Sunday, December 9, 2018

Process and Persistence - Pt. 2

I run. I run for my fitness/health - both physical AND mental. I run to compete - with the field of runners that I'm with during a road race AND with myself every time that I lace up my running shoes.

I've always considered myself a goal oriented person. Dating back to high school, I've written down my goals, and checked them off as I've accomplished them.

In regards to running, I used to set goals with variables of time and distance. My thinking was that I would either be able to reduce my time OR increase my distance. No, my thinking was that I would have to either reduce my time OR increase my distance. However, I was forgetting a key variable. My age. As I’m getting older (this is not a pity party for me, I'm still far from old), I’m finding it harder and harder to reduce my times. My goals shift to maintaining. My goals shift to just keep running.

Maya Angelou wisely said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

I used to think being goal oriented was of the utmost importance. I know think that being process oriented is far more valuable.
I’ve had previous conversations with my friend and mentor, Adam Welcome, about the idea of writing a book. This, writing a book, is a life goal of mine. Adam’s advice is always the same: before you even start to think about writing a book, you just need to write, write, write, and write some more. This makes sense; this is being process oriented.

End goals can be paralyzing. They can be overwhelming, they can prevent you from getting started, and they can cause you to quit prematurely. And this is why the process is paramount. Don’t get caught up in the end results. Instead, enjoy each moment; be thankful for the opportunity.

When you’re committed to (this is persistence) and in love with the process, the results take care of themselves.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Process and Persistence - Pt. 1

During the final moments prior to a recent road race I was preparing to run, someone made the comment that, “Some people are natural runners.”

I’m not one of those people. Running has never came naturally to me. There was a big chunk of my life where strongly disliked the activity. If you’re interested in this story, I previously wrote about how I came to enjoy running (The Bix and a Real World Growth Mindset, linked).

The comment did, however, make me think. Although I don’t consider myself to be a natural runner, I don’t have that advantage, I do consider myself to be more persistent than most.

I’m no ultra runner, but I pride myself on being able to run longer distances than most people are comfortable running. It’s one of the things that I love about running; knowing that I’ve pushed myself, out of my comfort zone, to the point where I now enjoy doing something that I once thought torturous. This didn’t just happen, naturally, either. It’s become easier, it’s become routine as a result of a process. A process and persistence have allowed me to prove to myself, time and time again, that I can do more.

Friday, October 26, 2018

#DadsAsPrincipals - After-School

I’m not saying it’s the way, but it’s my way.

Since the start of Tiny Tot (insert name of sport, here), I’ve always volunteered to help coach my children’s athletic activities. (See the blog post that I wrote, previously, #DadsAsPrincipals - #DadsAsCoaches) I’ll continue to do it as long as he keeps asking me.

So this fall, my son, who just turned eight, has been busy. As a result, we’ve been busy. During one particular week, we had a football game, two football practices, a baseball game, and a basketball practice. That makes for a busy week. Throw in the 40++ hour work weeks that my wife and I both work, plus our daughter’s dance and gymnastics classes, and it makes for a crazy week.

My wife isn’t always thrilled about our schedule of events, Monday through Friday. And I can’t say that I blame her. After a long day at work, sometimes you just want to get home and be home.

Nonetheless, I love it. I love having something that forces me to leave work at a decent hour. I love having something to do, something (practice or a game) to fully engage-in after work that allows my mind to completely detach from the day-to-day stresses of the job. It allows me to focus on the present; it allows me to Be There.

I love sports, and coaching is why I, initially, got into education. Sports are a great opportunity to teach character education; building character through sports is quite possibly my favorite thing about them. Plus, I love working with kids. I love helping kids.

Being able to watch kids learn and grow in areas that they are willing to commit and enjoy is a pretty neat thing to witness. It’s even neater knowing that you possibly played a role in contributing to that development. And it’s a bond with my son. That’s my favorite part.

There is no blueprint for balance. It’s personal. What can you handle? What can you live with? No...it’s more than that; much more. What makes you happy? Do that. Even if/when it’s unconventional, because like my daughter says...

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