How to Quit Smoking and Run a Marathon

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“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Goethe
The year was 2003. I was living in California building High Achievers Network when I received an email from a fraternity brother. He challenged me, along with the other recipients of the email to fill out the lottery application for the New York City marathon, adding that the NYC marathon is the 2nd most difficult marathon to get into without qualifying. He went on to state that since the chances were so slim that any of us would “win” the lottery, if we did it was meant to be.
Well, I tend to believe that sort of thing so I thought what the heck- I sent in my application and pretty much forgot about it.Fast forward 3 months- High Achievers Network was hosting a Jack Canfield seminar. He was speaking on his book, The Power of Focus. This book contains a section on eliminating bad habits.
I decided to take on quitting smoking (at the time I was smoking roughly a pack and a half a day). My master plan: start on Sunday at 20 cigarettes per day gradually wean myself down to smoke free within a week. Wednesday of that week I received an email. “Congratulations, you’re in the New York City marathon!” I thought to myself- “Wow, it looks like I picked the right week to quit smoking.”
I had never considered myself much of a runner. I did a couple of 10Ks in my 20s but it had been years since I had run more than 3 miles in one stretch. My track record with smoking was much more consistent and dedicated- an average of a pack a day for the better part of 16 years.
Saturday was to be my last cigarette. I smoked it before 9am. By 9:01 I wanted another one. Instead I went to Sports Authority and bought a $160 pair of running shoes. I vowed to destroy the shoes if I ever smoked another cigarette.
Four months later I ran (and completed) the New York City marathon. And yes, I am still a non-smoker.
Without that unexpected email it is quite possible I would have caved in to my old bad habit. When you take on something big in your life be ready, be aware, and look for the “unseen forces” that come to your aid.
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About Author

Doug Grady

Doug Grady has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years. Exciting, entertaining and enlightening are words invariably used to describe his unique seminars and workshops. Doug is an entrepreneur, musician, and author of "The Ripple Effect" . He is President of High Achievers, and is owner or co-owner of three additional companies. His companies, writings, trainings, and music are designed with one purpose: to help people reach their God-given potential.

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