Funny about posts, they live in real time. I often work to focus my efforts and energies on intended results, intentional actions which are enroute to declared goals. And then Paris happened today. So my post today about pacing is going to get a new direction. Here goes:
We go all day. We work hard and as entrepreneurs, we often work too hard. We do our best to stay focused, have a life and make a difference. And there are days where we are like rock stars. And there are days where we want to crawl into a corner with a warm blanket and be left alone. I don’t know any entrepreneur who hasn’t felt that way at least some time in their work.
And it’s an “all or nothing” life. We live like somehow we can be like the perfect business owner, always on message, always making a difference, always doing the 10 things we read about in the blog post we read online. It’s not true. It’s the rare exception to the rule. Lining our expectations to be “everything all the time” makes us want to head for that corner with that blanket (mine has a heater, one of my daughter’s stuffed animals and a fleece blanket, how about yours?). Life is lived in the gray area. Some days we have a great morning, and the afternoon falls to all hell. Some days the morning is shot and the afternoon picks up. Sometimes news that comes in a 4:55pm turns the ENTIRE day around with whoops of joy. And a day’s worth of effort can fall apart with bad news at the 11th hour. Do what we can with what you have right now. And allow that to be OK.
So I’ve been running again. I used to run a lot. But I find myself in this weird transition. I start running, familiar pounding, pace, equipment and roads. But I’ll get 2 miles into the run and just stop. Just stop right there. Nothing wrong, I just stopped for no reason. I don’t know why, other than something’s going on for me that hasn’t revealed itself. Yes, it’s in my head. For a while I stopped running completely after this started happening, or when I did run I’d quit when this occurred. And every time I made myself wrong for stopping (“What’s up with you?! Nothing’s broken, you USED to be a runner, are you mentally weak?”). Great stuff, I know.
But I’ve shifted the way I think about it. I’m in transition and I warrant pacing. I’m going to run until I stop. And then I’m going to walk. I’ll choose a object in the distance and walk to the target (a tree, signpost, parked car). When I reach the target I start running again. And I keep running until I stop. And then I run again. Wash, rinse, repeat. I keep doing this for as long as I can. Saturday I ran 8 miles this way, and only stopped once in the last 2 miles.
I know I’ll make it through this transition, and it’s OK that I don’t know what’s going on right now. But I do know I warrant the personal compassion to allow this moment to be ok.
And on this day, after the events in Paris, I invite you to allow for your pacing. Take the time to allow any impact that might show up for you about the events of the day. Maybe it’s time to walk for a bit before you run again. Get a glass of wine with a friend. Call your mother. If it isn’t Paris for you, where do you deny yourself the permission to pace yourself? Walk a bit before you run again. I know you will run again, and for today it’s juuust fine to walk.