The video of Micah Herndon went viral quickly. Micah is the Marine Veteran who crawled across the finish line of the 2019 Boston Marathon. His legs started cramping six miles earlier. He continued on, but his pace slowed. As Micah approached the finish line his legs could carry him no further so he crawled the rest of the way.
Micah was running in honor of three fellow Marines who died in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010. He was in the lead vehicle of that convoy and still blames himself for not seeing the buried bomb. Micah started running several years ago as a way to cope with the Survivor’s Guilt he feels every day.
The video of Micah Herndon crawling towards the finish line, refusing any help, is deeply inspiring. For me, it’s a reminder of how much power resides in my attitude…how I approach life. Micah had determined to cross the finish line no matter how hard it was…no matter how much pain he was in…no matter what it looked like to others. Will anyone who watches that video doubt that Micah Herndon can do pretty much whatever he sets his mind to do?
Just like Micah willed himself across that finish line, I’m convinced the battle for fitness is first won in the mind. That’s also where it is lost. How often is a fitness journey derailed because it gets hard. Exercise can hurt and be incredibly NOT fun. Progress feels elusive. It may even be humiliating because your physical capacity at the beginning is not much and you feel like you’re barely able to do anything.
Additionally, if your “why” is not very deep, it becomes easy to give up. The fitness battle is lost in the mind…not in the gym or on the track or in the pool. Micah Herndon’s finish line crawl was a powerful reminder of how, more often than not, life’s battles are won or lost by our decisions…not our actions.
That said, it would be a mistake to simply tell yourself that you’re going to be more like Micah and dive back into a pursuit of fitness and NOT give up this time. The dramatic Boston Marathon finish was not Micah’s starting point. Micah didn’t develop that kind of mental toughness in one day. You won’t either.
The good news is you can develop it if you’re willing to start small and build a chain of victories one day at a time. The first goal of any fitness journey is NOT performance or a number on a scale, but simply building a habit and a mindset of not breaking the chain.
Contrary to popular belief, it takes longer than 30 days to build a habit…much longer. Research indicates it actually takes about 66 days to form new habits. And, for some people it can take as much as 254 days. (James Clear has written a great book about this titled Atomic Habits.)
I’m inviting you to take the 90 Day Step Challenge. You don’t need to make a decision right now. Every day this week I’ll be posting a new article that will guide you through the process. If you choose to take this 90 Day Step Challenge it will change your life. Here’s how:
You Will Build a Fitness Foundation
The most important part of any fitness journey is how you start. If the beginning is full of emotion that has you diving into the deep end it may feel great for a few days, but is a set up for failure within a few weeks.
But, if you start your fitness journey with small, but consistent steps, you can slowly build momentum that will carry you for not just weeks, but years, and decades. This 90 Day Step Challenge is designed to help you start in a way that creates a solid foundation for your fitness future.
You Will Change Your Internal Narrative
If you have a history of fitness starts and stops, you probably have an inner voice that tells you fitness is for others, but not you. That’s a powerful discouragement when fitness gets hard…and it ALWAYS does.
I’m certain one thing Micah Herndon did not hear as his legs started to hurt and he could no longer run is, “Micah…you can’t do this. Just wave your hand and someone will help you to the medical tent.”
This 90 Day Step Challenge will begin to change that inner voice from “I can’t” to “I can” because you will begin to build a new history of overcoming and pushing through the challenges.
You Will Invest in Your Future
Your future health, in many areas, is dependent on the choices you make today. Those choices determine your actions and those actions have a direct impact on your future health. And, just like saving for retirement, the earlier you start, the better off you are later. But, it’s never too late to start. I wrote last week about Jessica Slaughter who started her fitness journey at 72 and now at 86 is enjoying life immensely because of those earlier decisions. You can read her story HERE.
Taking the 90 Day Step Challenge can be the first deposit in your future health. Regardless of your age and the decisions you’ve made to this point, it’s not too late. You still have a future and you still have a big say in how it unfolds.
You Will Have Fun
I would never promise that all 90 Days will be fun, but many of them will. And, as you build momentum your confidence will grow in a way that simply makes life more fun.
Are you interested in taking the 90 Day Step Challenge and start building fitness momentum that will last a lifetime? Click HERE for the next step.
If you struggle with motivation to stick with fitness this blog will help. Don’t be intimated by the title. That’s my goal…not yours. But, my bigger goal is to help you start a fitness journey that has doesn’t stop and builds momentum. If you click FOLLOW (below on your phone and to the right and above on your computer) you’ll get an email with a link to each motivating article the moment it’s published.