The motivation for the dogs goes right to their breed -- huskies and malamutes were bred for their strength, their stamina, their disposition, and mostly their desire to run. They are amazing athletes in their own right (for example, The average Alaskan husky running in the Iditarod burns about 11,000 calories a day. To put that in perspective, compare a 44-pound dog with a 175- to 180-pound human in an endurance event like the (Tour de France) bicycle race. On a body-weight basis, an Iditarod racer eats and burns about eight times as much as a Tour de France cyclist.), but when working with the right set of other dogs, they are a precision team. Lead dogs, swing dogs, team dogs. and wheel dogs need to work together, but are chosen to fit certain roles.
I don't know what the motivation for the human is, because the prize money pales to the cost of maintaining the team. But I'm willing to bet it is the same for many other athletes -- to push the boundaries of what they know or think they can do, and then go further; to say they are among the elite.
I often get a little mopey when I realize that because of my back, I'll never be able to participate in the kinds of races listed above -- but I have my own pack to run with: my #GoTheDist team. It doesn't matter if we're pursuing different modalities, the goal is the same: to cross the finish line each month, doing what we set out to do. When one of us succeeds and meets our goals, we all do. That's my motivation. That's what I carry with me when I'm in the gym busting my butt to beat my PRs, or even to just put in the time. It's all about remembering that nifty little point about self-efficacy -- when we see similarly-situated people (i.e. our peers) succeed, we know we can as well. (And we all know what it's like to fall short of a finish line and have our team love us all the same.)
How to Join:
1. Click on the SUMMARY PAGE (bookmarking it would be a good idea as you will be using it often).
2. Fill out the next available line on the "Summary" spreadsheet (do not use Columns F or G, J or K -- they will automatically calculate once link your sheet). I repeat.... START ON THE SUMMARY PAGE!
3. **CREATE YOUR INDIVIDUAL PAGE** (Look at the line you filled out on the SUMMARY PAGE -- find the corresponding number on the bottom of the screen. This is your individual page!).
4. Rename the tab "@[twitter name]" or if you don't have Twitter "[nickname]" (If you want to link your page back to summary spreadsheet, go for it. It's a huge help. Column F will look like this (minus the brackets): ='[your tab name]'!D43 Column J will look like this (minus the brackets): ='[your tab name]'!E43)
5. Fill out the sheet as you wish.
6. Update your own individual page as needed (if tracking is too hard, consider printing out your page and filling it out by hand and updating it online once a week). The total mileage will automatically be updated on the Summary tab as you report on your individual page.
7. Follow #GoTheDist on Twitter for support if you need it or to support others when they do, to announce achievements, and find new/old friends!
8. PLEASE DO NOT DELETE LINES OR TABS! Do not SORT. If you want to add columns, please add them to the RIGHT of the page. Please do NOT move your page around! You CAN bookmark your individual page using your browser to find it easily.
I'm also quite happy to see how #GoTheDist and #MeFirst can work hand-in-hand. Consider taking the #MeFirst pledge! Also, check out the #MeFirst Blog!
So grab your #GoTheDist buttons, use the hash tags for each month, and get out there! We're all behind you!
At the end of the month consider answering these questions:
- How do you think you did over the course of the month?
- Did you overestimate or underestimate your capabilities? Why is this? Is this representative of a larger trend in your life?
- Did you learn anything about yourself while doing this?
- Can you apply what you've learned in ##GoTheDist somewhere else in your life?
- Did you make any new friends through #GoTheDist -- were you able to support each other?
- What was the hardest part of the challenge? (physical? mental/psychological?)
- What do you think you did really well this month? (doesn't have to be about #GoTheDist)
- What do you think you could improve on? (again, doesn't have to be about #GoTheDist)
- No matter the numbers you already entered, are you going to finish strong, or taper off?
- Did you go the distance? And no, I don't mean did you hit 100% of your goal... did you put yourself out there and really try for it? Is 80% still something you can be proud of?