Six years ago I was in the best shape of my life. I was training for a marathon and was up to doing easy 18 mile runs on my long days. With a good 4 to 6 weeks left before the big day, I had no doubt that I would be able to run the entire course at a good pace on race day. It had been a goal of mine to do a full marathon since I had run a couple half marathons and done quite well. I had a training plan and was sticking to it. I had a running buddy I was going to run with and he was holding me accountable. There wasn’t any reason why I shouldn’t be able to reach my goal….until I got smacked with an injury.
I love to run outdoors and would do it even in the winter. I had studded my sneakers so I could run outside even when it was icy. But this was a particularly cold winter and running outside for long runs was not a good idea, so I had started doing my longer runs indoors on a track. I was finishing up an 18 miler and felt really good so thought I would take another lap around the track at a sprint. I’m guessing that was probably a mistake on my part and where I probably ended up injuring myself. I tore something and ended up needing surgery to repair the injury. The surgeon took my bursa out at the same time and my hip has never been the same. I did run another half marathon after the surgery just to prove to myself that I could do it (although the doctor did tell me no more running), but I never made the marathon. My asthma got progressively worse over the last few years and my running came to a complete halt.
Over the past couple years I have gotten progressively more out of shape. My significant other and I love to travel to warm places to get away from the cold weather here, and I must say it has been getting harder and harder to want to put on that bathing suit. We are going to Las Vegas next week for a family vacation with six of our nine kids so I decided it was time to get back on track with what my kids jokingly refer to as my “vacation exercise plan”. And they are right…lately I exercise religiously about a month before I go somewhere and then get off track again. This time I decided I need to start following a plan again and stick with it. Since my asthma has gotten bad I can’t run like I used to. Where I could easily do 18 miles before, now I can barely do a quarter mile at a time. But you have to start somewhere, so that’s what I was doing. I would walk a quarter mile, then run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile and run a quarter mile up to a total of 2 miles. After a couple weeks of that I am up to walking a quarter mile, then run a half mile, walk a quarter mile and run a half mile up to a total of 3 miles. I’ll keep going and adding to the distance that I can continuously run…I’ve got a plan.
And that’s where I’ve been going with this drawn out story…to the plan. I was thinking about real estate while I was running on the treadmill last night and watching “House Hunters” on HGTV. I hate the treadmill…it feels like I’m running and running and getting nowhere. I love to run outside and feel the freedom of a long stretch of trail where I feel free. But I need to build up some lung and muscle strength first before I venture out in the open. While I watched people searching for their dream homes on TV, I thought about how running on a treadmill is like renting. You are paying that monthly rental payment every month and gaining no kind of financial freedom out of it. My significant other and I were discussing this very thing yesterday in regard to people trying to be debt-free by the time they retire. He and I are putting plans in place to use the equity out of our homes (I’ve owned my home for 23 years) to purchase some rental property so we can start earning some additional income well prior to our retirement years. When we are ready to retire, we can either sell the rental properties and use the equity to purchase our retirement home free and clear or use the rental income to cover whatever remaining mortgage we may have. Whichever route we go, our plan is to not have monthly bills hanging over our heads that we will need to find the money to cover each month. If you are in a perpetual rental situation, you have not only lost the chance at any savings through equity you would have accumulated, you are still having to come up with a monthly payment each month to keep a roof over your head. You’re helping someone else to retire comfortably.
I know that for some, the journey to home ownership seems like an impossibility, just like I feel about ever running that elusive marathon when I can barely trudge out a half mile at a time. But, I have a plan and I am going to stick with it. Because I miss the freedom of running and the peace it brings me (and with 4 of my 5 kids still in the house I need some peace sometimes). I believe that everyone deserves the freedom of home ownership as well. Even if it seems like you’ll never reach that goal, if you have a plan in place, and you work that plan, you can achieve your dreams. I have a great network of people that are ready to help you make a plan and hold your hand while you work through it. If you’re ready to get off the rental treadmill and feel the freedom of owning your own home please get in touch. My greatest joy in life is helping people achieve their goal of owning their own little piece of the world. If you aren’t ready to speak in person yet, please just send and email to email@example.com or shoot me a text at 907.529.5275 and I’ll help in any way I can. Together we can be up and running.