The Tribes

Winter here has been weird.

In a week and a half, the temps have varied from 65 to 8.

Running has been a challenge.

Some days are cold, some are warm.

My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.

Luckily I am part of a Tribe.

The Running Tribe.

The Running Tribe spends time together.

The Running Tribe encourages each other.

The Running Tribe is a little weird.

The Running Tribe laughs together, especially while waiting around for the start of strange races that get us outside despite the weather.

Life can be weird.

In a week and a half, I can go from confident to insecure, happy to sad, encouraged to frustrated.

Leading can be a challenge.

Parenting can be a challenge.

Partnering can be a challenge.

Friendships can be a challenge.

Some days are cold, some are warm.

My body and my attitude has needed to adjust.

We need more Tribes.

Tribes for each challenge.

A Leadership Tribe.

A Parenting Tribe.

A Partnering Tribe.

A Friendship Tribe.

Find the Tribes.

Create the Tribes.

Join the Tribes.

Join My Tribes.

Let’s try doing these things together.

 

Recalibrating the GPS

It started as a simple conversation about running, pace, and times. We both opened up the app on our phones and talked about some of the struggles, successes, and challenges ahead while scrolling through the history.

Then it came out.

“I must need to recalibrate the GPS, I am not that fast.”

As I heard those words, I couldn’t help myself.

“Really? You have been training hard, staying on schedule, and when you make progress, why does your first thought assume something is wrong with the GPS? Why do you discount your achievements?”

Pause.

Another Pause.

“Well historically…”

“In the past…”

“I used to not…”

All of next few statements were not about the present reality, or celebrating the accomplishment. All were focused on the past.

Past limits. Past thoughts. Past obstacles.

I listened for a few minutes.

“Sounds like is not your GPS that needs recalibrating.”

When do you discount your achievements? When does your past invade the present to take away the things you accomplish? When does your first thought assume that it must be the equipment or a false reading because it cannot be you that reached the goal?

Maybe we could all use a recalibration.

Hard is Okay

“This is hard. I am not sure if I want to keep doing this.”

“This is hard, much more than I originally thought.”

“I was hoping it would get easier, but this is still hard.”

“Wow, making this change is hard.”

“Training for this [insert life event here] is hard.”

“Trying again is hard. What if I don’t [succeed, get into that school, get that job, get better, maintain that relationship, find the right career, learn to overcome this thing/fear/obstacle, bring value, find my path, finish well, make a difference]”insert any or all of these…

Multiple conversations. Similar statements.

Some statements are from customers or “coachees.” (Those being coached, is that even a word?)

Some statements are from my running partners.

Some statements are from friends.

Some statements are from my daughters who are either trying something for the first time, or pushing through with their life pursuits.

Some statements are my own.

What is an appropriate reply to all these words?

Stop trying? No.

Give up? No.

Easy is a better path? No.

Hard is okay.

It doesn’t mean that Hard is fun.

It doesn’t mean that we always enjoy Hard.

It doesn’t mean that Hard will be easy.

But maybe we can accept Hard for what it is.

Hard is okay.

 

 

What are you training for?

“What are you training for?”

A few years ago a friend posed this question when we decided to go out for a run together.

I wasn’t sure how to reply. I was just running. No plan, just running.

“Nothing really, I am just running.”

Their question stayed with me after that day. I couldn’t seem to shake it.

Later that day we talked about goal setting, and how important creating a set of goals can be to focus our lives, our activities, and our energy.

In the past year I set a goal to run a “longer than my normal” race.

A goal that would require discipline, time, and a plan.

A goal that would require activity despite the weather, feelings, or attitude.

A goal that would require moving past obstacles and fear.

That day is almost here, and the race will end. So will the training. My mind and body are looking forward to a little rest.

But, part of me doesn’t quite know what to do when the goal is complete. There is a strange sense of loss when you return to a normal routine after you have been pursuing hard after a goal. The training that once felt like a burden, is now savored because the end is near.

Maybe I just need to keep asking my friend’s question, but not limit it to running.

“What are you training for?”

Having an answer to that question for additional aspects of life may be just what we need.

 

But We Ran

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Running this winter has been hard. Layer upon layer. Attempts to cover every inch of exposed surfaces. Runs when temperatures dropped from single digits to zero and below before we ended.

But we ran.

The combination of record cold and record snow has combined to create what we are affectionately calling “winter fatigue.”

But we ran.

This has not been our fastest year. Many of our times have slowed. We became sick, tired, frustrated, injured, and cold.

But we ran.

We ran on days when it was dark. We ran on days when the wind almost stopped all forward progress.

But we ran.

Despite spring arriving on the calendar, we have had near record cold again. Winter seems to want to keep us in a state of hibernation. Days that should be in the 40s and 50s have been in the 30s.

But we ran.

What is coming our way next?

More weather, more illness, more injury, more road blocks, more [insert term here] issues?

I am not sure. There is only one thing I know for sure.

We will run.

 

No Bad Runs

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Running can be hard.

Some runs feel amazing.

Everything clicks, your body responds, and you just go.

Other runs don’t feel so great.

Your legs feel like cement, that weird [knee, foot, ankle, back, thigh, or toe] pain is back, and you struggle.

Sometimes you feel young beyond your years.

Other times you wonder if you are getting too old to run.

Sometimes you get a personal best.

Other times you are afraid to look at the time.

We can be tempted to label these “other” runs.

“Today was a bad run.”

“I can’t believe what a bad run I had today.”

“I have had a bad run three times this week.”

Who said every run would be easy?

Who said we wouldn’t struggle, doubt, or wrestle?

Each run means that you actually went out and ran.

Each run is another run under your belt.

Each run becomes part of your history, your experience, your life.

Each run doesn’t limit the next one.

Some runs feel amazing.

Other runs don’t feel so great.

There are no bad runs.

 

Decisions versus Feelings

Whether running or life in general, I have noticed a pattern. Feelings can interfere with our decisions

Feelings can disrupt us.

Feelings often provide the much desired excuse to stop moving forward.

Recently I have just been observing how often I hear myself or others verbalizing how feelings have the veto power over our decisions.

Here is what I found: we say these things all the time.

“I am not sure if I will feel like running later.”

“I will let you know how I feel before I decide.”

“I don’t know if I feel up to doing 6 miles today.”

“Let’s see how we feel before we say yes.”

Who gave feelings this power over us? Who said feelings are ahead of everyone else in the line of importance? I understand that feelings are part of the mix, but when did feelings take the chair at the end of the table? The corner office? When did feelings start running the show?

After noticing this pattern during a recent conversation, I couldn’t help but bring it up.

“I heard you say multiple times that this decision is dependent on how you feel. What is preventing you from making the decision now?”

“Multiple times? Really?”

“Yup.” (I know, I know, great follow-up.)

“Well, I guess it is really fear. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of not being successful after I put myself out there.”

Fear.

One of the most disruptive of feelings. Fear seems to be elbowing its way to the front of the feelings line.

There is a little secret to put feelings in their place.

Decisions.

Decisions to go for that run ahead of time.

Decisions to take on the project.

Decisions to take a risk.

Decisions to push yourself.

I heard a great quote about feelings:

“Feel what you feel. But do not trust them as objective reality.”

When feelings start elbowing their way to the front of the line, try making a few decisions to put them back where they belong.

P.S. Our little running team made the decision to run the other day when it was below 20 degrees and dropping almost a degree every 15 minutes.