Thursday, May 13, 2010

First Attempts at Running

Last night, I ran one mile. When I was younger, I used to run all the time. It wasn't a health thing; I just ran because I could and it was faster than walking. Then, as a teen, I had a motorcycle accident in which I almost lost my leg. Since then, I have never been able to run for very long before my hip would give me problems. This pretty much ended my running. I can still do a quick jog from, say the parking lot to the front door; but that's hardly much sport. So, running a mile is a big deal for me.

As you get older, you fall into routines and habits. For the most part, they can be helpful. However in instances where you are sedentary, this is not so great. Coupled with geek tendencies, you can easily end up sitting at a computer all day. This, in turn, causes you to start gaining weight. To further exacerbate the problem, being a computer geek gives you scrawny little arms and legs; muscle burns calories, so the more you have, he easier it is to burn energy. I am fortunate that my metabolism tends to burn a little hot. However, it has not been able to keep up with my calorie consumption and lack of exercise.

The other day, I went to the doctor and got a blood test. He says my cholesterol is high and needs to be brought down. He prescribed medication. I'm not too keen on it given that we had not attempted or discussed a change in diet and exercise. So, I'm taking it upon myself to try these things before popping pills for cholesterol.

Here is where I got the idea to run. Loic Lemeur wrote a blog post a couple months ago about his new Vibram Five Finger shoes. Yes, they are a little strange; but I can see the logic behind using them. The VFF shoes require a different way of running. Rather than running heel to toe, like you do with regular shoes, the VFFs require you to use your entire foot. You do it unintentionally because there is no cushion for your heel. The result is a sort of Chi Running.

Last night, I decided to try running without shoes. I'm not inclined to spend money on freaky shoes without knowing if they'll help. So, with only a couple of days of walking barefoot for one or two miles, I decided to go for it last night. I ran a mile non-stop. No pain. Breathless. Mostly sore from atrophied muscles. But, the amazing thing is, I ran a mile. I haven't run that far in the longest time. You should see my smile as I type this.

Anyway, I started looking for barefoot running online. Apparently, there are many people doing this. And, it seems I'm not the only person with a hip injury who has successfully been able to run again.

While my hip was agreeable to my barefoot running, the rest of me will have to ease into it. First, I haven't much endurance. It has been a while since I have had to breathe hard. That sort of thing takes training. I could also feel the strain of tendons and ligaments as I ran. My leg muscles were also complaining about the new demands. However, these things will go away as my condition improves.

What is most important is that I found a way in which I can take up running again.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

On Leaders and Leadership

It Still Amazes Me
Image by shainelee via Flickr
Tonight, my friend Chris Doelle wrote a post titled Lead - don't be a leader. Having been a student of leadership for the longest time, I understand the subtle message Chris writes. I think maybe I can illuminate a little more.

Take our leaders in Washington D.C. They are leaders; but, they don't lead. Those leaders stick a wet finger in the air to figure out what they should do next. This is reflected in that public opinion of Congress is at an all time low. They are leaders; but nobody trusts Congress. In this case, people respect the office; the person in office would get that respect regardless of who they are, purpose or no purpose.

Compare that against people like Martin Luther King, Jr and Mother Teresa. People supported them because they had a clear vision and message. Furthermore, they were resolute on carrying out their purpose. You could trust that they would not waver. They weren't out to seek recognition and be in front of issues; they had a purpose and a determination to see that purpose through. You could believe in them wholeheartedly. Furthermore, they did not seek out any recognized office. They were respected because of who they were and what they did, not because they had a title attached to their name.

With this said, I agree with Chris that one should strive to lead. Find your purpose and enlist the help of others to see it through. You will find your achievements much more satisfying and fullfilling than simply filling a vacancy.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Do you ever worry that online companies know too much about you?