Commencement and Self Reflection
This past Wednesday marks the end of the regular Fall 2014 season of the 10-week PIM (Power in Motion) program. Tying back to the last post, I am happy to share how awesome the coaching experience has been. It has exceeded every bit of my expectation!
To kick off the last official Wednesday workout, Dr. Bob was our pre-run keynote speaker. The speech was about preparation for the Goal Race (11/1) and it was given in a form a commencement speech. How fitting right?! While the last workout marks the end of the official program, it has also kicks off (remember commencement actually means beginning) what I believe would be another new chapter in the runners’ running journey. While the speech was full of helpful running hints, the point that really resonated with me is the piece around improvement. In fact, the whole program is about improving oneself. This got me thinking….
As a reflect on my experience as a first time PIM coach, I was surprised to find how enjoyable it was. It wasn’t really about the “teaching” piece. It was surprise to find how much I have learned along the way. The group that I run with is the most advanced group in the program. Many of the runners are seasoned runners. Their stories and their enthusiasm re-ignite a spark in me.
Running has become one of my passions since late 2008. Yes, it’s fun to hit the goals: Sub 1:40 half, Boston Qualified times, Going under 3:30 in a marathon…the list goes on and on and on. Running is motivating….seeing individual improvements, seeing the pace go down is no doubt gratifying. Running is also therapeutic – I have spent many evenings reflecting and decompressing on the trails after long work days…sometimes emotionally charged work days. Running has been my “spa”. Running has also become my play ground. I have made so many friends – many of them have become my close friends. And through this season in PIM, I have gained many new friends whom I know I will still continue to run with (hello Sunday runs!).
Running has made me more self aware. I learn to know my strength but also improvement areas. Running has taught me to really listen to my body and listen to my heart (no pun intended). Running has taught me that while I have inherent limits (As Dr. Bob have said, “Choose the right parents, get the right genes to run fast), I can still work hard to achieve where my potential is. It is about understanding where the constraints are and aim to push the envelop a bit more (I know, a dream to every optimizer in town). It’s very liberating. It’s a solo-sport – it’s about the self and self improvement. Yet it is also a community.
Running has taught me about setting goals and milestones. Running has taught me how to lead and how to inspire by being my authentic self and without authority. Running has helped me reflect on my purpose. (In several recent occasions, I was asked to articulate my purpose). My purpose is to make it better one step at a time (That’s going to be my leadership mantra too).
So as I reflect on this personal journey, while it wasn’t a flat course like the Houston Marathon course, it has been a fun and rewarding. I am really fortunate to have found my best friend (you know who you are), found my running club friends (Calgary Outdoor Club, BON Racing Team and PIM), who have touched my lives each step of the way. I look forward to the next mile marker!
As I look forward to closing out 2014, I want to stay focus and healthy. There are many exciting things ahead and I am excited that I won’t be experiencing them alone.
Thank you for being part of my journey! I am going to leave you with a bunch of pictures!
Running from the law (while still staying compliance with laws of Thermodynamics).
On the track…’
And last but not least….