You can do it!
You need to hear this; you need to see this written down. You can do it.
You can do it. You have a dream, step one is to acknowledge the fact that you have a life-long dream. It is not about the possessions but about what you want to do with your life if money was no object. What is your dream? What would you be doing? You can do it!
You need to say it out loud. “I can do this!” Again, what is your dream? Get back to the very basics, when you were a kid and life was not about money, power and problems. What was your dream? You can do it. Now, take small steps toward your dream. It is like riding a bike, you may need to start with training wheels or with someone you trust helping you balance, but you can do it. Don’t be ashamed of where you are starting, just start!
You can do it! You need to see it and you need to hear it and you need to be around people who will help you not hinder you or use you. You can do it!
Today is your day, keep it simple; but get started it! You can do it!
All of us have dreamed about it. Who hasn’t wondered about Limousines and Private Jets as their mode of transportation? What would it be like to live like the Rich, the Famous and the Powerful for just one day even? Today I was lucky enough to get the First Class Upgrade.
I know what it is like to not have a car, and to walk to work or ride a bicycle in the rain. I know what it is like to work two jobs and drive a late-model car that is reliable but has no flash. I know what is like to be broken down on the side of the road to and from job number one or job number two. I know what it is like to ride the bus, and I know what it is like to fly back and forth on business trips. No matter what way I travel I still see a world that needs hope. No matter if by bus, plane or car I know there are people who are trying to better themselves and people who are down on their luck. I know there are people who appreciate all that they have and people who don’t appreciate anything. I know this exists on all levels; those who walk, those who bike, those who ride busses, those who drive and those who fly, even here in First Class. I know that no matter where you are the world needs hope, and people should appreciate what they have and continue to strive to make things better.
Don’t just try to make things better for yourself by taking advantage of others. No, I am talking about trying to make things better for everyone around you. Spread Good News and the best advice possible. Go the extra mile, volunteer, coach and mentor. Be the best you can be no matter where you are at this moment in time. Yes, the First Class Upgrade is nice, but my day-to-day life will not change because of it. I will still go back to the same car, same family, same job and basically the same life. That does not mean I will give up trying to better myself and help anyone who asks for my help.
Yes, it would be nice to be able to afford First Class all the time, it would be even better to be able to take my loved ones on trips with the First Class Upgrade. So the upgrade, though earned by many miles of flying coach does not make me feel entitled, but does leave me inspired. Can I help make the world a better place, so that I can pamper the ones I love with First Class Upgrades? The key to it is treating people in a First Class way no matter where you are at the time. Pay things forward. Leave a penny instead of taking a penny. Give your spare change to that charity. Volunteer once a month or more. Coach, mentor and train others in areas that you are strong. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in areas you are weak. Always try to find ways to make things better than you found them. Be the First Class Upgrade in someone else’s life.
Soccer, Futeball, the Beautiful Game. So people say Soccer is the most exciting game in the world. Others say it is the most boring. I like watching Soccer, and I have come up with the absolute best way to watch Soccer. Well, really this is the Second best way. The best way is to watch Soccer Live in person in the Ultra Fan section of the Stadium. The second best way to watch Soccer is while running on a treadmill.
It is my belief that Soccer players work the hardest of any of the major pro sport athletes. The game is almost non stop and there is not a lot of room player substitution. Chances are if you start a Soccer game at the Professional Level, you have to be ready to play the entire game. So I say, if you want to really feel the game, get on a treadmill, set the pace at a decent trot, faster than walking but slower than running. See if you can last as long as those guys out on the Soccer Pitch or Soccer Field.
You see I also believe the best way to watch the Tour De France is on an exercise bike. See how long you can last riding an exercise bike while watching some of the Top Athletes in the world ride for hours on end. Even if you only watch a one hour highlight show, watch while riding an exercise bike. It will be fun and you may get caught up in the action. Imagine for a minute you are out there with them.
A lot of people, when they watch sports get caught up in the 3-B’s: Beer, Barbecue and Big Screen Televisions. In America nearly every shopping mall has a Sports Bar and Grill. It is just the America way. A long time ago, I challenged myself to do as many push-ups as possible every time my favorite college football team scored a touchdown. I guess I should call it American Football as not to confuse the Soccer or Futeball Fans. I used do these fitness challenges while watching sports on s regular basis. Then I got lazy. Now I am getting back into it. I have to challenge myself to not just watch other people run around for 90 minutes, but to get up and see if I can run around for 90 minutes.
You can make up different challenges for every game. Baseball, Basketball, or Hockey, why not break out and do some calisthenics every time your team scores, or gets scored upon, or after each period ends? What do you have to lose except for a few extra pounds?
Even if you only keep a steady pace on a regular basis, if you challenge yourself to exercise while watching you favorite sports teams you will get a fun work out, and you will be in better shape than if you are eating and drinking instead. Small changes to our weekly habits lead to big changes in our health and well-being. No I do think I will put sports bars out of business. But instead of watching three games in a single day from a couch, easy chair or bar stool, why not watch the first game while working out?
