Time to Get Your Race On: The importance of a Holy S*** goal

Posted Jul 15 2011, 10:55 am in , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week I blogged about Tri’ing a Triathlon. And this Sunday, I’m getting my race on to compete in an Olympic Triathlon.

I seem to have this nasty habit of setting a Holy S*** goal for myself every year. A few years ago it was a sprint triathlon, then a 200km bike ride, then last year it was a 1/2 marathon, this year….

Climb the mountain and say, "Holy S***!"

My good friend and training partner, dubbed these challenges as Holy S*** goals because usually when you think about doing it, that’s the first thing you say.

So why would I want to participate in something that makes me curse, and tremble (just a little) when I think about it?

Because pushing myself outside of my comfort zone (sometimes WAY out) helps me grow. And there’s nothing I like better than proving to myself that I can do something if I put my mind to it. It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish such a big goal.

And that’s why I think everyone should set at least one Holy S*** goal a year. And no, it doesn’t have to be an athletic one. That’s the beauty of goals, they’re totally individual and personalized. For some people, giving a presentation in front of colleagues might be a huge goal. For others, it could be starting culinary classes. It’s completely dependent on what’s important to you and your life. I set these big goals in a few areas of my life because it gives me something to work towards. I have a theory that it’s making me well-rounded, my husband may say that it makes me crazy, but to each their own…

Something else I’ve noticed about goals, there will always be people who tell you, “it’s too hard” or “you’ll never be able to do that” or “what are you thinking?”

First of all, you might want to evaluate whether these people are really your friends whom are simply trying in a mis-guided way to be supportive or if they’re just people who are trying to pull you down. Then, remember:

“For every person who doubts you, tells you you will fail, try twice as hard to prove them wrong.”

Back to setting the goal. The great part about choosing your Holy S*** goal is that it gives you something to work towards. I love this part, because if I don’t have an end objective to work towards, I tend to float around without a whole lot of purpose. For example, with writing. The goal is to write a novel and get it out for publication. But without that direction, I might spend all my time writing blogs or surfing the web and I’ll never reach this goal. But because I know what I need to get done…I do it.

Which brings up an important point. It’s important not to get hung up on the hugeness of it all. It might seem daunting, in fact, it could very well seem like way too big a mountain to climb. But when you have a plan…that’s when you can start to make things happen.

Using the triathlon example: in order to be able to complete the swim, ride and run, there will have to be some training involved, right? So for the last ten months or so I’ve been running, swimming and cycling. I’ve been building up my distances and speed in some cases and even thrown in some bricks (back to back workouts). It’s been a process.


Just being able to set a goal and follow through with it is huge!  There’s a sense of pride in achieving what you’ve set out to do that accomplishment because you can prove to yourself that YOU did it, and there are no words to explain that glow that you’ll get inside when you cross the finish line, sign up for a major class, or complete the presentation.

And yes, maybe it doesn’t go the way you planned, and that’s okay too, because as Micheal Jordan said:

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

So what’s your Holy S*** goal? The goal that makes you shake a little bit and pushes you to be a better you?



10 responses to “Time to Get Your Race On: The importance of a Holy S*** goal”

  1. Fun.

    Mine is to sell two more NF books in the next two years. (I’ve published two already.) Plus trying to get up the nerve to have my *&^#)__)% hip replaced so I can re-claim my active, athletic life.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks for stopping by. That’s a great goal! And congrats on the two published. As for the hip, I’ve heard great things about new joints. My mom just got the first knee done. We call her ‘bionic grandma’ but already, she’s moving better.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Lori Dyan says:

    Yay, Elena! Congrats and kick some tri-ass this weekend! Epsom salt bath and a big jug of chocolate milk afterwards and you’ll be as good as new 😀

    (says the lady planting her ass on a patio all weekend)

  3. Ken says:

    Love the quote….. ““I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

    Keep it up Elena!

  4. Lesann says:

    Great idea – the Oh Sh*t goal. I also like the idea of evaluating if your friends/family are unwittingly sabotaging your intent. Sometimes people exude pessimism and don’t see it that way.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Thanks for stopping by Lesann,
      I do love having a goal! I think with the family and friends… more often than not, they don’t realize that what they’re saying may be negative or discouraging. (at least I hope not).
      Thanks for the comment.

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