At CogniTea, some of our favorite expressions are “mind over matter” and “what the mind conceives, the body can achieve.” So for our first Community Story, we wanted to highlight Darrell McTague, an exemplar of the truth and faculty of these declarations. Darrell is a perfect embodiment of the power of the mind, and someone who serves as an inspiration to everyone he meets.
To Paint the Picture:
Darrell worked extremely hard to go from 300 lbs. to a lean, mean running machine in 14 months. He is now planning to run 33 races in 2014, including the Spartan Beast and eight half-marathons.
This is His Story:
Darrel wasn't always fit. In fact, it wasn't that long ago that he had a very different lifestyle and outlook. Darrel explains: “I was a big guy. I had always BEEN a big guy, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I was always going to BE a big guy.”
Darrell held this mindset throughout his life until one day he had enough -- and turning to his fiancée, together they made a pact to change their lives. In the ensuing discussion, they set their minds to a future vision of themselves: a life of fitness, healthy living, and most importantly, accomplishing their goals. They started P90X and agreed to do it together.
Darrell’s Journey had Begun:
“Every day for the first week of P90X, our first workout program, I remember high-fiving my fiancée. It was another day we made it...we stuck with it...we succeeded. We knew we could do it, and we were GONNA. It's that "I Can. I Will" attitude. After the final day of the first week I looked at her and said something like, 'if we can get through the first week, we can get through all of it.' It was an affirmation for both of us. We knew we could do it.”
Darrell’s reflection captures the importance of a few key lessons that apply to anyone working towards any goal, not just fitness goals.
1) Take Action
The first step is the most important. Had they not started and committed to doing the first day of P90x they would never have completed their first week, and never would be where they are today.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao-Tzu
2) Celebrate Small Victories
It is important to pause and understand that, although you have not achieved your ultimate goal yet, you are well on your way and that the actions you are taking are moving you forward. Celebrate progress and the daily victories each day.
3) Positive Mental Conditioning
BE POSITIVE. You are your thoughts. Affirm (and re-affirm) that you will achieve what you want to achieve and you are half way there. I CAN. I WILL. is an affirmation that will keep you on track.
4) Have a Support Structure in Place
For Darrell, it was his fiancée. As a team, they achieved their goals by pushing and supporting each other. Working towards any goal is hard and you need people that stand behind you that will not let you fail.
Darrell writes, “My advice to others looking to create their own support system is to find someone who will understand. Someone who is working towards the same goal, or someone who has already achieved it. You need a cheerleader or someone in the trenches with you.
So What Happened After P90x?
After the first week of P90x Darrell and his fiancé were hooked – they DID IT! After they completed the entire P90x program they chose to pick it up a notch and try INSANITY. INSANITY is P90x multiplied by a difficulty of 10. After INSANITY, Darrell went for his first run – a run that forever changed his life and set him on a new path.
A few quick facts about the ensuing journey:
- Darrell’s first run ever was 3.24 miles
- 11 months later, Darrell ran a sub 2 hour ½ marathon – read about it here
- In 2014, he is running over 33 races, including 8 ½ marathons
- He has also now been signed and sponsored by a leading nutrition company!
- In 14 months Darrell dropped from over 300 to 175 lbs.
The Golden Nugget:
Darrell: “My biggest lesson learned is that I'm not ONLY human, but I AM human, and that is my strongest asset.”
He discovered first hand what the human mind and body are capable of when they work together. He found that when you put a clear vision in your mind and take the appropriate steps to get there, you can achieve anything you want.
What is Darrell up to Now?
Darrell is now on a mission to help spread the word about what the body and mind can achieve when they work in harmony. He shares his journey on his website soTHISisfitness.com, twitter, and facebook page. There is a race calendar on his website if you want to say hello at one of his next races!
Daily Achievement -- Your Action Step:
It is important to take steps towards your goals everyday. The purpose of the Action Step below is for you to take a moment and reflect on what you have achieved so far. This will help you appreciate how far you have already come and show you that you are well on your way towards accomplishing your goal:
- Take a minute and list out all of the actions you have taken towards your goal so far.
- Now look at that list. Isn't it incredible how much you have accomplished already?
- You will reach to your goal, step by step. Remember to reflect along the way and appreciate the small wins.
What are You Working Towards Relentlessly? Share Your Goals!