By Diana M. Law, Partner, Law ElderLaw LLP

These past few months, I’ve worked toward something I never dreamed I might want to do.  Inspired by a fundraiser to benefit the Zellmer Childhood Disease Foundation, I laced up my running shoes and ran a 10k.  Before this event, I couldn’t even run around the block – never mind 6.2 miles!

My accountability partner and I agreed: even if we’re slow, even if we come in dead last, we want to say that we finished the race. As any lawyer knows, the first thing we needed to do was tackle our schedules.  We decided that between our clients, families, and life, the only time Inez and I could fit in training for our 10k was at the bleak, agonizing hour of 5 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

We had done our research and pulled together a Couch-Potato-to-5k program, and convinced our friend (who happens to be a running coach) to meet us and encourage us.  We met each morning of our training at a big, abandoned warehouse.  The perimeter of the building was .4 miles around—an eternally huge stretch when you’re not a runner.

Initially, we ran just two minutes at a time, then walked for two minutes.  After a week, we could stretch that to three minutes running, two walking, and so on.  When we got to the point where we could run the whole way around the building, we were out-of-our-minds excited!

After many more baby steps, the big day came!

This race was particularly special: it’s the Zellmer Foundation’s annual “Hero Run.”  The idea is that you can dress up like a superhero to entertain the kids, all while raising money to help a really great charity (www.zcdf.org).

When I asked my friends what they thought my super-power was, the answer I got was that I “sparkle” and “light up a room.”  That’s when I decided to dress head-to-toe in glitter for the run.  I even had a tiara and a wand that stayed in my hand the entire time!).vs1

In the end, all our hard work paid off.   I finished the race, and what’s more, I won Most Creative Costume!  We’re not marathoners, but to us, running a 10k was a huge accomplishment.  The strange thing is, I actually found that I now enjoy running.  I can take my shoes along on trips and find a place to run almost anywhere.

The lesson that was reinforced for me is the you must have a step-by-step plan to overcome the obstacles that confront you.  Life is a little like an endurance race—you have to strap on your shoes every day and keep moving forward, one step at a time.  Planning is only the preparation.  It is worthless if you don’t get out the door and run.

That’s why I’m lacing up my running shoes and taking the next step—and I hope you do, too.

All the best,

Diana M. law