Goals. Set goals. Work towards your goals. Be realistic, but make sure you set them so you can move forward.
These are all things I have heard from a variety of sources for as long as I can remember. Piano teachers, camp cousenlors, Sunday School teachers, high school mentors, they all had the same thing to say. And though I brushed it off for many years, I'm beginning to think there is some wisdom in this whole goal thing.
The Tidewater Chapter of the PKD Foundation set a goal to raise $15,000 this year from the Walk for PKD. We did it, or at least very close to it. It took a lot of people going outside their comfort zone (or at least, it took me going out of my comfort zone to ask people for cash!) and it took a lot of people generously donating their own money. But we did it, and I was glad to be a part of it.
A personal goal that I accomplished last week was my very first 8 mile race. I worked towards it, prepared for it, trained both physically and mentally for it, and yet, it was still tremendously hard. It was much harder than I ever thought it would be, and I could have sworn that last mile lasted forever. But I did it. I pushed my body farther than I have ever pushed it before. I made it do something it has never done. And again, I was glad to be a part of it.
I now have no goals, at least not yet. I've been looking towards those 2 for so long, it's hard to see where to go next. But I've decided that physical goals are important, because they are things that I can, at least for now, control. I can control how far my body can run, or how hard I work it. I can control whether or not I get up in the morning to hit the gym lifting, or to hit the ground running. There is so much about PKD that I can't control, so many things about my body that are beyond what I have mastery over, it's empowering to know that my body is not completely alien to me. At least not yet.
So, goals. I'm in favor. I've done 8 miles, something I have never done before, and an accomplishment I will always have. 8 miles. Maybe next time I'll do 10.