I can't say how much of my resilience is innate, and how much was learned. Regardless, I am thankful, but also feeling burdened.
The majority of people I see are uncomfortable with the concept of "pushing through". When my knees were better, I used to run. A "good" run usually consists of stages: Stretching, warm-up, acceleration, pacing, adjusting and finishing. It's those last two that seem to throw people.
Adjusting is just plain hard for some people. They get their pace, and stay there. Oh sure, they'll finish the race, but they'll never improve. And "finishing strong" is a mental attitude. Some crawl over the finish line, some crush it. The ones that crush it did not just get lucky.
I'm getting a promotion at work. I didn't get it because I could keep pace. I am taking a more responsible position because I know how to adjust and finish. No one holding my hand, or kicking me in the butt. When you run, it's just you and the road. Cold, heat, rain, loose ground, wind, traffic, dogs... you can't control the outside world. You control YOU. No one pulls you across the finish line. You help and encourage each other, but in the end, it's you.
The saw's coolant stopped flowing the other morning. I was shipped an overage of monel bar stock ($2K worth), and had to adjust inventory. Smashed my hand pretty good stowing some material.
I poked at the machine until it worked again. I made calls to authorize the over-shipment. I swore, rubbed my hand and carried on.
The guy I'm taking over from is on vacation. I'm on my own. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I read a book many years ago from a guy named Dean Ing called "Pulling Through". It's about how to survive a nuclear attack.
Ludicrous? Yes. But, it's about not giving up. Being prepared, ready to adjust and pull through.
I'm a survivalist. Not because I have a bomb shelter, barbed wire and machine guns. Surviving is a state of mind. You don't survive by "pacing yourself". Survival is crushing the finish line.
And honestly, sometimes you do have to adjust your pace. But the downshift has to be temporary, just enough to catch your breath. Right now, it's afternoon, and I'm in my bathrobe. FTW.
So, I don't run anymore. I bike and use the treadmill as much as I can take. When my knees start hurting again, I back off. No one nags me to hit the gym. A wise teacher once said, "Do, or Do Not. There is no try". Yep.
I see a lot of folks pacing their run, and upset that life hasn't delivered the Blue Ribbon to them. You don't get both. If you're comfortable with your pace, it's your run. Run as you see fit. If you want more, you must push yourself.
Sorry if any of that came off as holier-than-thou. But I want competition. I'd rather be surrounded by excellence, not mediocrity.
With everything going on in the world today, it's a really good idea to step up your game. Just sayin'.