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Winston

Push / Pull

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That cliché, "You make your own luck". That speaks to me.
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'.

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  1. tinacrabapple's Avatar
    I agree. Do or Do Not. There is no try. -Yoda
    Updated December 23rd, 2018 at 06:02 PM by tinacrabapple
  2. escorial's Avatar
    We all need a bit of luck in everything...for me luck is about the people who you come across throughout your life..be it customers,teachers..etc...bad /good luck often feels like an external Force one must accept...come what may..
  3. Winston's Avatar
    esc, from my experience, there is very little "luck" when dealing with people.
    I spent years in Law Enforcement and counseling. Its called "behavior modification". I'm not talking about manipulating people, but understanding what they need and want.
    The people I come across are simply another variable in life's equation. My job is to make the sides balance.
    And when it comes down to it, I'm willing to go full Kobyashi Maru. There are no "no win" scenarios.
  4. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Great post from a man with grit...thanks for sharing.

    I am sure you know my thoughts on this :} lets just say that it is nice to read about the simple formula needed for success. Just plain old working until you can't. Not giving up mentally or physically, more importantly not calling success or failure "LUCK"

    You really do reap what you sow!

    Hope you and your family have a great Christmas.
  5. escorial's Avatar
    I can say I have not been to good with people in my life...I accept that but often at a low ebb think man how did I let myself get like that...yep people are not a good influence in my journey so far
  6. Winston's Avatar
    I can say I have not been to good with people in my life..
    Trust me, man, I am no "people person" myself. Perhaps that's why I work at it, and try to improve my skills.
    I resent people that are natural extroverts, and make social situations look easy. But that's all part of the game. Even if I "suck" at it, I ain't giving up.
    Updated December 24th, 2018 at 05:56 AM by Winston
  7. escorial's Avatar
    I can recall reading John berrymans poem along time ago...life,friends is boring an thinking...man I get that....
  8. kaminoshiyo's Avatar
    It's just good character to have. I couldn't agree more.

    One of the most honorable things I've heard was from someone I read about who responded to a question (paraphrasing here...)

    "What happens if you try your hardest and you fail?"

    "I set an example for the ones behind me."

    Some people just have hearts of steel.
  9. kaminoshiyo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Trust me, man, I am no "people person" myself. Perhaps that's why I work at it, and try to improve my skills.
    I resent people that are natural extroverts, and make social situations look easy. But that's all part of the game. Even if I "suck" at it, I ain't giving up.
    I used to resent extroverts, themselves, before realizing I resent extroverts because I'm not one. But stepping back I realized I always failed worse when I tried to hard to be something I wasn't. In that sense, I did give up on that and started just being what I am a little more.

    When I was in the military I had got in trouble once. I was brought before a disciplinary review board and in response to a question I puffed up my chest and said "I can do anything." He looked back at me and said, "No you can't. That's the problem. You think you can, and that's why you keep getting yourself into trouble." He wasn't any wise old man per se, but in that way people nail you he got me and I had to think on it for...a few years...before the message sunk in.
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