Yesterday I went for my second run in my new shoes. As some of you may have read in previous posts after reading Born to Run, I registered and successfully completed my first ultra run, a grueling 12 hour race, that I completed 38 miles in 10 hours before the terrible rains. The one black Friday purchase I did make was a new pair of running shoes and I decided to go Bare Foot. Yes, reading Born to Run influenced this as well but there was a greater factor I realized while running yesterday.
When I was a kid I remember getting a new pair of Zips or Kangaroos and running as hard as I could outside my house in Baltimore. I mean this is what you did, the new shoes made you run faster and it is almost as if they had a will of their own that took you over. Yesterday on my run I realized whether the Bare Foot running trend is just a fad or not, it has sparked new motivation for me during a very difficult time of year to train in Seattle, especially this year with how wet it has been. Never before in my life have I lived so close to trails that I can easily get to to run. Never before have I enjoyed running in sopping wet grass through my neighborhood.
I am using wisdom and not going out on long runs in my New Balance Minimus 20V2 Trail Shoes, rather I’m keeping them to 3-6 miles on the trails. Also I have kept my old shoes, which are very worn to wear as I run longer distance that requires running on the street and pavement. As I head to San Francisco this week for work I’ll only be taking my ‘street shoes’.
So today whether you are running, working or watching kids I hope that you are able to find some motivation and encouragement to be your best, Rock and Roll!
To kick off the advent season in our home we decorated the Christmas tree and watched Merry Christmas Charlie Brown last night. The tree had been set up with lights on it since Thanksgiving weekend but it took us some time to get around to organizing, putting up ornaments with a two year old is really challenging. I am glad to report that we did not drop and break any ornaments last night, that was a record.
This first week of advent our family will focus on Hope. Just this morning my second daughter was telling me over breakfast how excited she is over Christmas, she can’t wait for the gifts and the skiing. Very quickly though she told me that’s not what Christmas is about though, so I asked her what Christmas is about. She said, “Tiny baby Jesus”, and feeling like the great parent I pretend to be I asked how she knew that expecting to hear she learned it from out viewing of Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, I was surprise she said I learned it from my big sister. Sincerely I was proud to know that our entire family is talking about these things with each other. One hope I have is that our family will continue to grow in our personal passion for God but also the ability to talk with others (including each other) about what God is teaching us.
Advent seems so short to me today, only four weeks to consider that God came to earth as a person, that God promised this and always fulfills his promises, that this physical stuff matters, and that family and friends are to be served and loved through my humbling of myself. My hope is that we would enjoy this season together as a family and think about what it really means that Jesus was born. My hope is that we would enjoy the study we have done the last few years written by my friend Elliot Grudem, if you need some guidance for Advent is a great start, Advent Devotional.
Hope you enjoy your Advent!
Each month (when I am not traveling for work) I attend a great networking event here in Seattle called Kiros, yesterday there was a striking talk on “Crossing the line” by Mark Sabo. This was Mark’s personal story of his failure in business regarding integrity and the consequences that followed. Personally I was struck by what a small decision by Mark led to such very serious consequences. The point that hit home for me (again) was this idea of identity. Mark, like myself, considered himself a man of integrity and yet he was able to justify his later regretable actions. As many say, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Seeing yourself as a person of integrity is not enough, often times that view leads to the least common denominator and efforts to do the bare minimum. What is needed, what I need is something greater than myself to guide my actions daily.
In The Corporate Mystic the author states, “The first question to ask is whether you are out of integrity with yourself. Are you genuinely at ease with the path you are on?” Many successful people are working to heal a wound from their family, perhaps earn recognition from a loved one that never expressed it. In my case I worked (and often work) to overcome shame that has been present in my life and in my family story for generations. This is a dry well to pull from, and only when you are able to step back to you realize that. “Many of us learn very early to tune out inner signals, and the long-run costs of this are enormous…Happiness flows from a clear spring: You need to have a totally honest relationship with yourself.” This is a key reason I believe that how people answer who they have been created to be is key to all of life: personal, spiritual, professional, and family.
A friend shared on facebook today the article, Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity is Forever by Amy Rees Anderson, a very good article that inspired me. The last few lines of the article are very powerful, “If you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then surround yourself with people of integrity. There is a plaque on the wall of my office which reads: “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.” It serves as a daily reminder that success will indeed come and go, but integrity is forever.” I couple that with a friend who’s dad gave him the advice in college, “Know who you are before you go into the party.” Integrity is not something that is learned on the fly, life is too hard and our minds are too easily tricked. It is essential for all people (including business people) to take time to do the tough personal and spiritual work to find the source of integrity, and the reward is well worth it. As Amy Rees Anderson states success will come and go, your character is what you are stuck with.
“I contend that dishonesty will create a failure force that often manifests itself in other ways-ways not apparent to the outside observer.” -Joseph Sugarman