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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Do You Want?

Since I made the decision to return to active coaching, I cannot say people have been breaking down the door, or welcomed me back with open arms.  When I scheduled the first training session on the same day as a non-competitive "color run" I harbored no unrealistic expectations.  Blessed are the coaches who set the bar low at the beginning, for they are are almost always not disappointed.

I chose Saturday mornings at eight o'clock because of the blend of daylight and warmth this time of year; also a tip of the hat to folks who enjoy an adult beverage of choice during a Friday afternoon or evening.  Not surprisingly, several persons said this would not do; there were races to attend on Saturday morning.  Sunday morning group runs are already on my schedule, and I had no desire to wedge a group workout into an already-filled week of run groups.

It's enough to make a guy want to curl up in a fetal position and engage in serious thumb-sucking.  Or take a drive and listen to public radio programming.  I listened to a TED talk by author Malcolm Gladwell, on the topic of choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce.  Yes, spaghetti sauce.  The talk was entertaining, interesting, and insightful, but I cannot say it was a moment which saw me sit in the driveway until the end.  But I did take away a couple of bits of good information.  I watched a YouTube clip of Gladwell's talk this morning.  The entire talk focused on the work of Howard Moskowitz.  If you like chunky spaghetti sauce, Moskowitz is the man to which you need to raise your glass in salute.  If Moskowitz were a running coach, he would probably provide this piece of advice:  "There is no perfect pickle; there are perfect pickles."

There are training runs and types of workouts which are absolutely necessary training for improving speed, endurance and running efficiency; volumes/intensities which need to be honored, but the paths up the mountain are diverse and individual.  So why do people; fiercely individualistic, diverse beyond measure, make the conscious decision to remain mediocre?

I've asked people what they want as a runner.  Gladwell says during his TED talk that when asked what we want we often say one thing, yet truly desire another.  The people who say they want to become faster runners, or who desire to increase their fitness, also make the conscious decision to participate in every social, participatory or competitive running event, even when they know the participation is not going to enhance their fitness or make them a better runner.  So, maybe they REALLY want to participate in the same events, and engage in the same level of mediocrity, as their friends?

1 comment:

Suzanne Bowen said...

"It's enough to make a guy want to curl up in a fetal position and engage in serious thumb-sucking." << I understand completely! You are always ready to help and you're good at it. Because of your example, I was at Admiral Park at 8 AM to move one foot in front of the other. While in my "state of being" running group this morning, we discussed our reasons for engaging in exercise this day. 1. Try to come back after a sinus affection caused by inhaling second-hand smoke two days in a row. 2. Had a Sunday morning off of work. Yeah!!!! 3. Have a 1/2 marathon to run next Saturday.