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Ironman? Lazyman? Or Crazyman?


Help! I’ve slacked off and I can’t get back!

Ok sports fans…I need some help. I’m in a training funk right now and can’t seem to shake it. Any advice is more than welcomed. 

State of the athlete: I’m 17ish weeks out from my first full Ironman in Arizona. I’ve done two half-distance triathlons in the past. One I trained for. One I didn’t. Finished them both. One with a smile. One with a not-so-happy face. Can you guess which one? Work is taking up 50ish hours per week. Summer travels are killing my consistency with training. I’ve been traveling the past three weeks and am traveling the next three weeks. One day in town in six weeks. 

Issue at hand: First off, I’m the classic Type-A, overachieving, never satisfied with status quo, “Brittain’s never quit,” kind of guy. Hard charging. Owner, not a victim. “Excuses are what you find when you take your eye off the goal,” dude. While that’s really nice at work. It’s really taxing when the stress of training for an Ironman starts to take it’s toll on the psyche. Not to mention, being a father of three awesome teenage sons and husband to my wife of 19 years. Just as much is going on at home as there is at work. 

My training is starting to get REAL. Multiple hour workouts seven days per week. I’ve got a great coach that I work with. 

Real issue at hand: I’m overwhelmed, sensing depression symptoms and super stressed about getting these workouts in. You know how (maybe you don’t know how) you get when you have so much to do, you feel paralyzed and lethargic about doing any of it? That’s my entire life right now. But, I’m wired to my core that I can’t quit anything. Right now, I want to tell the Ironman sayonara and focus on shorter distance triathlons or even just a marathon. I’ve told scores of people that I’m training for an Ironman. Plus, I’ve dropped some coin on the race. I don’t want to tell them why I couldn’t do it.

In my head, I knew it would be tough. But, I had no idea how much of a lifestyle that Ironman training is. If you’re considering one, please heed my advice and make sure you have capacity to take on the necessary training for one. As they say where I’m from in NC, “It ain’t no joke…”

Am I just going through a phase? Is this the wall that I need to push through? Will it get better? I know it won’t get easier. But, I want to wake up and be excited about training for it. Not wake up and have the dark cloud of my daily workout raining on my parade from the moment I put my feet on the floor. 

I’m working on strategies…ones like: Get up early and do my workouts before work. Find an accountability partner. Set really small frequency goals to get to where I actually do all seven workouts in a week. It’s actually 10 workouts counting three two-a-days I do with the gym. Focus on the positives and successes that I have right now. I shouldn’t complain about being able to swim 2400yds, ride 50 miles and run 10 miles (not all at once). I’m just burned out. 

Maybe this journey includes period of being a Lazyman. I know I’m already a Crazyman for signing up for an Ironman. But, this race doesn’t define me as a Man. There are much more important things in life that define that. 

Any advice or experiences are appreciated. I’ve got to get over this hump! Thanks everyone!

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The pursuit…


Every year, our church does a youth retreat called “D-Now,” which is short for Disciple Now. This year, the theme is The Pursuit. Now, before non-spirituals tune me out, read me out.

I can go on and on about our various pursuits in life. Those pursuits can be spiritual, happiness, love, money, physical fitness and so forth. While we can also debate which ones of those should rank first, second, etc…the point of this morning’s message relates to whatever pursuit you have.

The message is this…we can be so focused on the pursuit that we totally ignore or miss very important things going on around us. Your faith, family, friends, co-workers could be in need of our help or attention. But if we’re solely focused on our pursuit, we may get what we want but there could be quite a bit of fallout.

I would simply encourage you to take stock of the things around you while you’re in hot pursuit of what you want out of life. Keep the most important things, the most important things. I would caution you that if you don’t, your success or achievement will be a very lonely award. Bring others along with you for the ride. Those sorts of rides are the ones that altered history and built some of the foundations we take for granted today.

How do you do this? Just take a pause and look around for a few minutes. It doesn’t take a Zen meditational state to see how life is going. But if you don’t take the step of pausing, you’ll never look back to check the wake that you’re creating in your life and others.

Enjoy the pursuit! Best wishes for a balanced one.

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If You’re a Leader, You Have to Commit.


Daily Read- If You’re a Leader, You Have to Commit.

What commitments are you making when you take on a leadership role? Your answer may determine how effective you really are. See the difference between those who show up every day very clear on what it means to be a leader, and others who are going through the motion. It all comes down to these four commitments:

1. Leadership is a decision. You have to really define who you are as a leader, not just an individual contributor to the organization. Real leaders accept responsibility as the heads of their teams, and they’re always working to do things better.

2. Leadership is an obligation. Once you’ve made that deliberate decision to be a leader, you must accept that the expectations are higher for you than for everyone else in your organization; this includes holding to a higher standard of behavior than you might expect from those around you.

3. Leadership is hard work. Leadership is hard and getting harder. When you’re running a business, there are a lot of great things that have to get done, and also some hard things; being a leader means you can’t avoid these difficult tasks and issues

4. Leadership takes a community.  This is an especially important commitment for small business owners, who often fall into feeling isolated in their positions. You have to build a sense of community within your company, with bedrock relationships and people who can act as your advisors. And you must nurture other leaders within your organization, and hold them to the same four commitments.

Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/QlGMIq

How Healthy is Your Team?


Daily Read – How Healthy is Your Team?

Being a great team is a choice. It doesn’t just happen naturally when you bring together a group of talented individuals; it takes hard work and a firm commitment that can lead to great payoff. However, some teams don’t achieve the best results because they’re not operating as productively as they could be. Why? Your team is unhealthy. Here are five quick questions to gauge your team’s health (and future prosperity):

1. Are your team meetings a nightmare? Toxic: The leader holds court while everyone around the table nods their heads and takes notes; no discussion; no argument; in fact, hardly any interaction at all. A healthy team: discusses issues relevant to everyone present, people voice their opinions without fear., decisions are made and everyone is clear on the reasoning, benefit, and company-wide message.

