JFDI – One foot in front of the other. And repeat.

Photo credit: Dominik Martin


I can’t remember who at work first told me to “JFDI“- but it hit home and I’ve loved it ever since, as a simple, clear motivator – when enough talking has happened, enough arguments been given, enough alternative viewpoints discussed.  Just get on and ****ing do it.

So I’ve been using this term of endearment to myself since the beginning of the year, and over the past couple of weeks here in Shanghai, it has really come into it’s own.

JFDI – running

About 10 years ago I signed me and my boyfriend up for the Nike 10K Run London. (He’s the hubby now, so he forgave me in the end)

I’m not really sure why I did – as I was the least inspired runner I had ever met.  But I did.  And I hated it. Mostly everything about it.  But certainly the need to train (which around the streets of Caledonian Rd – red light district, sandwiched nicely between Holloway & Pentonville Prisons – was less than inspiring.)

I puffed my way round the course, kept the RFID tag on the trainers – and promptly never ran again.

I had a million excuses.

I was a crap runner. Running just wasn’t for me. It’s bad for the joints. I did a lot of walking anyway. I didn’t need to run to prove anything to myself. Or anyone else. And so the conversations went – for the past decade or so.

Only now… I’m nearing 40.

And I feel the need to just move more.

I like the outdoors and I want to be able to find some quiet time to spend out there, with myself.  To clear my head at the end of a day. Or to start the day feeling energised (and a little bit proud).

I’m looking to challenge myself – to see what I can actually do. And to try new things.

And so, after making some vague comment to no one in particular that ‘I might think about running again one day’, I was given a timely wake up call from The Guardian (I do love a ‘how to’ guide) and am currently in week 3 of the training plan. And I’m loving it!

Rain or shine, freezing or really quite balmy for this time of year (the temperature has fluctuated from 3 – 21 degrees across the past few weeks) I have been making sure that I run three times a week with my aim being to be able to run (non-stop) for 30 minutes in the not too distant future.

And the thing that really got me going?  It was stupidly mentioning it to a friend at work (who is training for an Iron Man in Taiwan in about 2 weeks time – so a slightly different level of commitment) – who basically told me to JFDI.

What crap excuses could I really give to him about not being able to find 30 minutes, 3 times a week, to just go outside and put one foot in front of the other, again and again?

Whenever there is a slight waver in my commitment (which, I can proudly say has not been often), I just think of Sam and JFDI… and I go lace up my bright, shiny new trainers…

JFDI – writing

Another challenge set a while ago.  A  (stated) dream to write a book one day.  Well, it’s not going to write itself, is it?

And so, I have started to clear space and time in my days to JFDI.

I scribble most evenings. I have a running list of article ideas to write up.  I use previously dead ‘Facebook’ time, while the little people are swimming or playing football, to put pen to paper and write something – anything – and send it out there into the world.

Sitting. Writing. It makes me so happy.

Much like the running, writing helps to clear my mind. It both clarifies my thoughts and helps create more space for interesting nuggets to pop up and inspire me.

It allows me to process all that is happening to me, around me, within me – and put some shape to it.

And the best part?  By being brave, and JFDI’ing it, I’ve had positive responses.  Articles submitted have been accepted and published. People have read my words. And commented. A growing sense of belonging has emerged.

Seems that after all this time, I quite like a community.

JFDI – coaching

So I spent 3 days last week at the first session of my intermediate coach training course, here in  Shanghai – and it was emotional!

It was everything I had hoped it would be, and was nervous that it wouldn’t be – somehow wondering whether the fact that it was here in Shanghai would make it less valuable.

I met a great bunch of new people – all full of questions, all looking for answers, all desperate to learn.  I remembered how much fun it was to learn new things. To stretch yourself. To take yourself out of your comfort zone of knowledge and expertise.

I got given tasks, homework, that I had to do.  To challenge myself. To put into practice what I had been trying so hard to ‘learn’ all day.

I had to do a real coaching session as homework. I had to be brave, and take a ‘radical action’ to significantly move me forward on one of my personal challenges.

And as I approached these tasks, both of which I wanted to do so ‘perfectly‘, I could feel the fear setting in.  Was I really ready? Did I know enough to come anywhere close to ‘perfect’ on either of them?

Well, that inner voice of strength and wisdom was having none of it – and bellowed out a resounding JFDI!

I am a Coach (in training) and it’s about time I started actively practising what I preach.

Enough weighing up the options and considering things from all angles.  Enough trying to protect myself from failure.


And do you know what? It worked.

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