To day I am going to do something rare. Today I am going to try to combine Fitness Advice and Leadership Advice. Let me know if I fall flat on my face. Let me know if my meaning does not get through to you. Ok, today’s topic is “Finding your gear!”
Finding your gear, today I am fresh off the exercise bike and had a pretty good workout this morning. Today I am inspired to tell you how I find my gear and hopefully how you can find your gear. Not everyone likes to exercise, some of us do it because we like to, some of us do it because we need to, and some of us do it because we have to; exercise can help save or lengthen your life. Now I like to ride bicycles, and I like to ride exercise bikes. I like to put on my headphones, listen to music, have a bottle of water and pedal until I run out of energy or run out of time.
With any exercise program you should take it easy when you get started. The same thing goes with any leadership program. You should take it easy from the start. In exercise your body needs to get used to a new routine. In leadership your team needs to get used to your routine. So take it easy when you start. If you over work your muscles when you exercise you will get sore and maybe even give up. In leadership, if you over work your team, they make get sore with you and some may even give up. Be careful in the beginning. Settle into your new routine.
Bicycles have gears, some are made so you can move fast on flat land, some are made so you can still pedal when climbing hills or riding into the wind. You have to use the easy gears to tackle the big hills or ride against the wind. Leaders should also use easy gears when they have to tackle big hills. You have to push people, but you can not push them until they break. Sometimes it is better to ease off and encourage. Everyone is different and will use different gears based on their skill level.
You will have to find your gear. Exercise bikes have different programs and different levels to help you simulate the feel of a real bicycle. Don’t be fooled, it is not the same. This is also true for leadership; you can not simulate leadership and fool people who have experience. Leaders must know when to do team building exercises and training exercises before trying to lead people into the heat of battle. This takes practice, and I will attempt to explain to you how I find my gear when on an exercise bike. I will also try to let you know how I think it applies to leadership.
Finding your endurance gear: The first thing you have to do is find the correct frame of mind. On an endurance ride, you must be in it for the long haul. You can not go crazy riding fast and expending all your energy and then run out of gas half way through your ride. You must learn to pace yourself. This means start slowly in a low gear that is easy to pedal. One an exercise bike this may mean starting at level zero or level one. Do not pedal fast, pedal at a nice steady pace where you are never short of breath. For a leader, this means teaching your team something easy, something fun. You must build a good solid foundation. It may even seem boring at first, but it will become a challenge, see how long you can ride, see how far you can go without trying to play beat the clock.
Finding your speed gear: Again, you have to find the correct frame of mind! Start out in the easy gear or the lowest level program on your exercise bike. Now pedal at a nice steady pace. Every 60 seconds go up one level or one gear. Pedal for another 60 seconds and go up another level. Do not try to pedal super fast in the low gears, keep a steady pace at each level. It will take more strength and more energy as you move up each level. This is not a long haul exercise; it will become a challenge very quickly. At the lower levels you will feel strong, as you move up through the levels it will start to challenge you. You will find a level where even though you give it all you have in you, you can not keep a steady pace. You will find a gear that will break you, then back down one level; back down one level and see if you can still ride strong and steady. The gear that is one below your break point is your speed gear, this not the gear you ride in for a long time, this is when you need to go fast. This is a leadership lesson; you can not be in your speed gear for a long time. You may not break, but you will break your team.
Now remember two things, when you are riding for endurance stay in the lower gears, and see how long you can go. When you are riding for speed, find the gear where you can ride strong and steady but not break down. You will get stronger over time, one ride at a time, but you can not do it all in one day. Pick one or the other, one day ride for endurance, another day ride for speed, and some days you will need to just rest. This is also true as a leader. When you are doing team building exercises; long exercises should be easy and fun, intense exercises need to be kept short. Let people know what they are in for before hand and schedule breaks to let people recover.
Finding your grind gear: This is the gear you will need on long flat rides! This is when you want to cover the most ground in the quickest time. Before you attempt this, you should be comfortable riding for endurance and riding for speed. Your grind gear is usually one or two gears lower than your speed gear. This is the gear where it takes an effort to maintain your pace, but you can ride at this pace for a long time. This is not a comfort ride; you are riding for your best time. The real trick to this gear is you will need a day to rest when you are done. You will push yourself to your limit without breaking. You can not know what gear this is until you know your limits, your speed gear and your endurance gear and how far you are able to ride. The same goes for a team leader. You have to test people at different levels before you can put them in a grind it out situation. This is why some sports teams practice twice a day to get ready for an upcoming season. You must know your limits before you put your team in grind it out mode. And as a leader, you have to tell them what they are in for and set the best example you can. If your team trusts you, they will follow you. If they don’t you will look around and your team will be gone.
Finding your climbing gear: This is the gear you need to get over a big hill! This is a tricky gear to find. The best riders are tested on hills. You have to be able to pedal in an easy gear for a long time and a strong and steady pace. This is not a sprint or race gear; but because you are climbing a hill, it will feel like more of a challenge than flat-out race. The best riders in the world are made and broken on big mountain climbs. The best leaders are made or broken in the field of battle. A leader needs a strong team. A leader needs to set a good pace without losing their team. This is why it is so important to build trust and endurance early. People will not follow you into a fire fight unless they can trust that you actually care about them not just yourself.
