Back in 2005 I took up running with the crazy idea of completing a marathon. It was a bucket list item that many of my friends had completed, so I thought I’d give it a go as well. I regularly ran a mile on the treadmill at the gym and played basketball one night a week, so I was in decent shape. However, at the time I couldn’t remember ever running farther than three miles at a go in my entire life. I thought 26.2 would be a challenge but I was a good athlete in good condition, so no sweat right?
A friend of mine that had just finished their first marathon and agreed to help me with my training. Every morning I got an email telling me what to do that day for my workout. The goal was to run a marathon I’d circled on the calendar eight months from the first training session. Starting from ground zero, on day one I got the email. Here was the workout for the day…..
“Jog for two minutes, walk for two minutes. 2 and 2. Repeat 6 times. 24 minutes total.”
I almost fell out my chair laughing. Surely I’m in better shape than THAT. Frankly, I was a bit miffed that my friend didn’t think I could start at a more advanced level. Forging ahead, after work that day I put on my running shoes and started the first “workout”. Guess what. It was hard.
So, what is the message for the sports industry?
Starting something (anything) from scratch can be difficult. A new fundraising program, a new event, a new business, all can be challenging. The organizations that have a solid game plan and a vision for what success looks like typically win more than they lose. If you have that plan and that vision, each day gets a little better than the one before it. Starting something new can be viewed as a marathon and not a sprint. One step at a time, all moving towards the defined destination.
I had a plan for the marathon, and even though there were some bumps along the way, the goal was defined, and the game plan was solid. In January of 2006 I plodded through a warm day in Phoenix to complete my one and only marathon. It wasn’t easy. I stuck to the plan and each day got a little better as we worked towards the end goal.
Start with the basics. Build on those each day. Set the plan and the destination. Start your journey.