Thursday, June 15, 2006

The High Road

"Stupid" is the first word came out of my mouth when my coworker told me this. I worked in a small distribution company. For the past year, I spent a great deal of energy and effort to help the company move from using a spreadsheet to track inventory into a database. I was told that management is considering moving it back to spreadsheet.

I was very disappointed with even the thought of it. This is a database which I had to redesign because the programmer did a bad job. On top of that, I got heat from the management b/c I was spending too much time fiddling it and should be pushing it to the warehouse worker.

Now after all the work, we decided to go back to square one. Why? Well, one worker in the warehouse doesn't like using the database. The database keeps better record than a spreadsheet. It solved a lot of 'missing' stock problems that we had before. Am I ticked off? Yup.

The trick of it all is to take the high road. Oh you don't know how often I loathe taking the high road. But if God shows me the high road..i will take it. The high road is not necessary the most pleasant one. In fact, I can say it is never the pleasant one.

So the high road in this situation is to work just as hard and stay just as committed. It is easy to make a fuss and slack off. Jack Welsh (the guy who turned GE around) talked about working in a situation where the boss doesn't support you. His advice is to suck it up. If you are in an interview, you are going ot have a hard time explaining to the potential employer that your past boss is bad and blah blah blah. No one likes a whiner. Me too. So no whining from me.

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...I went with Endurosport and did a group swim last night. The water is FREEZING. My quads are cramping up in the end. When I got back to shore, my legs are shaking uncontrollably. I think the water was too cold. I don't kick too much during my swim. Maybe that's what I need to keep my legs warm. I got another open water swim tomorrow night with my coach. I will get some slippers so keep my feet warm.

Gordo wrote a very good article about setting up training plan in xtri.com. He is talking about finding the key success in a training schedule. The interesting conlusion is that the more simple the training plan it is, the better. If you read Gordo's writing, he always talk (and talk about) having one basic week that you can do over and over again. Simple? Yes. Easy to follow? No. As human, we always try to learn more and try new ways of training. Oh this person is doing XYZ, it sounds good, I will try it. Oh that company is advertising ABC, let's give it shot.

This goes back to Mike talked about training and keeping it consistent. If you are a fan of Jim Collins (Author of From Good to Great), he mentioned it in his book where great companies (HP, Wal-mart etc.) became successful by keeping it simple and consistent in the hedgehog concept. I love it when I find one general principle that is applicable across my whole life (church, work, family, training).

In the end Gordo came with the important factor of training:

Passion
A feeling of satisfaction arising from using the path towards our goals as a vehicle for personal excellence and discovery.

Persistence
The ability to stick with it. “It” being anything from getting out of bed to an entire season of training.

Patience
An understanding that there are inevitable plateaus and cycles within each of our lives, a maturity to see these as natural and continue along our path. A focus on the bigger picture while chipping away a single task at a time."


Is this stuff hooky? Yeah. How does this relate to training? Everything.

When I talk about stuff like this, either people get it and either they don't. A lot of people still think you need the fancy new gadget or some new training methodology that will get you to the top. As Gordo points out:

"While I believe that the constant search for knowledge and experience is essential, I think that the precision that many of us seek to provide in our training, and lives, provides more benefit to our ego than the quality of our result. I think back to Dave Scott and Mark Allen – two guys that excelled in an era devoid of many of the ‘essential’ gizmos and testing protocols, 8:10 or better in Kona for each of them. The quality of their performances is truly amazing."

So how is this applicable for me? Well after Muskoka this Sunday, I am going to take a day or two rest. Then go back to my one basic week. The same week I have been doing since January. Do that one week and then taper up for 1/2 Peterborough. After 1/2 Peterborough, I am going to stick with my basic week to my second A race, 1/2 Ottawa (in early Sept).

12 comments:

IMmike said...

nice post cliff. I think the basic week is a great way to go. I do however believe in taking the 4th week and backing down it down to get some recovery. Of course Gordo and John Hellemans know a lot more than I do.

Steven said...

I agree with immike - you need to back off every 3-4 weeks then push hard again.

I also agree with mike - consistentcy is the SECRET to success.

Oh oh, I've given away my secret!

jessie_tri_mn said...

Simple is good in training, but the variability of taking that back-off week every 4th week as the others mentioned, it good not only for physical recovery but for mental recovery as well. Keeps it fresh!

just how cold is that water you are swimming in? Brrr....

trifrog said...

Gordo, "...provides more benefit to our ego than the quality of our result..."

Amen!

Steven, your 'secret' is safe here in blogland. ;)

Donald said...

Corporate America borrowed almost all of their success strategies from athletics, so those buzzwords and concepts should absolutely apply to your training.

anners said...

Go kick some butt this weekend, Cliff! Wish that I could come out for your race...

Mike said...

Great post Cliff- it's all been said but it's about solid, consistent training that you can back up on a daily / weekly / monthly basis. Just need to prevent "life" from getting in the way sometimes eh!? ;-)
Hope you are taking it easy the next couple of days pre-race!

Kewl Nitrox said...

Way to take the high road. It is so tough sometimes to live up to Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." I find it very tough to live up to this constantly, but this is how our Lord wants us to live - always in victory and never bogged down by the crazy ways of the world.

I like the definition of "persistence", how true! :)

Al Carter said...

Cliff
I hope you get the high road on Sunday and have a really really great race. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Al

TriBoomer said...

Cliff,

The high road is often the road less traveled. Stick to your principals. In the end they won't fail you.

Stay tuned...

TriFeist said...

I LOVE Gordo's writing. Your interpretation of it rocks as well. Keeping it simple and consistent is the way to go.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I can so relate to the first part of this post and have run into it time & time again where I am.

Excel is great for some things but it has limitations and a database is so much better. Any way the tracking could be done in Excel and the uploaded to the database? That way would be a compromise.