Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Really Don't Need a History Lesson

There is always baggage. The guy before you did it differently. Your team never does a good enough job. No one is prepared. I don't understand why we need to change, we have been doing it this way forever. We tried that and nothing changed.

Typically in organizations that are struggling to regain earlier glory or break through historic barriers to growth the largest factor holding them back is themselves. I feel like we have a bit of that disease at the new firm. The history may be emotionally important to them but it's not going to help us invigorate the culture and it's never going to lead to new innovation and stained growth. Yet people can't help themselves. We have to grind through the injustice and blame game of past perceptions. I spent a good part of my day yesterday listening to a whole litany of reasons why we shouldn't change. Perhaps these people just needed to feel like they were being heard, but after an hour long conference call on a subject that should have taken ten minutes I was surprised to get an email immediately asking for more time since "we weren't on the same page".

Now if you have read this journal for a while you know one of my real hot buttons is people that have complaints without solutions and people who just can't get past the past. The word but seems their most used conjunction.

My job is to breakthrough this lethargy and prove that the future is bright. Some may go kicking and screaming some may never turn the corner. I need to stay patient, offering my dedication and my credibility to produce change as table stakes for their investment of a new start. Without this investment it will be difficult to enact change. Suffering fools is not my strong suit so today I am reminded that while I don't need a history lesson, these people may just need to give one in order to move forward. It's not a problem. I can listen.

And that makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm Not Strong Yet

Tuesday night is usually one oft he tougher times to work out for me. Our weekends are typically aggressive assaults on our muscles and the work week comes oh so fast erasing any benefit extra weekend rest may have created. The recovery time when you are old like me is also much longer. So, by the time I get to Tuesday I am working on my fourth day in a row of exercise and a real fatigue of both muscle and constitution. That's why I love breaking through and crushing my Tuesday work out.

My brothers and I like to push each other with supportive and motivational chatter. We challenge each other, we take pride in the success of one and share in the glow of achievement. Over ef eye last few years this has translated into a great support system leading in to Tuesday nights.

Given my schedule, I am always solo for Tuesday night workouts. Very little in the way of motivation. Tired and sore, as I've said, I hit the hobo gym (that's what my garage has come to be known as given my use of household junk as exercise equipment) and I have to ramp myself up to make it through. Last night was one of those prescribed efforts that I knew would be tough. I much prefer a timed workout on Tuesday. I can set the clock and know that it will end at the buzzer. Last night was ten sets of effort and I knew it would take a long time. The longer the go, the harder the mental challenge to get through it. To succeed I break the challenge down into smaller chunks. "if I just don't have it tonight I will quit after five rounds", or "let's see how I do on the first three rounds". I will sometimes put the timer on to measure how long a round takes. This can backfire if it's too long but if I get anywhere near two minutes per I know if can make it through. Such is the nature of self motivation.

I'm certain my muscles tire during sessions like last night. I can always feel it the next day when I wake to four days of hard training muscle fatigue and soreness. The muscle fatigue is not the issue though. The mental challenge is always more difficult as you enter the back half of the workout. "Round five, halfway there, I know I have five more in me". "Was that round six or seven?, oh crap I'm not sure, call it six". "8,9,10, three to go we're in the home stretch".

The fun in a workout like this comes at about the halfway point in round nine. The adrenaline kicks in as you know you will finish and you start to work even harder. Push to the finish, get to 50 jump rope skips in the time, pull those sit-ups, faster, faster, you can catch your breath at the end.

Last night I pushed hard thorough ten rounds of conditioning and strength. I kept very good form throughout, except maybe on my later rounds of Kossack squats, and I pushed myself hard at the end. When I finished, it was a boxing themed workout, I through my hands up in the air, arm weights and all just like I had taken the title. Goofy I know but, on so rewarding. I am by no means a strong guy, but today I am a bit stronger than yesterday and since Wednesday is a rest day it's only push-ups and pull ups tonight. Not strong yet, but well on my way.

And that makes me happy.