Running Towards Our Dreams

Last week I spoke to a colleague who is taking her daughter to kindergarten. 

I told her that though it was a very long time ago, I have incredibly vivid memories of my first day of school. 

That day in September, my mom and I walked a few blocks to our neighborhood school.

Or rather, my mom, 9 months pregnant with my brother, tried to keep up with me as I ran the whole way there. I only stopped at the corner when I waited for the crossing guard to let us pass.

I was THAT excited. 

I recall running into Mrs. Blanchietti’s classroom with the big windows, A-B-C border atop the chalkboard and finding my name card – Gina with a big “G” and an image of purple grapes. There was a Greg in our class and his name card had a giraffe that I coveted.

Oddly, it seemed to me, there were a few children crying and refusing to come into the room. One girl held on so tightly to the pole outside of our classroom that her mother nor the classroom mom could get her to budge. She never did join our class that year.

For me, I felt like I had been waiting my entire (young) life to go to school. It was something I had looked forward to as I saw the older kids in our neighborhood leave in the morning and return in the afternoon. There was absolutely nothing that could keep me from going to school that day.

Since then, of course, there have been many events and milestones in my life that had that much pull for me – 

  • a first bicycle
  • driving a car
  • that first job
  • going to college
  • traveling on my own
  • the first real love
  • training for a long-distance race
  • achieving other big goals

And the list goes on.

Years later, my mom told me that when I walked into that room that day, it was like she had lost me. Not because I didn’t love or care for her – it was just that I was running towards a dream that I had finally achieved. And while it made her a bit sad (only a little – she had three more children still at home), she felt relieved that I wasn’t the little girl holding onto the pole outside our classroom.

Recently I was coaching a client who was feeling more like they were being “dragged” along in their business. 

I asked, “What would it feel like to ‘want to’ run toward your goals?”

For a few minutes, it stumped her. But slowly we brainstormed a list of reasons that would help her build back some desire to achieve her goals. Some of the goals were left behind because upon further examination – they were things she thought she “needed” to do but she couldn’t remember exactly why.

At the end of the day, I am a realist. Not every task or goal comes with a song in a Disney movie. But think back to the things in your life that you would jump out of bed for, run to without stopping or work at and lose all track of time. 

Tap into that feeling and you’re on your way to running towards your dreams.