“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Laozi 604 BC
The first step of any process is the hardest simply because we move from an idea to action. Many people have ideas but few have what it takes to turn the idea into reality. If turning an idea into reality was easy everyone would be billionaires with six pack abs with a perfect family, a dog, and a successful non-profit charity.
Les Brown understood this concept when he stated,
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
All too often we wait for that moment of inspiration to stir us into action. The reality is that we often have to move first and then motivation will follow. Once you take the first step towards your goal you are committing yourself to a plan to achieve something beyond what you are already capable. Growth happens through hard work and discipline. Armstrong’s first step on the moon was so much more than just a step. The first step for getting to the step was believing and dreaming a man could walk on the moon. Someone had to have a vision beyond what was previously thought possible. Someone had to have, as Jim Collins puts it, “A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)”.
The first step in running came thousands of years ago when man had to chase prey and escape being prey. We evolved unique and special gifts to make us the most efficient running mammals on the planet. The first step in turning running to exercise came when physiologists and doctors realized the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Due to its low cost and infinite accessibility running was an immediate hit.
Running has been a massively popular form of exercise for 30 years. There has been a boom in running road races, adventure races, triathlons, and ultra-distance races. The pendulum has now swung so far that we are inundated with information about running. We are at a loss when trying to answer questions such as: how long should I run, how fast I should run, what are intervals, Fartlek’s, and tempo runs, forefoot versus barefoot, ultra-cushioning shoes vs. minimalist shoes, and should I run after I am 60 years old. The first step in this scenario isn't easy and it is quite difficult to initiate.
Luckily there is a new wave of literature and medical services available to answer these questions and get people moving better. The field of biomechanics has molded with technology to allow running to be studied and analyzed with amazing detail. The first step in running evaluation was observation in high tech biomechanics labs at universities around the globe. The technology has advanced leaps and bounds and has become available to other disciplines such as physical therapists.
At Competitive EDGE we have brought this technology to the everyday runner. Our specialized research grade equipment allows us to observe all phases of the running gait enabling pinpoint diagnostics. We believe the first step towards running more effectively is to perform a proper running evaluation. Maybe it’s time for you to take the first step and call to discuss your running gait evaluation with Competitive EDGE.
Kevin Vandi, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Dr. Vandi is the founder of Competitive EDGE Physical Therapy — with his background in physical therapy, orthopedics, and biomechanics, he is a highly educated, compassionate specialist. Using state-of-the-art motion analysis technology and data-driven methodologies, Kevin has assisted a wide range of clients, from post-surgery patients to youth and professional athletes. When he isn’t busy working or reading research, he spends his time with his wife Chrissy and their five wonderful children, often enjoying the outdoors and staying committed to an active lifestyle.