The Power of Momentum

The Power of Momentum

We all have that one thing that is looming out there on the horizon, that one thing that you tell yourself you really need to do, one day, it’s for your own good.  But you can’t do it today, you have too many appointments, too many things on your mind, you just don’t have the energy.  Right?

I was talking with a friend of mine after ET Masters this morning and we were discussing how difficult making big changes can be.  For some people it’s writing a resume when they know they really ought to find a job that is more appropriate for them.  For other people it’s starting to lose those extra 20 pounds that crept on over the years while they weren’t looking.  And for some it’s taking that leap toward that big scary (but ultimately fulfilling) goal like a marathon or an Ironman.

It’s often said that the first step is the hardest one, and I believe that to be true.  If you envision your “one thing” as a huge boulder, the hardest part is to get that thing rolling.  If you can just get that boulder to start moving a little bit, you might be able to push it a little more.  Once it starts to roll, you’re in business; the momentum of that moving boulder will keep it moving with a lot less effort on your part.

But it’s huge, you say, and I’m not strong enough to move something of that size!  This task is too big for me!  It isn’t, and let me tell you how.  If you want to move a big boulder, you might need some tools.  In simple physics, you could use a wedge and a hammer or a lever.  Maybe you get a friend to help you push, or maybe a couple of friends and a rope.  How about a slip and slide and some bacon grease?

It sounds like a silly analogy, and maybe it is.  But if you apply these same principles to the big boulders in your life, it might be easier to get them to move.  Collect your tools, maybe these are resume articles or cookbooks full of healthy food, maybe a new pair of running shoes.  Collect your friends too, and their tools.  Go running with a buddy who tells good stories to get you through that long run.  Have coffee with your friend who has a knack for marketing.  Call up someone who inspires you.  Find people who can help you push on that big boulder—before you know it, you’ll have started it rolling and the hard part, as they say, is over.

Sure there will be bumps along the way and the road won’t always be straight, but once you’re on your way to that new job, that new waist size…that Ironman…it will get closer every day.   And those friends that you asked to help you start moving that boulder?  They’re cheering for you at the finish line!

Judie Refvik is a USA Certified Triathlon Coach with Experience Triathlon Coaching Services.   As leaders in the endurance coaching industry, Coach Judie and the Experience Triathlon coaching team help athletes of all ages and abilities achieve success in training, racing and life.  Learn more about Coach Judie and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com and www.ET-Youth.com.

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  • Great advise Judie. Love the tie in with physics and the idea of getting help to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. I see this at work all the time at our group classes and Clubs. It’s always easier to stay committed to your workouts when you know others will be there to have fun with and hold you accountable.

  • Drew Repoza

    Mmmm, you said “bacon”… Great article, Judie! It’s so easy to psych ourselves out before we even get started. It helps to have friends and coaches who have been there and done that, and can share both their experience and encouragement.

  • Great article Judy and so very true, once that momentum starts to build its almost impossible to stop.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll bring the bacon grease, anyone got a slip and slide?