natasha’s goal story

running a half marathon

Above: Natasha achieving one of her goals to run her first half marathon. Read her inspiring story below.

My journey of goal discovery started on May 20th, 2008 – my first day at lululemon.

My first day in the Store Support Centre (SSC) was a surreal experience. I was overwhelmed by the number of faces and names – but what still stands out in my mind today, as clear as my first day here, was the culture. I remember my first trek up the stairs to the third floor, surrounded by everyone’s goals, dreams and aspirations. The concept of setting goals was totally foreign to me. I understood having goals and dreams, but I didn’t get how important it was to set goals, put them on paper, and to share with your family and friends.

The first goal that I set was to learn how to run, and to train for my first half marathon. When I say learn how to run, I literally mean that; I couldn’t even run one city block without losing my breath.

This was a huge BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) for myself and Shari, my payroll teammate, deskmate, half marathon training partner in crime, and most important – friend forever. We apprehensively signed up for half marathon training after much convincing by our fellow SSC’ers. We showed up for our first run not knowing what to expect.

At 8am on a sunny Saturday morning in July I showed up at the seawall, ready to run and to start working towards the first goal I had ever set. About 15 minutes into the run I was in so much pain that I started crying and decided to turn back, I convinced Shari to go on without me. I was totally discouraged, and in that moment I decided that I was going to quit and wasn’t going to bother continuing on. But wait - I had set this goal, and had told everyone I was going to do it.

After the run I received some great goal coaching and encouragement from my fellow SSC’ers (you know who you are!). I decided to go to the next scheduled training run.

There were many runs like my first, but the most important thing was that I kept coming back, and kept working towards this goal that I had so fearlessly set.

After a little over three months of training I was set to run my first half marathon. Although I was sick with a sinus infection I ran and completed 15 minutes under my goal time. I still remember the rush of crossing the finish line. I was bawling my eyes out, partly because of the pain, but mostly because of the emotional rush of seeing something that seemed so impossible through and finishing. It was that very moment I realized how important it is to set goals, dream big and to see them through. I continue to run and set even bigger BHAGs, but nothing will keep me going like that first goal that I ever set.

I am now working in Community Relations – another one of my goals. What’s next? My BHAG is a half ironman. I want to do this by the end of Summer 2010. I still need to learn how to swim… But at least I have the running figured out!

Want to write your own goals? Here is a little help to get you started!

read more related posts:


Reading this made my eyes water. Congratulations Nastahsa!!!!!!!

Comment by Julie — September 24, 2009 @ 11:43 am

Just makes me so happy to see you happy, setting and achieving your goals!!!!

Comment by Shere Lowe — September 24, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

This gave me goosebumps – I have my first half-marathon run clinic training run this Sunday! I’m terrified! Thank you so much for sharing this Natasha, you’re amazing! Congrats on achieving your goal :)

Comment by Desirae Odjick — September 24, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

Oh wow Natasha! Your story is so inspiring for me because i had a foot injury that spread to my leg 5 years ago. Last year (3 years later), i was unable to walk 5k! But with massages, chiropractor and a lot of walking-stopping-walking, i am now okay :)
I started running 2 weeks ago, a block at a time (you know what i mean), and i ran my first 22 minutes without walking last week! My ultimate goal is precisely the 21k, so thank you so much for sharing the fact that you achieved it, it means sooo much for me to see that someone like me at the beginning of the training finally got to her goal!


Comment by Audrey — September 24, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

Hi Natasha!

Congrats on learning to run. I can assure you that you will be able to do your summer 2010 half marathon. Last fall I signed up for my first 5k. I had done several 5k’s in the past although this one was different. I ran this one. I ran another 5k on Thanksgiving. I didn’t really want to run this one. I was in Santa Fe. I was cold and raining. I did it to make my dad proud. Then my dad passed away in January. I really started running for him. I made him proud when he was alive. He couldn’t believe I could run that far! If he could only see me now :) I formed a running group with my girlfriends. I named the group after him. To date I have run 2 half marathons and am currently training for another half marathon on November. Anything is possible Natasha. I’m not fast although I can stil run. It gives me chills to know that I can do it. Keep up the good work!

Comment by Jessica — September 24, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

Natasha, this was such a beautiful story and I totally identified. Thank you so for sharing and BIG HIGH FIVE on your half marathon!! GO GET THAT IRONMAN!

Comment by Elim — September 24, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

That was truly inspirational! I have participated in a 10 mile run but really want to complete a half marathon. It’s not that much further right? It’s stories like yours that will help me accomplish my goal and cross the finish line! Thanks.

Comment by Deborah — September 25, 2009 @ 5:29 am

i just started jogging around the park in my neighborhood, i am no good at it. i loose my breath and feel achy afterward. i have two young kids and must keep moving towards my goals. first, to loose weight second, stay active. does anyone know of a running group in evanston or skokie, IL for newbies?
great story natasha!! you are an inspiration to many.

Comment by jill silverman — September 25, 2009 @ 9:04 am

WAY TO GO!!! I can run about a 5 km. I have never gone in any races. I am in swimming lessons right now because I want to do a small triathalon next summer. It was wonderfull to read your story. It brought tears to my eyes and an encouragement that if you can do it I can too!!! Hang in there. I want to see you complete that goal as well. I am just trying to figure out how I am going to swim 750 Meters. GOOD LUCK!!!

Comment by Chloe — September 25, 2009 @ 9:08 am

Awesome job! You’ll be suiting up for the ironman in no time! Thanks for sharing & inspiring us to keep going towards our goals.

Comment by Janice — September 25, 2009 @ 10:19 am

Hi Jill! You might want to check out the Evanston Running Club. They have all levels of runners, so you’ll definitely connect with others there. Let me check with a tri coach friend of ours here in Evanston to see what he recommends. I’ll send you a FB message when I hear back from him!

Comment by Billie — September 25, 2009 @ 11:46 am

WOW everyone, I am so blown away by everyone’s posts about this. You have really re-inspired me. Stay tuned for more thrill and goal seeking adventures in the future. Keep your goals and dreams alive, you literally can do anything!!!

Comment by Natasha — September 25, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

i’ll teach you how to swim sis : )

Comment by Victoria — September 25, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

Hey Natasha:

Kudos girly for meeting your BHAG! In my initial goal-setting session with my local lululemon manager, I too set a goal to get back into running…My ultimate goal is to complete the Ironman in Kana by 2015…so to do that I will be running my first marathon (NYC marathon!!) this November. I wish you the best of luck in setting your future goals and progressively shattering them as you reach for the stars. I am a former swimmer and would love to provide you instruction on this area for you triathalon…Unfortunately I am not in Canada, but I’m still here supporting you all the way!!!

Comment by Joanna — September 26, 2009 @ 5:09 am

natasha! i am so proud.

how is the new community role going? i know you are doing amazing things!

if you need a swim coach, just let me know! you can come for another visit to kingston and i’ll show you the ropes. half-ironman? no problem!

xoxox tiffany

Comment by tiffany a. — September 27, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

Way to go!!!!!

Comment by Louise — November 15, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment