Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Sidewalk Shuffle

When I run, I tend to assume three speeds. They are the 3 ‘M’s assumed by Ironman world-champion, Chrissy Wellington: Medium, Moderate, and Mad! Rest assured, I am nowhere (ever) near Wellington’s running prowess as she runs a sub-3 hour marathon (within an Ironman distance race), matching the top professional men. Thankfully, our top national female marathoner, Vivian Tang matches her strides and amazing speed (read Leslie Tan's accurate interview with the spritely Tang).

What I do assume differently are my choices of running surfaces; my posture is consistently Chi-Running certified (created and promoted by author and ultra-marathoner, Danny Dreyer). No, I do not run bare-foot; instead, I vary my running paths and platforms – soft and hard. Yes, I do occasionally leave the Yellow Brick Road, moving off pavements, tracks and roads. I run on concrete, dirt, grass and sand. This is as cross-terrain as it gets. My coach advised me years ago to minimize road running whenever I can, for we can risk injury from the hard ground. Newtonian laws remind us of our mortality, and insurance liability! Action and reaction: pain, or more pain. I trust my 40-something coach, as my over-40 something body does give me plenty of feedback. Or, at least I am sensitive to pain and discomfort in my body.

Fortunately, I run where I get the best scenery. I may get a glimpse of sunrise, sunset, shorts, skirts, soles and the occasional bout of pre-senility, silliness. I allow myself to be motivated by my surroundings, so I do get distracted from my ubiquitous bodily discomforts, the persistent heat and the stubborn humidity. Such are the trials and tribulations of urban life. No man is an island.

But, in the case of one lucky job interviewee one man can have an island all to himself. Talking about the road less travelled remember Ben Southall, the lad who landed the world’s best job on Heron Island? Read about his updates on his blog. The tourism board has now extended the deal to four ‘mates’ to join him as island caretaker helpers - from a lucky draw to be held on 24 August - however the fab-four will not get a paycheck. Tough call. Would YOU consider it? Love it, or leave it. It’s all about choices, and the paths we choose.

Leadership Lesson: Switch lanes. You do not have to be road hog. You can also take the fast lane. You can lead, or you can follow.

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