My sports training is keeping me busy and excited as well. Between work and travels, I’ve dropped triathlons this summer and focused instead on marathon training, preparing for the NY marathon for the third time and the Honolulu marathon for the fifth time. I’ve also had to streamline my marathon training: two short runs during the week and one long run on weekends.
But wait, as I was conceiving this blog--coming back from a run--I spoke to a new colleague who suggested that I add a bike session and a swim session to my training. These workouts already were in the schedule suggested by my coach, Rob Colburn from CBC Endurance Training http://colburnbodyconcepts.com/activities/training-options. Yet I had dropped them because my schedule was too full of work. My new colleague explained how the bike training would help me build more stamina and strength. I had forgotten the importance of these extra trainings and why they were included. I also thought they were recommended for when I do triathlons and ocean and bay swims rather than marathons. Then I remembered that in the last few years, when I have crossed trained, I could feel my strength and stamina build fast.
People Get Smarter By Rising To a Challenge
Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says “people get smarter by being challenged” . . . and persisting in the face of those challenges. Yes, I’m busier and busier, and dropping the wrong training could cost me the extra energy and stamina I may need to finish two marathons this year. I’m now taking a second look at my training schedule and over the next few months will be re-inserting my bike rides and some swims.
A lot of the clients I work with also are getting busier and busier. Quite a few right now had let go of building their networks, within their organizations as well as externally. They knew that they needed that network and yet had put it aside. The lesson of “grit” is to stick to it. As they are picking it back up, some are getting support from their supervisors, starting to connect with different parts of the organization, and using that network to leverage these relationships to move their business and career goals forward. One of these clients said, "I realize that I let myself get derailed from pursuing my own networking goals while I helped direct reports and peers with their goals. But now that I see that, I'm getting back on track and will refocus on building my network."Persistence is paying-off, she is already seeing results.
Tenacity Over the Long Haul Is Everything
As part of her research on qualities that lead to success, Duckworth discusses the importance of deliberate practice: “This is how experts’ practice. First, they set a stretch goal, zeroing in on just one narrow aspect of their overall performance. Rather than focus on what they already do well, experts strive to improve specific weaknesses.”
This sport adventure I started back in 2013 after a disappointing personal work setback has evolved over the last 7 years. I never imagined that the short run I had been doing in Central Park or along the Hudson River on the Jersey pathway and the 1.4 mile swim I did every September on Cape Cod for the last 12 years would turn into accumulating 7 marathons, multiple bay and ocean swim (5k Miami swims, 2.4 mile Nav-E-Sink Rumson, NJ swims), and even attempting the 4.4 Chesapeake Bay Swim twice (not yet completed). The Chesapeake Bay Swim… it’s been just out of my reach. Projects I’ve taken on in the last year have felt like that as well--just a little ahead of my learning curve, so I can stretch myself.
I love seeing my clients stretch themselves as well. The coaching clients and leadership program clients who are excited about learning, growing, and challenging themselves really enjoy the journey. Stretching usually brings fear and excitement all at the same time. Some of these clients are learning how to be more strategic, how to create, design, write, and present their new strategy, goals, and/or innovations. Others are pushing themselves to be better team leaders or learning to have crucial or difficult conversations. And still others are focused on building a stronger network, conducting more cross-functional collaboration, and partnering across their organization.
What has kept me on my toes in the last year has been partnering with new international consulting firms and challenging myself to learn more. It’s been both exciting and a stretch. I also have been lucky enough to design and create a few leadership and career growth programs. These have challenged me as well as taught me so much more about leadership, learning, and transformational growth.
If you would like some information about coaching, training, or facilitation services, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.