Sports-to-business analogies abound. Another one crystallized in my mind as I was reading a training article by Dan John this week. His advice? Do not chase fatigue. “ You WANT the weight to feel light and easy. Inch that load up over a few workouts. Like we discover in throwing the shot and discus, inching your effortless efforts up a bit seem to increase your best.” ~Dan John
Fatigue is a natural part of serious training, and a natural part of business life. That’s true as individuals and can also be true of an organization as a body. And I think that thinking of an organization as a body can provide a perspective on everything from Alignment to avoiding the Zero Sum Game.
Stronger and faster is a fantastic goal. In that regard, why not ta learn something from elite athletes? Yes, they train, and even to fatigue. Nevertheless, they also diligently put efforts into recovery and rest. Many training programs will focus on fatiguing only one or two main muscle groups. Legs today, arms tomorrow, back the next day...carefully ensuring that the nervous system has what it takes to turn this teardown into new strength and skill.
Likewise keep an eye on the team; the body.
Everyone is going to experience times of fatigue such as during big projects. But extended periods of fatigue set you up for only one thing; injury. Make sure you do not have too much stress on one area for too long. Make sure the burden is shared. Make sure there is time for rest and recovery.
Want faster and stronger? Do not chase fatigue.
The image is from Facebook; a colleague posted this today. It means a lot because it comes from someone who I know has a great and kind heart, who finds inequality ugly and who is not afraid to speak his mind. And saying “there was times when I should have...”, does not come from flaws. We are all flawed. We all sometimes let things go. It simply means you are not going to let fear of acknowledging that reality stop you from calling it out.
And that’s what’s needed. From men. From women. From ME.
I have sometimes been angry over an incident and at the same time cautioned myself against that anger because “it wasn’t SO bad” or “I am just being overly politically correct” or “I use salty language sometimes ....so I guess it’s the same...”. And stewed. And felt that there was no upside to saying anything. Only down. And ended up been as frustrated about the feelings of guilt and worry as I was about the comments that started it.
It’s easier to call it out when I see others up against it. I do that. So why not as often when it’s me? Because I don’t know intent to be bad (he’s alright ...does not mean harm)...I hold back. Because I think of how fortunate we are North America compared other countries...; I hold back.
And while intent is incredibly important to me... I think this is one of those cases where I let it get in the way. Because every time something like this passes unchallenged, an opportunity is missed to move the needle forward. To let someone know that every word is a seed and that those kind can’t have any beneficial harvest. That just because it could be worse does not mean we should not all strive for better. That just because I CAN take it does not mean I SHOULD.
Most progress is incremental. It’s not surprising that someone can look back and go “uh oh”. It is a sign that the needle has moved! If I think about some things that happened early in my career... thankfully I had a manager would not tolerate aggression or offensive talk from our vendors .... it’s hard to imagine those things happen as frequently today here in Canada at least. That progress has happened because of all the times people DID call it out.
So if you think everything is good… I guess it’s OK to ignore all of the noise about #metoo. For one, I feel really glad people like Ken don’t think things are OK. That means there’s hope for #metoo.
Sent from my iPhone
Some smart ladies have been telling me the same thing lately: it's coming from multiple places,.... that it's not events that make up your story, but rather it's the narrative that you make of those events. And that is the story of YOU... that makes you who you are.
It's a powerful notion. And I have been practicing. Jessica recently said when we were having our ritual Pho...."It's interesting that you would frame your story that way".... and it was a punch in the gut. She was right. I was undermining an accomplishment by the way I framed it. It took some thinking to figure out why I would do that, but the greater win for me was that now when I tell a story, at least sometimes, I hear Jessica's voice.... "interesting way to frame it", and then I consider whether the story I write serves me. And while being TRUE is the most important, there are ways to be truthful that still lack honour. Everyone has blurted out something ... out of a feeling, perhaps. And for that millisecond it was true, but.... it was not really TRUE. But you've said it... it can't be unsaid. I am practicing writing my story in consideration of this reality. Practicing that requires that I check my initial story to make sure that I am honouring the deeper truth. The text message with Jerimiah, above, is an early example of my new practice.
My life. My story. My choice.
