Recently I’ve come up against some hard limits—and I’m a little bruised for it. I’ve been training for a half ironman this fall. All the aches and pains of past injuries have re-surfaced, simultaneously. Gone are the aspirations of a competitive finish. Now the goal is simply to finish. I’ve always been a mind-over-matter athlete. I now think it might have more to do with the postmark on one’s mind & matter.
As I wrestle with this new reality, I’m reaching back to times when I’ve hit limits but figured a way around them. Like when I discovered I couldn’t remember everything anymore and needed to invest in a good time management system. David Allen’s Getting Things Done system is the current favorite.
Or when I realized that not only was I lousy at staying on top of social media, but I also had an outright aversion to it. Yet it represents a hugely powerful platform for connecting and communicating, both core elements of my work. So I got smart and hired a social media expert, Lisa Arhontes-Marshall with Beehive Development. That move is the primary reason this blog exists.
Upon further reflection I observed a pattern: a recurring dialogue with myself, sometimes taking a few seconds, other times months or even years.
This isn’t working...Acknowledge I’m not particularly good at this...Own But it needs to be done, and done well...Face Reality Might there be another way?...Expand Who else might I partner with?...Collaborate Holy cow, why didn’t I think of this years ago?...Perform
In brief, I need to come nose-to-nose with my limits before I can do something about them. But when that happens, creative unforeseen possibilities arise, oftentimes boosting performance above previous levels. Which brings me back to the triathlon.
Yesterday I was on the phone complaining to my mother/business partner about how my aches and pains had forced me to cut back on the training regimen and to replace it with more yoga and rest-time. She commented, “when did you get so smart?” Is it possible that by making friends with these old afflictions I’m avoiding a truly debilitating injury? Perhaps by acknowledging and owning my current physical limits, I am, in spite of myself, developing habits that will enable flexibility and resiliency for a long time to come.
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