So what does bike riding have to do with leadership? Well, at the highest professional levels, bike riders work as a team. They put their leader in a position to win, and the leader shares the prize money with their team mates. The team leader may not be the fastest rider or the best climber on the team, but they will have the best combination of skills to handle whatever is required for that given race or series of races. The world’s greatest bike races can take over two weeks to complete. The strongest team is the team that puts together the best series of races without breaking. The leader of the team can not break, and they also can not break their team. It takes a combination of skills to win and the teams that can best balance strength with speed and endurance are usually in a position to win in the end. Same goes for leaders. The leaders who can balance their team’s speed, strength and endurance without breaking them apart are usually in a position to win in the end. When you win, share the wealth with your team. Be leery about taking all the credit and all the wealth for yourself.
So how do you find your gear on your bike? You practice, you train, you push yourself at a steady pace working through the different gears. You find that gear that is comfortable and you go past it. You find that gear you feel strong in and you go past it. You find that gear that breaks you and hang on as long as you can. You then back down and build up your endurance. After you have built more endurance you push your self to your limits again. In practice in controlled settings, you get your self ready for battle.
So how do you find your gear as a leader? You practice, you train, you push yourself to set a great example for your team and you encourage your team along the way without breaking them. You let them know what they are in for so they will trust you when it is time for battle. Win as a team, and lose as a team; but first and foremost, let your team know your really care about them. They will be the ones who put you in place to win.
I guess I have to take a mulligan.
That great golf term for a do over, the last two weeks have not been kind. I did not run or workout or ride the exercise bike anywhere as much as I would have liked. I did work out here and there and got out and walked a few times, but I am losing my battle of the bulge.
Can I get a mulligan? That great golf term for a free pass, I have fallen and gotten back up. I am back at it yes, but still not where I want to be. So I let life get in the way, and then I pushed life back out of the way, which is exactly what we are supposed to do. I will let you in on my custom workout in a later post, but for know I am coming clean.
Can I get a mulligan? That great golf term for a restart, when a race is stopped and started over; Yeah, I have to start over sometimes, we all do. I did a post on Starting-Over in the past.
So I will go back to the cold, and the rain and the snow. But for now I am admitting that I fell down and I have to get up and dust myself off, and start again.
Can I get a mulligan?
Back to the cold: Runners Log – Jan 3rd 2011
Back to the grind: Yes the New Year Hoopla is over. No “Times Square”, no staying up late, just dream chasing and goal setting. So what do you do for an encore? Back to work after a week off. My wife and I worked out almost everyday of my Holiday Vacation, in the nice comfy confines of the neighborhood gym, Planet Fitness to be exact.
I did not make a New Year’s Resolution, I did not wait for New Years Day, I got out and started running right around Thanksgiving. I posted a few Runners Logs, and I had a goal of losing a good 10 pounds by New Years, Actually I wanted to lose a couple inches off the waist line. All documented, yes I will admit to it.
Did I reach my goals? “Yes”, and “No” but most importantly “Yes.” I did not wait for New Years to up my fitness regiment. I developed the habit of getting home from work and getting out in the cold, and wind, and rain, and snow even though we did not have as much snow as I had expected. And when I was on vacation from work, I did not stop working out… I actually worked out with more intensity, in my comfy indoor setting. I sweated more, and I felt less pain.
Did I lose the pounds? To be honest I did not track the pounds. Did I lose the inches, well “Yes,” and “No”, but mostly “Yes.” The 38 inch waist pants feel looser, but the 36 inch waist pants still feel a little tight… I never thought I catch my self typing a sentence like that but this is my reality for now.
I upped my game on the Treadmill and on the Exercise Bike. I like the Exercise Bike the Most, so I do it the Least… I have to earn it. I was able to hammer out a 30 minute set on the exercise bike where I was sustaining an 80% heart rate of a person half my age. Again, another sentence I can’t believe I am typing, but here I am. I was also able to up my ante on the Treadmill also, one day I sustained a higher than average pace for myself, and another day I kept a steady pace, but went to peak inclines.
All of this from a man who loves to work out but hates to admit that I am chasing the “Me” I used to be in pursuit of a new “Me.” I used to be able to run and bike and workout as hard as I wanted for as long as I wanted, or so it seemed. Now, I have to pace myself to push myself. The time out of the gym hurts more and the time in the gym seems to linger even it is not longer. I have to keep my mind focused more and more.
So it is back to the cold, back to running outdoors, after work. No more sleeping in, I have to get up for work again. Getting up early means I will be drinking more coffee, and it seems I pay for each meal twice. Did I reach my goals, “Yes” and “No” but mostly “Yes.” Maybe I did not lose as much weight or as many inches as I would have liked, but I can tell I am getting stronger and faster than I was a month or so ago.
Back to the cold: