Yesterday, the love of my life and my He Said, She Said partner, Todd Schnick, published an e-book he’s been working on for months. It’s a collection of stories and lessons learned from 40 of Todd’s friends and colleagues here in Atlanta, GA.
Cartoon by Hugh MacLeod
You can read mine on page 6 so I’m not going to bore you with that.
Some of my favorites are:
Erik Wolf “You’re going to feel like an idiot. Often.”
David Cohen “If you know it’s right, don’t wait to be authorized, take control, take initiative, take permission.”
Stephanie Frost “I didn’t like the sameness of a job. It was like the movie Groundhog Day in real life. Boring.”
I ran my 8th half-marathon on Sunday in San Antonio, TX. (A half-marathon is 13.1 miles; a full is 26.2 miles.)
Previously I’d run the half in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day 5 times, the Rock-n-Roll half in Virginia Beach once, and I ran the Country Music half-marathon in Nashville this past April.
Until now I’ve always said that the half in Atlanta is my favorite. Now, I just may have a new favorite.
San Antonio and the Rock-n-Roll series organizers did an OUTSTANDING job with this event. It was impeccably planned and organized; the course was perfect (read: flat), and we really lucked out with the weather. An unseasonable cold front came through San Antonio the day before the race bringing the temperature down to a perfect 47 degrees at the start line Sunday morning.
I ran this one as well as the one in Nashville with Todd. Todd inspired me to start running again nearly a year ago after a 3 year hiatus. We originally set a goal of running the half in Atlanta this coming Thanksgiving, but as soon as we started running I knew I didn’t want to wait that long and we decided to train for the Country Music half in Nashville this past April.
So, within his first year of running and my first year back we’ll have completed three half-marathons. Not too bad, I’m thinking…
When I lost my first iPod and ordered another, I had the word fortitude engraved on the back.
fortitude- strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage
natural virtue – (scholasticism) one of the four virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) derived from nature
Because whenever I’m running high mileage training runs or races, that’s the word that always comes to mind and keeps me going when the going gets tough.
It’s what I think of as I’m pushing my body to and past its limits; talking myself through continuing to move forward, putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how much it hurts.
Distance running is 90% mental.
The other 10% consists of physical abilities, and proper nutrition, training, and rest.
You can follow the perfect training plan, eat all the right things, and get plenty of rest…but if you don’t have the fortitude to push yourself through the times when your body is screaming NO MORE NO MORE NO MORE YOU MOTHER F*CKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at you, you won’t make it.
This applies to a lot of trials and tribulations throughout our lives, be it personal relationships or career-related challenges…and I do believe that running has made me stronger.
Over the past 11 years it’s helped me to keep my eye on the finish line – the bigger picture, the greater goal – and to see the nits and gnats that get in my way as nothing more than what they really are.
Nits and gnats.
They’re just the little curve balls that life inevitably throws our way once in a while.
They’re to be expected, absolutely; and they’re not ever anything we can’t handle.
Notice some of the adjectives for the word fortitude: bravery, courage, and my personal favorite: gumption.
We all have it…it’s inside of us.
It’s what allows us to push through the bumps along the way, and if we choose; to arrive at our goal with enough left in us for a strong finish.
That’s what running has taught me.
Do you run, or participate in another endurance sport? Or perhaps there’s something else in your life that requires another type of endurance and fortitude.
I recently received an email from someone I don’t know who said he was interested in learning more about a firm I have a connection with.
[Recruiter name] at [confidential] suggested I contact you regarding my interest learning more about [your firm]. Feel free to reach out to me on linkedin.com.
Annoyed that this person, who is asking me for help, did not even bother to take the time to:
give me a reason as to why I would want to,
provide me with ANY information about himself, or
provide me with a direct link to his LinkedIn profile; rather, he expected me to hunt it down myself.
I was then further irritated when I took the initiative to find him on LinkedIn, only to discover that HIS PROFILE HAD BEEN REMOVED.
At first I thought I would write a snarky blog post about all of this (shocking, I know), but I decided instead to use it as an opportunity to help anyone who feels inclined to reach out to a recruiter (or ANYONE) and ask them for help.
Don’t make the person you want something from have to go and research to find out who you are. Introduce yourself right up front, and provide some background. Give them a reason to want to know a little more about you.
NOTE: This is especially true for LinkedIn invitations. One of my biggest pet peeves is the default LinkedIn invitation. It’s just rude.
Know something about the person you’re reaching out to and prove that by mentioning it in your introductory note.
[Genuine] compliments are even better.
Include DIRECT links to things you want people to see.
Be sure these links will present you in a professional light. For example I do not recommend providing a link to your MySpace page that has pictures of the keg party where you passed out in the bathroom all over it. Also if you provide a few links people will read what you want them to read about you rather than Googling you and finding your attrocious MySpace page.
Be interesting. Provide some insight or a brief, interesting story.
Be personable and friendly. Nobody wants to read a stodgy, stuffy anything.
Thank the recipient for their time and consideration. It’s polite.
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Recently a blog post on tlnt.com by the fabulous Laurie Ruettimann caught my attention, “Don’t Facebook Me: Why You Shouldn’t Google During the Recruiting Process.” Laurie writes, “I don’t believe it is appropriate for Human Resources professionals to hop on Google, root around the Internet, and look for incriminating pictures and create reasons not to […]