The First Step


I’m so happy to have Coco here today! She always has insightful thoughts about life and running that are often sprinkled with humor. Plus, as an empty nester, she helps me maintain my perspective on parenting and that life will return to normal one day! I had the honor of meeting Coco last year at Fitbloggin‘ and she’s a fellow Fitfluential Ambassador. Please welcome her warmly!


Hello, everyone! I’m Coco and I blog at Running With Perseverance. I am really honored to be writing this guest post for Christine. I hope you all enjoy my musings today.

The First Step

We’ve all heard the cliché: The first step is the hardest. It sure can feel that way when we are getting ready to chase after a big goal. We may ponder, plan, and procrastinate, wanting everything to fall into place, and waiting for that perfect moment to start. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to take that first step, but I don’t think it’s the hardest.

boy climbing tree

When we first set out after a goal, we are full of enthusiasm and optimism. The steps we are taking are new and exciting–even fun. The road ahead may be long, but we can see the progress we are making and that propels us forward.

But then the road gets bumpy. We take a detour. We lose sight of the path that leads to our goal. We slip. We fall.


I think the hardest step isn’t the first step. I think the hardest step is the step we need to take when we know the road won’t be smooth. I think the hardest step is the step we need to take when we know how hard it will be to take that step, and the next step, and the next step–just to get back to where we were when we lost our way. I think the hardest step is the step we need to take after we have gone so far off course that we don’t think we can get back on track.

But if we dig deep and take that step, and the next step, and the next step–if we keep trying to put one foot in front of another, even when each step forward seems to be followed by two steps back–we will eventually reach our goal.

mountain top

Have you set a goal that took determination and perseverance to achieve?

How do you stay motivated when things don’t go smoothly?


Coco is a wife, mother (empty-nester), attorney, and runner. She has been running since 2001, through the trials of injuries, raising teenagers, and managing a successful but stressful career. She authors the blog Running with Perseverance where she catalogs my thoughts, experiences, struggles, and triumphs as she tries to balance everything life throws my way with fitness and faith

Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


  1. says

    As always, thanks to Christine for introducing us to some wonderful women through these guest posts! Coco, thanks for your inspiring and motivating words. The rough & rocky patches are what make us stronger. As Robert Frost so eloquently penned it, ‘I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.’
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  2. says

    Great post! I think that, for me, sometimes the first step (in a new endeavor) is the hardest because I have a fear of the unknown. In other situations, it is just like you said, the 3rd or 10th steps are much harder!!

  3. says

    This is such a great post! It really resonates with me right now. I feel like I’ve fallen off my career path and need to take the next step to get back on track. I just have to figure out what that step is!

  4. says

    Great post!

    I think for most people it IS the first step that is the hardest. And if they make that first step and it doesn’t “click” for them, it’s hard to keep at it. Then they struggle getting re-started and thus the vicious cycle continues!
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  5. says

    Great post, as usual, Coco! My name is Dakota, so growing up most of my friends either called me Kota, or Coco. I don’t even know how they got Coco out of Dakota, but they managed! :)
    To answer your questions, the hardest goal that I have ever set (and accomplished), is biking cross country.
    Last October, my family (mom, dad, little brother) and I drove to Florida, sold our truck, and then started biking. We went from Jacksonville Beach, FL, to San Diego, CA.

    Bicycling coast to coast, and hauling all of our own gear, was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. My mom and I each had 60 pounds in separate trailers that we pulled (camping gear, food, clothes, etc.), and my dad and brother had a rack with almost 80 pounds on the back of their tandem. My mom and I each had separate road bikes and trailers.

    Somewhere is Alabama (after 500+ miles) my dad and I got in a little argument, and because of the stubborn streak we both had, I think we were both ready to finish the trip without the other. My mom became mediator, and we got through it. That was one of the hardest steps forward.

    The other tough patch was going up the mountains, mainly in AZ and California.
    The only way I got up Gates Pass, and Yuma Pass, and Telegraph Pass, and over the Jacumba Mountains, was determination. I would look just a little bit ahead, at a telephone pole, or mark in the road, and tell myself to get to there – and then I’d rest. I’d count to 30, and pick another point – just slightly ahead.

    It’s dangerous to listen to music on major roads, so I would only have one earphone in, but that was very motivating, as well. Just keep your mind off the pain, and realize that it would be really cold if you had to camp 3/4 of the way up, in the mountains….So that was also motivation – get up and down the other side, and to a town, and we’d spend the night at a hotel! :) An actual bed was always a great form of motivation! :)
    If you want to read more about the trip, our blog is !

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