How I Give My Dreams Wings

Shannon Wilkinson at Mile 18 of the 2012 Portland Marathon

This post is part of Andrea Schroeder’s Give Your Dreams Wings blog hop. (Read all about it at the bottom of this post.) Special thanks to Andrea for including me, and inspiring this post!

A few years ago, I read a novel, I can’t remember the title or author’s name, just that the protagonist took up running. After reading it, a little question popped into my head, “I wonder if I could do that?”

The thing was, I’d been loudly and publicly claiming to be a non-runner for years decades. At the time, I was a few years in to a new-to-me active lifestyle, but running was still something I merely joked about.

I just couldn’t shake that little question.

It popped up over and over, when a non-running friend said she was signing up for a race, when my climbing buddies wore t-shirts from races they’d done, when I’d see people out running in the gorgeous Portland weather (Ha! In retrospect, that timing was probably critical.)

One day, I was at the gym, alone in the cardio room, walking on the treadmill. I looked around, feeling a little crazy, then turned up the speed until I had to start running. And I ran.

My knees didn’t break. My sports bra did a reasonable job. I didn’t die.

My running grew from there; at first slowly, and then more quickly (literally and figuratively) as I grew to love it. Each new stage always started with that question, “I wonder if I could…

…run to the park?

…run my favorite trail in the gorge?

…run a race?

And I did.

That first race, a half-marathon in April of 2011, was what really started me dreaming. The energy of the other runners, the spectators, running down the middle of city streets. I let my mind go crazy dreaming about the possibilities beyond this, “I wonder if I could run a marathon, if maybe I could even get into the Boston Marathon?”

I could. And I did.

On April 21st, three years and two weeks after that first race, I’m running the Boston Marathon.

From dream to reality

While there are lots of things I did to make this day happen, my process for bringing this and any other dream into reality is always the same. It’s these three basic steps:

1. Notice when I start asking, “I wonder…”

2. Decide to do it.

3. Take somewhere between one and a bazillion tiny actions to bring it into being.

Oh sure, you can divide those steps into more steps, but these three are the essentials.

The thing is, most people get caught up trying to figure out #3. Here’s a secret I’ve learned from a lifetime of being big dreamer me, and working with big dreaming clients, who need to be big doers: When you’re getting stuck over and over again, and just not moving forward with ease (which doesn’t always mean easy), and think it’s about the plan, take some time to back up and check in with #2, your commitment to the dream.

Is there a part that doesn’t fit any longer? Are you getting lost in glades of reluctance, something that brings up concerns?

When those things have been made conscious, and transformed, the doing becomes infinitely easier.  When you’re hooked in and committed to your dream, you’ll figure the rest out — any obstacles are temporary and can be navigated.

Sometimes your dreams need nurturing and flow, sometimes structure and plans, but they always, ALWAYS need your full commitment.

Want to get moving yourself? Join me for Change Artistry: Get Active, a four week long, group coaching program for people who want to get more active, and have fun while doing it. Yep, it’s different. No force. No guilt. No shame. Read more.

Photo: Me at mile 18 of the 2012 Portland Marathon. I hope to be channeling that joy in two weeks. 


The Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop is a peek inside the process of how inspiring people make the magic happen. We’ve got some of the internet’s most inspiring bloggers sharing how they give their dreams wings – what they do that supports, nurtures and encourages their tender dreams to come to life.

This is happening in celebration of the new e-course of the same name by Andrea Schroeder of the Creative Dream Incubator. The Give Your Dream Wings e-course shows you how to nurture and grow YOUR dream, for free, in only 10 minutes a day. You do not have to wait until you have more time or money!

Click here to find out about the free e-course, and to read the other (crazy inspiring!) posts in this Blog Hop.


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