This time I don’t have a glossy, grinning picture of myself (hey, be nice!), but I wanted to share another milestone reached in my quest for continued fitness.

I live out in what’s known as “South Boise”.  When I was a kid in this town, there was no such section.  Mainly there was sagebrush and cattle farms out here.  Now it has become a sort of mixed suburbia, with housing tracts pushing out into the prairie.

Anyway, when I started my journey of weight loss and fitness, I began a practice of jogging the roads in a sort of big square route.  I measured the distance at 4.25 miles after one frustrating early run (ok…mostly it was a walk-and-hold-my-aching-sides).

I am, as you know, a dashingly handsome man, but I am also of Norwegian descent.  This means that, while extremely strong and intelligent, my body was designed with short (less diplomatic observers have used the wrong-headed term “stumpy”) legs.   Must have been an evolutionary thing having to do with the need for stability on board mighty Viking ships and whatnot.

I say all this to point out that I am not a natural distance runner and I kept failing to complete my 4 + mile course without a short walk break or two.  It became my goal to do it all in one smooth run before the cold weather hit again this year.

So, I write this post today to report…VICTORY.

I opened my front door at 5:29 and headed out into the cool darkness.  My end of town has not been totally civilized yet, so there are only a few streetlights.  Above me, a slivered moon sailed through the early morning sky.  It was that “hour before dawn” and the stars were still brilliant against the blackness.

Something about the quiet and darkness created a space of solitary stillness in my mind as I ran.  Ideas and solutions to problems emerged.  Neuro-chemicals, activated by my breath and exertion, surged through my body.  I ran steadily and then a little faster.

I passed all the places where I would have stopped for rest before.  There was no thought of fatigue.

Almost before I knew it, I was back in my own neighborhood and then right here on my couch reporting the achievement of a goal set almost a year ago.  Did it!  I ran the whole course without a single pause.

Many of you reading this are probably much more accomplished runners–seriously.  I have friends who routinely crack off 10+ miles just as a nice little stretch of the legs. 

I share this personal victory with you to remind us all that worthy goals–even those that seem impossible at first–are unquestionably achievable.

We all need references and reminders along the way.  If we fail to see the significance of small steps, we won’t be able to see the overall progress we’ve made.

To turn that positive, ask yourself this question: “what small-but-steady accomplishments have I achieved recently that clearly move me in the direction of my deepest desires in life?”

I’ll bet you find at least a few of them.  When you do, sit quietly and ponder them.  Don’t discount your own dreams and don’t disregard the small steps you’ve taken to achieve them.

As the saying goes, “a journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first steps”.

On this Friday morning I wish all of you–my friends and fellow travellers–all the joy and success you deserve!

Jacob “The Jackalope” Nordby