So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Being The Window

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." - Dan Quayle

My wife has been blessed with an interesting skill. She writes a great deal about seemingly incompatible concepts like modern telephony/communications & their relationiship to anything else under the sun, & she does it with a style which highlights the underdog, the underappreciated, & the sometimes unseen members of the telecom world. She writes & markets to a degree which provides her the opportunity to interview or speak at major telecommunications conferences. Her greatest challenge is not always the naysayers or detractors in the industry, more often it is from the persons whose businesses have directly benefited, some to the tune over a couple of million dollars of income per year, by her efforts. It's particularly galling to hear those persons tell her, 'without me, you would not be who you are today.'

Stuff like that really gets under a guy's skin.

When I write about running & coaching, I try to use my foibles & mis-steps as an illustration of what not to do in their training. More often than not, I also provide these 'sea stories' to my own athletes & hope they will take them to heart. It warms my heart - after the initial fear I am about to be pummeled - to be accosted in a local bar & complimented on what I've done for a particular runner. Mark Twain was reported to have said, 'I can live for two weeks off a good compliment.' But, I've told many a person who has complimented me: 'all I do is provide the workouts.'

Regardless of who the coach is, or how much they're getting paid, it's still up to the individual runner to do the work. I can't go out & run the race for them. If I could, in a number of cases, the outcome might have been a little different. In some cases, I've heard friends & loved ones place all of the credit on the athlete, when I've known well how much hard work their coach put into polishing up raw talent & untapped potential.

This morning, as my wife was talking about something business-related, preparing for a virtual conference, I reminded her all she needed to do was be the window. What makes a window most effective is the fact it is there, solid, but allows light to shine especially interesting analogy during the winter holiday season, when many put up twinkling lights & garland. It's not so much the window that is beautiful, but the things which are placed which draw the onlookers' attention. When we draw too much attention to ourselves we can affect the view through...I think stained glass is marvelous & it makes sunlight look nifty, but I've never seen a stained glass window I could see through.

So, if you know of someone who has helped in some way to make you what you are, take the time to thank them. But don't be fooled into thinking it was all them...or all you.

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