My office post Boston qualifier

Running has taught me a lot of lessons over the years.

This is the third in an ongoing, periodic series of posts delving into what running has taught me about life and leadership.  Previous topics covered optimism and humility

I ran my first marathon in a secretive state.  Out of fear of ridicule and failure, I held my intentions and training very close to my chest.  If I completely imploded and didn’t claim a finisher’s medal – no biggie.  What marathon? 

Undertrained and rather mentally weak, I managed to finish despite the quad-destroying daggers that tortured me for the last 6 miles.

The next day, I finally came clean while warming up with a couple work colleagues prior to our weekly 3-on-3 basketball league, “Sorry if I’m moving slower than usual tonight, I ran a marathon yesterday…”  As you can imagine, the reactions and follow-up chat were pretty priceless.

At the time, I felt hiding my marathon adventure was ingenious and clever.  I twisted it as somehow being a reflection of humility.

Now I view it quite different – it was a stupid approach.  I was a stubbornly independent coward.

In not sharing my intentions and goals, I was not only insulating myself from risk and embarrassment, I was also insulating myself from so much good.  Good advice.  Good encouragement.  Good luck!

Since that race, I’ve been much more open about my running plans.  This blog has taken the openness to a whole new level 🙂

Last year, I was fortunate enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I’m absolutely certain this wouldn’t have happened without openly sharing my intent and my goal.

As a result, I was blessed…  With good advice.  With unbelievable encouragement.  With great luck.

My office post Boston qualifier
An awesome team welcomed me back after my Boston qualifier with a Boston-themed office. Vulnerability leads to moments like this! I found Boston beans in various places for months.

Being vulnerable is often nerve-racking and nausea-inducing.  I’ve learned the more I feel this, the greater the growth that is likely to result.

We’re human and we like our independence.  Fine and good.

But, as humans  we’re also wired by God to help each other.  Vulnerability opens us to the help that others are so willing to offer – whether that be advice, encouragement, or sharing a little luck.

Right now as I sit at the crux of a career transition…  I’m as vulnerable as ever!!

Running has prepared me for this.

When the nauseous feeling strikes – I swallow, reflect on my progress, and reach out for help.  I couldn’t be more certain of the growth and good fortune that will result from this moment, and this vulnerability.

Though I’m more independent than ever, I’m also MUCH MORE dependent… on the advice, encouragement, and generously shared luck and connections of others.

As for my 2017 running goals – I see a sub-3:05 marathon and a 50K trail run in my future!  Any advice?

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7 thoughts on “Lesson #3 – Thru vulnerability comes growth

  1. Advice? As someone who usually sees the top runners on my way out on an out and back 25K trail race, I admire their graceful strides, their words of encouragement, and a smile of pure enjoyment. So advice? Keep your amazing positive attitude. You energize people. Enjoy the course of life.

    1. Thanks Tricia! I’ll be leaning on your trail running prowess and your IPA expertise (to select the proper celebration beverage) in the year ahead. Great advice that good energy helps in all aspects of the course of life. Onward!

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