I run therefore I think

October 24, 2009

Before the end of the first year our Professor asked us what additional subjects or curriculum we think would be helpful. I said Law and Psychology. Very soon they have this double degree programme. These studies are training mentally. If I’m asked again I would propose to add mandatory PE lessons for EMBA students. Am I nuts, these people aren’t primary school boys and girls what’s the point have Physical Exercise lessons?

I suggest they are all coached for long distance running, at least for 10k or even marathon, during the course of 2 years. Please don’t leave this page yet although you must be thinking that I’m total out of my mind.

People enrolling to programmes like this are supposed to be busy executives spending long hours at work, those who can squeeze couple of hours each week attending class are considered lucky. Finding few more time slots each week for training would be a challenge to their time management skill. Not possible you said? Come on, if there is a will there is a way!

Reasons are pretty simple and straight forward if you follow these

  • without sound body, bright minds just won’t deliver good work (there are exceptions of course)
  • you have PE lessons in primary, secondary and sports are encouraged in University, for what reasons you can refuse to attend mandatory PE lessons here?
  • alright you said you do lots of other sports, e.g. golf (when was the last time you skipped networking/entertainment/eating/drinking after a game of golf?), but running is different keep reading
  • the philosophy behind running, something can’t be taught in class, something must be experienced mentally on the track

I have been running for short distance for couple of times per week, 3 to 5k, recently I managed to do close to 10k. The state of mind to run longer distance is quick different, it isn’t just about physical strength, it’s a lot more than just controlling your stride and the form of how you run. It’s a training of the mind.

Along the scenic route I normally run there are lots of elderly people in the morning. Everyone running on that route overtakes me except those with a stick or with maid helping them enjoying the breeze and birds singing. That’s quite an impact mentally at first seeing people older, fatter or clumsier running pass me. Now I know people can’t be judged by their outlook, what can I do with that?

Nothing, just keep running at my own pace that I could manage.

I then realize, thinking from a positive angle, that people overtaking aren’t actually doing the same thing that I was doing. The fat lady may be just doing her first km and that guy older than me could be a marathon veteran or even a professional coach?

Never mind keep running at my own pace! For me I need also to watch my heart rate while controlling the pace.

At work we hate to see our competitors overtaking us but are we all running the same race? I don’t think so. In business we have to be careful about our financial strength it’s like making sure my heart is doing well and not overstressed. There are no 2 runners in a race with the same physical conditions, why do we compare? Some do good in sprint some enjoy long distance, we are all unique individuals. Some companies have KPI for annual performance some may have visionary targets. I could recognize a few faces that I see once in a while but there are also a few that I come across every time I run. Some enterprises exist for hundred of years some survived only for a few decades. Some run with good form some are obviously beginners who will have to learn with pain like I had before. I can see that injuries setback are inevitable, C’est la vie!

human_race

Know your strength keep on running at your own pace!

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