2. Do you always get the best ideas on the table? Toxic: People hold back their honest opinions from the group because they fear being ridiculed or, worse, ignored. On healthy teams: opinions, no matter how far into left field, are shared at the meeting, in front of the leader. The common goal is to hear all of the best ideas before making a decision for the organization.

3. Is there backstabbing? Toxic: Team members hold one another accountable and discuss destructive behaviors open; or complain to colleagues but resist telling the person directly.  High-performing teams: trust each other and know that whatever feedback they receive, no matter how hard it may be to hear, is aimed at getting the best results for the team. It is not personal. Of course, teammates tell each other the kind truth, the most constructive way of saying something.

4. Do you hold each other to the same standards? Toxic: Do you look the other way when star performers act out, yet hold others accountable for their mistakes? Successful Teams: understand there are different roles on every team, but everyone is held to the same standard. Regardless of whether they’re generating revenue, providing support, or leading, each person plays by one universal set of rules.

5. Do team members put the good of the group ahead of their personal goals? Toxic: People forget that the goals of the team supersede their personal or departmental goals. Healthy Teams:  automatically put the good of the whole first, realizing if the team is struggling and needs to cut expenses that everyone needs to make sacrifices in their areas for the greater good.  People have a sense of shared responsibility, and they trust that they’ll be taken care of when it matters most.

How is the health of your team?

Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/gCXGro

Business is A Lot like Sports.


Daily ReadBusiness is A Lot like Sports.

It’s a great day when your team wins and you can sit back and bask in their glory.  Pin the accomplishment on the Coach, the teamwork, the chemistry of the offense or a great fan base.  The amazing fact is there are a lot of similarities between sports and business and a huge amount we can learn from the example of top sports teams. Here are the top five:

  1. Teamwork is paramount. There is no I in team and surrounding yourself with great people means there is always somebody else who can step up and do a great job.  Try to go it alone and you will probably fail unless you have a strong support structure.
  2. Mentorship matters. A great sports mentor can teach the value of mental toughness to partner with natural talent and hard work.  It can be the missing link between a promising athlete or businessperson and a successful one.
  3. Be resilient and determined.  Any entrepreneur who expects instant success is setting themselves up for a fall. You need resilience and determination to keep getting back up every time you suffer a blow.
  4. Have pride and purpose.  Regardless of what stage your business is at, you should think about how you can make a positive impact upon people’s lives, not just focus upon profit.
  5. Delegate wherever possible.  There are some things you simply have to do for yourself. But as the tasks for any entrepreneur mount up, you need to delegate to others in order to free yourself up to think about the bigger picture, much like a head coach who defers to a trainer, conditioning coach, etc.

Excerpts taken from: http://goo.gl/rfIA3

 

Don’t Skip Your Workout!


Daily ReadDon’t Skip Your Workout!

You probably already know that sitting at your desk hunched over your computer for ten hours a day doesn’t make for a healthy lifestyle.  Working long hours or having snow on the sidewalks doesn’t exactly motivate you to throw on the running shows and go for a run either. Crunched for time yet fearing the consequences of a sedentary life, many office workers have begun adopting office workouts to at least give them some activity during the day.  Here’s a quick run-down of simple ways to squeeze your work-out in:

  1. Take 5 minutes, three to four times a day to do a series of desk push-ups, squats and chair dips.
  2. Take the stairs (yes, even if you are on the tenth floor!)
  3. Use a standing desk, bicycle desk, or sit on an exercise ball.
  4. Walk to your co-workers office to talk instead of sending an email
  5. Bring an exercise band and do a simple resistance workout.
  6. Take a walking lunch at a nearby mall or in a park if it’s warm enough.

The key is taking frequent breaks from being sedentary, even to do something that requires very minimal effort—and/or sitting less altogether—has been proven to be significantly beneficial to metabolism and it will make you a more productive worker!

How do you squeeze exercise in when you’re crunched for time?

Excerpts taken from: http://goo.gl/08dCGS

Hang on Tight to the Energy and Agility of the Early Days!


Daily ReadHang on Tight to the Energy and Agility of the Early Days!

“It was so much fun in the old days.” Never mind the stress of making payroll and the long nights- the energy and vibrancy of a start up’s office culture is hard to forget but easier than you think to imitate. Here are seven approaches to try:

  1. Stay agile, and move fast. As companies grow they agility and decision making can be slowed, but small startups are fast acting and move quickly – even when they make a wrong decision.
  2. Maintain always-on innovation. When we think of environment we think of perks like game rooms and snacks, but more important is remaining open to innovative and disruptive thinking;  employee-driven innovation.
  3. Stay close to your employees.  Building a culture of mutual respect and openness fosters a positive work environment.
  4. Create ways to stay small within the company. Operate regional offices and internal groups as mini-startups, each with their own mores and idiosyncrasies that inspire and energize your employees like small companies.
  5. Have a consistent line of communication.  By maintaining a culture of consistent communication, employees feel fully informed, valued, and invested in the business.
  6. Always listen. Keep an ear open to what employees have to say about everything related to the business. Use online internal communications that all employees have access to.
  7. Develop strong leaders. Allowing employees to explore different jobs within the organization builds great experience across the board, and it matches the best people to the best roles so you can build for the future.

Do you have any ways to keep the start-up culture that has worked for you?

Read entire article at: http://goo.gl/EimwgM

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