Item number 5 on my Heroic List is to finish a marathon. But it's not one of those thing that you can just go out and do immediately, just because you want to. Well at least not for me, I have never been really good at long distance running. I would have to actually train for it.
But I felt that a half marathon would be a good way to gauge how much more work I really had to do. So back in May of this year, I decided to attempt my first half marathon.
I wasn't sure how I would do. Before that, I never ran more than 8 miles at a time. I was pretty sure that I would finish 13.1 miles…or would I? Maybe I would get a cramp and not be able to finish. That is the kind of stuff that was going through my head.
But luckily, I did finish (proof below) and it was a great experience. I didn't do that great, but I also did a lot better than I expected. My final time was about 2 hours and 12 minutes.
At the end, I did walk quite a bit, so if I was in good shape, I could have come in under 2 hours. Even though I did end up walking, I wasn't nearly as tired as I thought I would be.
All in all, it was a great experience and I after I finished the half marathon, I realized how many lessons from the run can be applied to trading. Here are my thoughts…
1. I can do a lot when I get out of my comfort zone
It is easy for people to settle into their comfort zone and that was the case for me. Even though I do have a goal of finishing a full marathon, it easy to get complacent and fall into the “some day” syndrome. Taking a small step like doing a half marathon was a great way to build my running confidence, get away from the computer and enjoy a beautiful day.
How can we step outside of our trading comfort zone and become the best traders we can be? I'm not talking about taking crazy risks, but forcing ourselves to get better and not settle for the results we have been getting in the past. Even if it is just a small step, getting a little uncomfortable can really get your momentum moving in the right direction.
2. Concentrate on consistency and do not compare yourself to others
There were some runners that got a really fast start and wanted to beat everyone right out of the gate. But later on, I passed many of them because they burned out too early.
I also saw other runners get sucked into the starting line excitement and try to keep up with these people who were fast at the start. Granted, a few of these quick starters were legit runners, but most of them were not.
How many times do we see this in trading? People want to get rich quick or they feel that they have to trade as well as so-and-so. They do not take the time to understand how to trade properly and that you have to be into it for the long haul. Remember to concentrate on trading well and not on beating others.
3. Surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to test your limits makes all the difference
I really have to credit this accomplishment to the encouragement of my girlfriend. She has completed several marathons and many half marathons and without her, I might have never done it. I am very grateful that she encouraged me to do it and that she was there to cheer me on at the finish.
How many people do you know that actually encourage you to become a trader? Not many I would assume. Many people think that it is like gambling or see it as a get rich quick scheme. As you and I know since others have done it before, there is no reason why we cannot do it too.
Figure out how to surround yourself with other people who have similar trading goals as you. Go to (or start) a meetup group, talk to people online or go to seminars. The people you surround yourself with, make all the difference in life and in trading.
If you are interested, I have quietly opened up my underground trading systems development community. It is called The Currency Alliance and it may just be what you are looking for to find other traders to support and encourage you.
Now that I have one half marathon under my belt, I'm looking forward to doing another one. Maybe two. Then, it is on to the big goal of finishing the full marathon. This experience has given me a lot of confidence that I can finish the full marathon. It won't be easy, but I can do it.
This experience has also reminded me that I need to get out and do things like this on a regular basis. Sitting in front of my computer for longs periods of time can take its toll. Running got me out of the house and got my mind off of trading for awhile…
…and as we know, we are usually at our best when we can come back refreshed and ready to go.
It's your turn. What are you going to do in the next three days that will push your limits and achieve something that you have thought was impossible or something that you have been hesitant about doing? If you need some encouragement, let us know about it and we are here to support you! Let us know in the comments below.