Life is a marathon, not a sprint!

26.2 Miles!!

The above picture is me crossing a finish line that marked the completion of my first marathon on January 30th, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  It was an amazing experience–one that had meaning in several areas of my life.  It was a journey that started long before the gun went off at 6am that morning and the completion of this marathon started with a goal… a goal that was set years before I ever began running.

Interesting fact: About 2 1/2 years ago, I hated running.  I steal my wife’s quote regarding running and say “I only run when I’m being chased”.  However, what started with a goal of getting in shape and shedding a few extra pounds turned into a new kind of challenge with tremendous self-discipline and constantly “raising the bar”.  This “lifestyle” change has transformed my character and who I am in so many ways.  Who would have thought?

The first time I worked with a personal trainer he beat me to death for 60 minutes lifting weights, doing lunges and all that other stuff that makes you hurt for days.  He also lectured me on my diet and told me of all the changes I needed to make “if” I was going to be successful in my journey.  Then after 60 minutes of torture he told me he wanted me to get on the treadmill (a.k.a “dreadmill”) and run for 10 minutes without stopping.  This was my assignment to satisfy my cardio workout for the day.  It was awful and I thought I was going to die.  I made it through the 10 minutes though and I actually felt great afterward… weird.  How did I do it?  Well, at that time I said to myself, “If I am going to lose 15-20lbs and get in shape, cardio is going to be part of that.  I can do anything for 10 minutes, right?”.  So I set a little mini-challenge for myself.  Ultimately I went from saying, “Ok Aaron, one more mile or you’ve got this–come on, 10 more minutes” to saying, “I’m going to run my first 10k, then half-marathon, then full marathon.  How in the world am I going to do this?

Fast forward 2 years.  I went from not being able to run more than 10 minutes/or one mile to dreading the thought of taking a day off from running.  I LOVE IT.  Why?  Is it because it keeps me in shape?  Is it because I am training for another event?  Is it because I am trying to beat my last time?  Is it because I know that when I am running I will have 45 min – 60 min of time to myself where I can clear my head and think?  Is it because it is a good way to channel stress?  Is it because I want to motivate other people to run?  Is it because I want to inspire people to do things they didn’t think were possible?  Is it because I NEVER give up?  The answer is—-all of the above, and more!

This entry sort of sounds like it should be on a “personal” blog as opposed to a “business” blog, right?  Well, the answer to that is… it could really belong on BOTH.  You see, I have a competitive personality and an inner drive and determination that makes me believe that anything is possible.  In addition, I have a motivational inferno burning inside me and a goal in life to inspire every person I come in contact with.  I want to lead by example and inspire others to take action.  How does that translate to financial services?  I am extremely diligent, highly competitive, a very hard worker who is caring and compassionate for all of my clients.  I am constantly trying to do things that others think are not possible.  You want to see if I can do something?  Tell me it can’t be done–then watch me prove you wrong.  Tell me that it is not possible to have safety, opportunity for growth and a guaranteed lifetime income on all of your dollars at the same time and I will politely show you that it CAN be done!!  I lead by example!

I guess that is just a few more random thoughts as I begin to learn this new blog concept.  I will enjoy this, I think.  And, WE will be back again soon with more information about us, what we do and how we can work for you!!

Lastly, I read this on the wall of the locker room at LifeTime fitness last week one early morning.  I didn’t want to forget it so I took a picture of it with my cell phone and re-typed it here.  I would love to give credit to the original author but it wasn’t listed.  Just know that it isn’t my original work, but it sure is awesome!!  “I am not a born athlete. I am a believer.  I will not listen to the voices in my head.  I will continue to run.  Far and fast.  I live to feel my heart in my chest.  The rush of blood.  The pounding of pavement.  I will not give up.  I will taste the salt of my own victory.  I will win my own race”

Don’t you think that message applies to several areas of life??  Not just fitness.  I agree.

Have a great day,

Aaron

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About Aaron J. Clark

I am a husband, dad, Kansas State Wildcat and most recently... marathoner!! I have been in the financial services industry since 2001. Being a private pension architect/retirement planning specialist, my passion is assisting individuals in optimizing their assets. If you knew that you could have safety, opportunity for growth and an income you could never outlive, wouldn't you want to know how?? That's exactly what my clients have and I invite you to learn this strategy!! View all posts by Aaron J. Clark

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