I got really irritated this morning at the gym when a stranger said "no no no for god sake don't hurt yourself " and handed me 10 pound weights in place of my 17. 5s. I don't think he would've done it if I was a dude. But I also think he was genuinely trying to help. Is there a "right" way to correct a strangers form at the gym?
January is coming to a close. Did you keep your resolutions, or the other promises you have made to yourself over the years? I am trying to cut back on coffee…. And it’s a struggle, so I get it. But whatever that was; breathing more deeply, not hitting ‘snooze”, eating more greens… It’s “just” a matter of keeping our word. And most of us would say that we keep our word, no?
A great Keynote was done quite a while ago (you can read the whole paper here – that talks about INTEGRITY, and I particularly was drawn to the idea of a cost-benefit analysis of keeping ones word. At first blush, it sounds so…. dishonourable. “Should I keep my word, or not?” But it’s a practical question we face every day. The paper points out that the best time to ask this question BEFORE giving ones word. I can’t improve on what they said, so here is a direct quote.
“When giving their word, most people do not consider fully what it will take to keep that word. That is, people do not do a cost/benefit analysis on giving their word.
In effect, when giving their word, most people are merely SINCERE (well-meaning) or placating someone, and don’t even think about what it will take to keep their word. This failure to do a cost/benefit analysis on giving one’s word is IRRESPONSIBLE.”
Once your/my word is given to others, I already believe most of us put a lot of weight on the cost of not keeping it. Here is what I hope…..
So, with that off my chest, I am going to get a glass of water. Because I already have had my coffee for today....
Tomorrow is the first day back at work in 2017... all of the festivities and extra free time over. Back to routine.
I almost hesitate to use that word. Routine sounds so ...routine. Hum-drum. In a rut. Same-old. It just sounds so unintentional.
And I don't think of it that way at all. As I prep lunch, planned for work and the gym, it's all very intentional. I'm not just going along with the flow, but taking charge of what I do with deliberate action towards concrete goals.
So yeah, back to routine. But don't get the impression I am just floating about with no special reason. See what Google tells me above/left? Let's call this one a noun.
I'm no social scientist. So if you want to read about Maslow's hierarchy of needs try Wikipedia. But there was an interesting reference to it in a book I am reading for work. I'll spare the back reference (but the book is called "Beyond Engagement" - Brady G. Wilson, if you are interested...)... but it quotes someone who ran the Boston Marathon as saying;
"After I ran the Boston Marathon, I had no motivation whatsoever. My diet and my training schedule went to pot. I need to set another goal for myself before I fall apart."
....And I do kinda remember that feeling after the London meet in July. I have continued training, but I know for sure that it's a slightly different feeling than training towards prep for a meet. Which is OK. I think actually that may be one of the things that makes Powerlifting the sport for me. There is ALWAYS a goal. Because it's not a specific event at which you measure your progress.... well, of course it IS, if you go to a meet, but also... it's not. Every few months you cycle through the program and BOOM! PR baby!
I found my magic. My girlfriends is yoga. I can imagine that it might be much the same.
My goal tomorrow: Just one squat at a time. Just one more. My goal for January - test and new PRs for all 3 (Squat, Benchpress and Deadlift). And then we'll set them again, AND schedule a meet!
I know it's called a "Meet" because people... well, they MEET. But I am going to think of it as just the place you meet your goals.
Who says struggle is to be sympathized with? Certainly not Seth Godin. This one really resonated with me.
I really do feel fortunate about the struggle in the gym. It's not crazy or anything (I have seen some others suffering @ the gym..., but I am not nearly so hard-core). Nevertheless, unlike some other things in my life, it does not come easy. It is a struggle. I have mentioned it to a number of people as a peculiarity that somehow this was was part of it's joy. But I didn't have better words for it, until now.
Today a lady and I exchanged the usual casual hellos at the gym as we passed in the changeroom. "Morning" she said. "Have a good day". I responded in kind, to which she replied: "For sure. The worst part of my day is now over (pointing to the gym floor), so it's all good."
The rest is a brain ramble, pretty much just like it actually happened:
THERE IS NO WORST PART OF MY DAY!?!?!
How amazing is that?
He told me so himself this morning.
(happy now, coach?)