Better Every Year

“When we strive to become better, everything around us becomes better too.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Just some ramblings on self improvement here…

Last week, I went back to a conditioning workout I love so much. Stair runs. This is my third year incorporating this set of stairs and while I love them, I really only incorporate them in the cooler months because I’d rather condition outside during the months of nicer weather.

Last year, I consistently challenged myself to five rounds of this 25 story climb. I would race against my stop watch in an effort to match or beat the previous time. This year, I was excited to hit the stairs again, but while I was running up my third round ¬†(with the intentions of completing five) it occurred to me that five was my accomplishment last year. I couldn’t do what I did last year, I had to bump up the challenge, I had to improve.

As I completed round three and began round four, I committed to six rounds in my head. By round five, I started to negotiate with myself because I was tired.. it was harder and more uncomfortable. Once I got the idea in my head however, I couldn’t stop short. Six was the only option and six it was.

This had me thinking about the phrase “Better Every Year” – How else am I better this year than I was last year? Perhaps I could have completed six rounds last year, but I didn’t try or push myself to that effort – that in itself was even better. I love these moments where I take an inventory of my relationships, my health, my mind and spirit, my work… Do I eat consistently better than last year? Do I train smarter than last year? Do I evolve with my work or competition? Do I treat others better than last year?¬†Hopefully with each year of collective experience, we become better. Isn’t that what our journey is about? Hopefully, we use the challenges we face both physically and emotionally as opportunities for lessons, awareness and growth, ultimately polishing ourselves.

9 Comments on "Better Every Year"

  1. Lisa says:

    I love it My Alli girl… I use the same ‘negotiations’ with myself..once I set a ‘goal’ for improvement, there is no going back! (unless bodily harm or injury is involved!) It’s funny those little mind games we play…I want that smile from the inside out when I finish…I love that “PROUD of MYSELF” Feeling. Nothing better! Marathon date of Oct 28th and I’m so excited. I never even imagined 6 years ago of running a marathon! Are you kidding..I was trying to negotiate with myself how i was ever going to let go holding on to the Treadmill for dear life at a speed of 3.2! Yes..we always are striving to do better, get’s the old competition of just “ME against ME”…keeps that smile on my face!~ Congrats on those 6 rounds of stairs my GIRL~ xoxoLisa :) ohhh not bad for 55 years old..hahaha!

    • allimckee says:

      Hi Lisa!

      Less than two weeks until the big 26.2 – I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best experience. Enjoy smiling from the inside out as you begin, complete each mile and ultimately cross the finish line. I’m so pleased for you :)

  2. Broadus says:

    Real talk lady. I especially like your emphasis on self-improvement as a holistic endeavour; seeking to improve physically, mentally, and spiritually is what yields the best, longest lasting results.
    Looking forward to the next posting,


  3. Shane Organ says:

    I couldn’t have said this better myself. Constantly pushing yourself to do better than last time is how you get results. Never be satisfied with what you did, but instead show what you will do! I’m going to use this inspiration when I hit the gym later. Thanks for the post!

  4. Caelan says:

    Paulo Coelho’s words are always so ethereal and inspiring. Thus, your fitness outlook becomes inspiring as well. Keep it up! Hope we all strive to be better :)

  5. LOVE WHAT YOU WRITE! I watched a video of GGS this morning before my workout (Ladies Lifting Meet Up-you push out single arm push-ups~INSANE!!!)…and although its not a lot of reps…it pushed me to rep out 5 CHIN-UPS no band! HUGE accomplishment! Thanks Ali for pushing me!

    • allimckee says:

      Thank You for this post! By the way, 5 Chin Ups unassisted is AWESOME! Even MORE awesome because it is a huge accomplishment for you! Thank you for sharing that with me :) It’s these notes that really fill my tank!

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