Madison pacing me in a local parkrun

For the past few years, I’ve been conscious of my poor level of fitness.  As a father of three very active kids, it was getting harder and harder to keep up with them.

A daily regime of religiously walking 10,000 steps over the past 3-4 years has helped slightly, but I still had a long way to go.

Through a series of circumstances, a few months ago I found myself standing at the start line of a local 5km parkrun. Parkruns are a fantastic initiative that enables people to run, walk (or in my case hobble) for 5km early on a Saturday morning. You register for a barcode and are able to track your times, giving an incentive to continually improve.  Best of all it’s free!

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Most people don’t like criticism, so we do everything that we can to avoid it.

We surround ourselves with people who agree with us.

We don’t dare to share our ideas.

We do work that is well below our true capabilities.

We come in and leave quietly, hoping that no-one notices.

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On your worst day, you can stay eager.

When everyone else is flagging, you can stay eager.

When you’re having the Monday blues, you can stay eager.

When work seems humdrum and the customers are cranky, you can stay eager.

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There is one Mona Lisa, but millions of replicas.

The original is priceless, the replicas can be purchased in the gift shop for a few dollars.

We all know who painted the original, but we have no idea who copied the replicas.

The original took great skill, but all the replicas needed was a fancy printer.

People travel from all across the globe and queue for hours to see the original, but just cast a passing glance at a replica.

And then there’s you.

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A seed starts in the dirt.

In the dark.

Well underground.

And then, when no-one is looking, something starts.

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If only we knew what tomorrow would bring.

If only we knew with certainty what the absolute best decision was.

If only we knew which clients to spend our attention on.

If only we knew which job candidates would hang around and make the biggest contribution to our team.

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Sound the battle cry.

Blow the trumpets.

Raise the banners high.

It’s time to march forward.

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Know why you’re in that meeting.

Know why you’re practicing that drill.

Know why you’re sending that email.

Know why you’re in that coaching session.

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I recently read an interview with explorer Bear Grylls and he was asked about fear.  He said:

When we refuse to face stuff, though, the fears tend to escalate. That’s the irony. Courage is all about finding the resolve to move towards the fears.

Also, I like to see fear as a natural response to danger and in its best form it should keep us sharp and alert. But the key is to make it serve you rather than control you.

I meet a lot of people who are controlled by their fears.

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Today may not have worked out as planned.

Perhaps there are a few tasks left on your to-do list.

Maybe you had grand intentions, but poor outcomes.

It’s possible that nothing went your way.

Or maybe, once again, you made the same old excuse for not delivering.

But you don’t have to give up.

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