regardless of how thankless or menial their job may appear to be. He said that you never know the burdens a person may be carrying, or the family members that...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin