Slow and Steady

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Lessons from the 53 runners commandments

A couple days ago Molly put up a great post with the 53 Runners Commandments, you can read it HERE. I am writing this a day early because Thursday is going to be a pretty packed day. I skipped my run this morning. I had a partner for a 6:15 am run, but he bailed at the last minute. I was in my running clothes, just needed to lace up. I dug deep for motivation to go, even pulling out one of my favorite Brave Heart movie quotes: "I didn't get all dressed up for nothing!"...then proceeded to crawl back into bed. Part of the reason was shear desire for my snuggly bed, the other part was a little PTSD left over from my post HERE. I could've taken the dog, but running in the dark in the wee hours of the morning alone still makes me feel uneasy. Self defense classes are helping with my confidence in this area, but I obviously have a long way to go. My saving grace for today's missed run was the fact that it was a Krav Maga night. To make up for today's missed run, I get to run with my same partner who overslept this morning on Thursday at 5:15AM. Yippy! Yeah, uh...what was I thinking? I am glad I am committed to it now, but man I am going to hate it when my alarm goes off.

Ok on with the main part of this post. I had never read the 53 commandments before Molly's blog post. I found the commandments below resonated with me on a variety of levels not related to running. As a former athlete and now as a leader, I can appreciate lessons learned that have cross over value.

2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
At home I some times don't feel like doing work, at work there are assignments I don't feel up to, but sometimes just starting, taking that first step is the hardest part. Once I am done, I look back and think, "Why did I put that project off, it was so easy and now I feel awesome for being done."
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
It is tough to follow through. It takes commitment, resolve and dedication. I do my best to follow through with family promises and obligations. I try to nail every deadline at work. When I tell myself I am going to do something for me, it is easily pushed to the side to accommodate other tasks. I need to remember that I am the most important person to myself . I cannot do for others if I am not doing for myself.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
When I was an undergraduate I was given this quote, "It doesn't matter what others think of me, only what I think of myself" took a while, but I got it. Taking that to the next level, what I think of me shouldn't be based on what I think of others. People are people. They have strengths and weaknesses like I do, they have their own variety of experiences. I cannot control those things, I can control me. My strengths. My weaknesses. My experiences. I am only as good as I push myself to be. I don't have to diminish myself because someone else is accomplished, nor do I need to diminish others to feel accomplished. 
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
I love the phrase, "Act like you've been there." If you are awesome, people are going to notice. Not that you shouldn't toot your own horn every now like on resumes and in interviews etc, that is fine. I can't stand that some people toot their own horn ALL.THE.TIME. They usually end up being not as cool as they say they are. I wonder what their motive is. If you are going to toot your own horn, think about why you are doing it. I have a mentor who told me once that my agency is a "meritocracy," show your merits consistently and you will rarely be overlooked. Throwing accomplishments in peoples face just shows a lack of maturity in my opinion, and a deep level of insecurity and one's need for validation. BLOGS are an exception, I reserve the right to tell you all the fancy reasons I kick A$$ whenever I want, you can choose not to read if it annoys you.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
Oh the struggles in life. Becoming independent. Stresses of marriage, kids, in-laws, jobs, taxes (LOL) just life. Life throws some crazy things at people and the ability to surmount those challenges represents that opportunity to "pass people." At work in particular, taking on a challenging assignment provides an opportunity to show why you are the best candidate for awards, promotions, accolades and other recognition of your strengths. I love that it is not really the ability to pass people, but the ability the conquer something that maybe is more challenging for someone else.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
It is no secret I have struggled with some decisions about promotions at work. I have a young family and have decided that opportunities that would result in a increased commute or pay cuts even though it's a position promotion outside of my locality pay, are not the "winning" choice for my family. Having graduated from a prestigious fellowship program comes with an unwritten expectation that I advance at work at an accelerated rate. A quick advancement=winning, but not for me. My family and I have made difficult decisions that have all been the right decisions for us. The thing about winning is it doesn't matter what other peoples projected standards are, as long as you feel for yourself that you are winning. If that means finishing, perfect, you win.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
This comes up alot. Without sounding too cocky, I am good and lots of things. My husband is good at everything and never apologizes for it. For a long time, this attitude was a sexy turn on. It then turned into annoyance at his cockiness, now I get that my husband is confident in his abilities and isn't afraid to be the best at everything he does. I on the other hand have struggled with this. I have played down my abilities so I wouldn't make others feel bad and I have not tried my hardest so that I didn't look like too much of an eager beaver. At a recent after work function, a high ranking employee was playing the Wii Michael Jackson Dance game. I joked with her by saying, "Wow, you don't do anything half a$$ do you?" because she was nailing all the moves on the hardest setting. Her response, "I was just doing my best." WOW, I mean really? Someone is her position obviously does her best at work, but to see her apply that work ethic to a Wii game? Yeah, I learned a lot that night. I just need to learn to strike a balance with being AWESOME and not looking like I am throwing it in anyone's face.
Why I Kick A$$: Because 6 weeks ago I struggled just to do 10 push ups and now I can fight my way through 25 at a time.
Thankful Three
  1. For morning running partners
  2. For week night dinner dates with friends
  3. For the opportunity to write letters of recommendation 


Chris K said...

Your comments on my Blog were hilarious. Thanks. But one of your comments clashes with #27 when you suggested, "I'm kinda a big time". So funny.

Jamoosh said...

You had me at "You have feet in your shoes."

Molly said...

wasn't that a great list? I got so much out of it. Love the Seussisms too.

Christi said...

I have to go look at that post now! Thanks for sharing.

AmandaB said...

Wow, I made your "Thankful Three!" :-) And I'm thankful for you!

Amanda@runninghood said...

I always am so excited to get to the end of your blogs (not because I don't enjoy them. I do) so that I can read why you kick ASS today! Love that about you...I know I say that all the time but seriously I love it. :) Makes me smile every. single. time! Love these...I always use those hills to pass peeps!