Friday, November 6, 2009

Dropping Out of the Race

It is nearing the monsoon season; the rain has been persistent and prolonged. Although it makes sleeping at night better, it also makes outdoor training challenging. It is so easy to make excuses for staying in, and recuperating at home.

A day, or two later, you may have experienced the symptoms of guilt. Or, were those withdrawal symptoms founded on your frequent endorphin fixes? You got to get high, naturally. Naturally, you may find ways to creatively exercise and sustain your physical and mental fitness.

Your personal leadership should kick in when you recognize these signals of malaise and laziness. It is as tempting as indulging in your urge to walk when your running pace begins to diminish. Perhaps you were dehydrated, under-nourished, or just uncomfortable with the harder pace, albeit too early in the race?

Now, do you drop out because your body tells you, or when your mind caves in to pain, doubt, worry and concern? Do you continue the crawl pace, or surrender early so as to save face from being noticed at the finishing line? Come on – the pros also drop out of the race due to a punctured tyre, mechanical faults, or when their bodies go into over-drive! Should you just drop out?

Certainly, if you are unwell the best (and tough thing) to do is rest: complete, uninterrupted rest. Sleep! Fuel up. Nourish your body. Keep your mind still. After all, you did advise the newbie last week to listen to their body, and to take that compulsory rest…walk the talk. Walk to the pit stop. Be a spectator for the day instead of racing.

Leadership lessons: How do you ensure that you do not drop out of the race prematurely? Which values (qualities) do you engage when doubt and fatigue pique you? What activates your motivation to stay on, and stay in the game?

3 comments:

Lim Leong aka Reeves said...

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to say stop and quit. When do we really know when to do that?

I believe the answer lies in accountability to yourself (now that impacts your own future) and those loved ones around you.

Any thoughts?

Matty Wong said...

I think maturity plays a big part in such important decision making.

When one understand what are the objectives, the choice becomes very clear.

Being accountable to self, family and society is important as well, this meant coming back safely after every training and race.

Enrico Varella said...

Thank you, Reeves and Matty for your participation.

Accountability is a key value for leaders to consider. It is about taking stock of what you have, who you are with, and balancing perspectives. It is also about knowing who you can count on, and who can count on you.

Quitting does not make you a quitter, if you are clear about your reasons. There is always another day to race. Quitting can be both sensory, or intuitive. If you quit because you are afraid, then it amy be time to audit your priorities, abilities and goals.