What’s a dream you have that nudges at the back of your mind? Is it starting your own business? Do you dream of writing a novel or quitting work and making a living as a travel writer? Do you see yourself 20 pounds thinner and running the Hawaii marathon?
This dream you have — could you make it happen? And would the dream itself make a difference in your life, starting now, if you committed to it and plunged in?
I’ve dreamed for years of traveling to Italy, particularly Venice and the Amalfi Coast. Although I’ve traveled alone in the past, I’m not a great driver. After terrifying myself driving the M-1 in Wales at 65 miles an hour, I vowed that the next time I travelled I’d take the train.
Except, wouldn’t it be more fun to travel with someone? In 2013, my best friend said, “Yes, let’s go next year!” She gave me the same, “Yes, next year,” in 2014, 2015 and, two weeks ago, in 2016.
Who hasn’t had a dream evaporate — or let it stay just a dream year after year until it was too late? When my friend put our Italy travel off again this year, I realized that if traveling to Italy was my dream, I’d have to make it happen on my own.
I looked at tours but knew I didn’t want to sit in a bus or be herded with 40 other tourists. Then, I found exactly the group and tour I wanted: a group of twelve women hikers planning to hike the Amalfi Coast. Oh, drat! The brochure described the hiking as strenuous and five to eight miles a day on mountain trails.
I’m a walker. In Alaska, I hike — on flat trails. Due to three unexpected surgeries in recent years, my former 10 to 14-mile hikes have shaved down to four to five miles, walking slowly and on weekend days. One of my hiking partners, a mountain-goat woman 30 years younger than me waits for me at the bottom and top of any hill. Visions of me holding up the group, or worse, having to abandon the paid-for tour after a day danced in my brain.
You can’t, however, give up a dream — or put it off. If you do, it transitions from “yes” to never. I called the group leader and explained that I could walk for five hours a day but was slow on hills. She suggested I built up to it and come. So, I signed up.
Does a dream make a difference in your life if you plunge in by committing? Yes, that was seven days ago. I walked five miles a day for the last six days and today ran for six minutes — the first run I’ve taken in two years. Next week, I’ll start on the treadmill at incline 10 for five minutes a day. Then, I’ll transition to the StairMaster, a machine I’ve always regarded as torture but plan to consider my best friend.
I’m going to hike the coast of Italy this May. What about you?
P.S. I’m a life and career coach. If you send me a note, I’ll send you back some encouragement. Another of my dreams is helping others achieve theirs.