Running 588 km is comparable to the distance of 3x ultra-marathons. After recovering from another breath disease episode I set the goal of running 520 km. Now, I can say, with joy, that another life goal was achieved! I used a well known project management technique to make it happen. Do you want to know which one was it?
The goal of running at least 520 km was set in May 2020 after recovering from a pneumonia related to my chronic disease known as “syndrome hyper-eosinophilic”. To be honest, I thought that I was with Covid-19 because the sympthons were quite similar. I started to figure out that something was wrong with my body when my running performance went down. When I went to my pulmonologist, the diagnostic was clear, the elimination of the take of “prednisilona” medication (that was being reduced from 60mg to 0mg along 2 years, with no take in the last 6 months) made the syndrome active again and the inflammation took again the possess of my body, resulting in a new pneumonia. From one side, I was relaxed that it was not Covid-19 and myself and family had to go into isolation. From the other side, my life project of “solving my chronic disease” didn’t reach a positive “project end”. Then, why getting pneumonia made me think in setting a “520 km running distance goal”?
Breath disease and running seems like a contradiction. But it is not. I believe in body-plasticisty. Do you guess what is body-plasticity?
You need to look higher to upgrade yourself through body-plasticity
When you do some endurance training, like running or lifting weight, at some point you start to feel some pain. The cause of the pain is the microscopic tears on the muscle fibers. The recovery heal the muscle fibers. And if the process is repeated several times, then your body will, react to the stimulus, becoming stronger and bigger. The same does the brain with the continuous grow, the brain adapts to each cycle, and it is called neuro-plasticity. This word, “neuro-plasticity”, you might have already heard about it. In reality, every living creature in life tries to adapt, the same also happens with virus, it transform and mutate to become more resistant. Since that plasticity, is everywhere, mind, body, life, I call this phenomenon as body-plasticity.
It is important to understand body-plasticity, the capacity for life to adapt to the new stimulus or challenges, because it gives a new mindset perspective, which can change how you see things, how you think. Body-plasticity is the capacity for life to upgrade after each challenge. It is like the law of Darwin but viewed in a much slower timeframe. You will not find the term in the dictionary because I have just invented it.
Following the law of Darwin, the human species need 50,000 years so that our fingers can become bigger and more reactive for the utilization of smart-phone. In contrary, for smaller adaptations, like adapting to a new habit, through body-plasticity, we need only 21 days.
From my hyper-eosinophylic syndrome, I got frequent pneumonia and this is visible with several scars in my lungs, my breathing capacity was naturally affected by 20%. Although this could have been a limitation that I should accept, I thought that the best for my lungs, together with the medication, was to upgrade them, by running 520 km. By cardiovascular training I believe that I am upgrading my breathing system capacity to neutralize the damages caused by my disease. The reality is that I am feeling healthier, I don’t see any limitation and I have more resistance now than before.
Body-plasticity helps to understand that everyone need challenges to upgrade to the best version of themselves. The pain and stress are normally the signal that informs you that you are doing something beyond your current limits, which you are going to an upgrade process. In this scenario, pain and stress, if not too much, is a good signal.
Although you need to establish small goals first, you need to look higher, setting the bar always a bit higher of what you think that you can achieve. The brain is a powerful tool, it will give you what you ask for. If you look higher, and you have done your needed upgrade, you will get what you asked. In contrary, if you don’t look higher and, if you limit yourself, you will not reach it.
Maybe I am being too much extensive about the “Why”. I want now to inform you about the “How”. How, myself, with a breathing disease, I was able to run more then 520 km?
For the “How” I used my knowledge as professional Project Manager. I used one technique well known by this professional class.
Change your beliefs with baby steps
It is difficult to change our beliefs. Nevertheless, difficult does not mean impossible. Indeed, it is possible to change our most deep beliefs but the change needs to come in baby steps; one step after the other, one goal after the other.
Baby steps are what we call in project management: WBS (Work Breakdown Structure).
I set the goal to run 520 kms and I also managed it. Even without a perfect breathing system, it is possible. What I did was to breakdown the goal into running 10 km a week from year. This became my real goal. I didn’t think anymore about the big distance of 520km. 10 km running seems now accessible to every reader, I believe. If not, you just need to decompose it again to a more manageable task, what about running one time 3 km each 2 days?
” You can achieve your biggest goal by simply breaking it down into baby steps”
- Define a Goal that you would like to achieve and break it down into smaller steps. See how:
- Write down a goal that you would like to achieve;
- Perform the first level of break down, by defining the major deliverables that are fundamental to achieve your goals;
- Perform the second level of break down, by defining the sub-deliverables that are fundamental to achieve the major deliverables;
- Perform the third level of break down, by defining the monthly work-packages related to the above sub-deliverables;
- Perform the fourth level of break down, by defining the weekly activities related to the above work-packages;
- Perform the fifth level of break down, by defining the daily activities related to the above weekly activities.