In a world of snow plough parenting, college admissions scandals and the $2Bn dollar a year “participation trophy” industry – it’s easy for an Extremer like me to get down in the dumps about the lengths I see people go to make life “easy”.
It goes hand in hand with the culture we are living in of Insta perfect lives and flawless LinkedIn resumes. It’s no surprise then that more and more often I am finding people confiding in me that they are scared of setting big goals, or “putting themselves out there” for fear of failing against their own expectations.
But every now and then, a person comes along that totally goes against this trend. Someone that fires me up, showing me that having the courage to set epically big goals and working your ass off is not only an incredibly rewarding human endeavor, but a joyful one as well!
Emily Fayette is one of those people.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Emily when I was the CEO of Flywheel Sports. She was one of our most beloved cycling instructors – teaching multiple classes every day in New York city and on the streaming “on demand” platform.
Emily’s Instagram handle is @theHealthyHustle, and this girl MEANS IT! She has more dedication to her fitness classes and clients than you could imagine. And most importantly, she NEVER stops smiling, laughing and having fun – even when you’d think she should be ready to pass out with exhaustion!
Emily participated in our first ever Extreme You LIVE workshop at the start of this year. Through the process, our participants created and shared big goals with the group. Emily came out of the Extreme Closet and told us about her giant dream of qualifying to go the Olympics. At the age of 29!
Emily was never a professionally trained athlete. But when she accidentally finished the New York marathon in 2 hours and 57 minutes, she discovered untapped potential inside her ready to be unleashed. (To be clear – that is close to the time it takes me to do a half marathon!)
I had the chance to sit with Emily before she ran the Boston Marathon today (to qualify for the Olympic trials) and hear her inspiring story. Here are the three big lessons for anyone who wants to crush their epic goals!
1. Advise yourself like you’d advise your friend!
Isn’t it funny how EASY it is to encourage a friend who’s contemplating a big goal? We can so clearly see their ability to do it, and how awesome it would be if they did. Yet when it comes to ourselves, it’s often the internal voices in our heads, (what I now call “the itty bitty shitty committee”) that get in the way.
The day she completed the New York marathon in a time that significantly beat her own expectations, Emily put on her “coaching hat.” She asked herself, “what would I tell one of my own athletes if they had accomplished this goal without following a true training plan, and felt this great?”
The response was simple: Let’s see what we can do with this body!
She knew if she had the right training, she would be able to achieve really big goals. Such as reaching the Olympic qualifying time of 2:45!
2. Find a really big goal that you know will bring you JOY!
One of the things about running a marathon is that there are NO short cuts. This is not one of those situations where you can photoshop your face onto someone else’s body. You HAVE to be really committed to the long hours of painful training.
Something that I observe in many highly successful people – and Emily is no exception- is the joy that comes from really hard work. As Emily said to me, “I take really big risks, however they must be joyful risks – challenging my body and mind to achieve huge goals that would bring me the ultimate joy! Right now, running and training brings me this joy. Even during speed work when I feel like I am going to throw up, or hill training when I dread the next rep, I remind myself that these moments are going to make me stronger and allow my body to achieve the ultimate goal. All those successes along the way are fueling the fire to continue towards this EXTREME goal.”
3. Build an Extreme Team around you to help hold you accountable.
Time and time again I have seen the positive impact of sharing your big goals with others for accountability. It may be as simple as me telling my best childhood friend that I am trying to get Extreme You programs off the ground, so that every time I talk to her I feel like I need to have progress to report! Or it may be like Emily that you take big action and ask the right experts to help you along the way.
Emily hired one of the best running coaches in NYC (@CoachMedinaNYC) and as a result hasn’t missed a single workout over the past 5 months. When I asked her about the source of her tremendous internal drive, she quickly told me it was all the important people in her life. “I live my whole life using my energy and positivity to help others find and live their max joy – in return it brings me joy. I want to show others that if you can dream it – you can turn it into a reality.”
There is a lot to be said for sharing your big dreams with others. Even if you don’t ask them to keep you accountable, there will be a subconscious feeling that you can’t let them down!
As I prepare to track Emily on the Boston Marathon app today, I am thankful to her for a giant dose of inspiration! She has reminded me to welcome the uncomfortable moments with open arms, because they are just as important as the successful moments in life. Periods of intense hard work lead to a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that you simply can’t feel without going through them.
Dreaming big comes with a large amount of commitment. The things you want the most in life, you usually have to work the hardest for.
At the end of our interview, Emily said, “Imagine at the age of 29 – you discover that you can run a sub 3:00 marathon – then train hard to qualify for the Olympic Trials (something you NEVER thought you would do) and accomplish this goal – and maybe even surprise yourself that you can make the Olympic team.”
Taking a step back and reading this gave Emily the chills… and for me… it made me wonder if there wasn’t room in the world for a kiwi born Eddie the Eagle!
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