The cost of the status quo is hidden.
It simply isn’t possible to see both (a) what the future could be; and (b) the drag of accepting the way things are.
Over Thanksgiving my kids reminded me of this fact. They were amazing.
Earlier in the year, I told them that I was done spending time with all three. No “full family” trips.
I stuck to my guns. When it came to kids, I was 1s and 2s across the year. Much less refereeing between them.
But they missed hanging out with each other so they started a get-along campaign.
See Dad, we get along now.
Reminded me of another favorite lesson => to be sick of sickness is the only cure.
The part of me that likes to say “no” was a little sad at their improvement. Strange thing human nature!
I share the story as a holiday reminder that parents have a choice with regard to the status quo. It does take a lot of patience, skill and persistence to help everyone get along with each other.
While I can’t control the actions of others, as a parent, I can influence the incentive structure.
Even getting the incentives correct, change was slow and took many months, to become obvious.
Another thing that’s been frustrating is my lack of recovery. In my 50s, I simply do not bounce back from anything very well.
I’ve noticed that the days with “more” cardio are a whole lot easier for my mental health. So, with an eye towards “better”, I got myself an Oura ring to gain insight into resting HR, HRV and sleep quality.
This process was another reminder… Two things are necessary for progress: (a) make mistakes visible; and (b) have the courage to see, then address, uncomfortable truths.
You see, I bought the ring so it could tell me what I wanted to hear!
Unfortunately, the data has had other ideas. It’s early days, so I’ll skip the specifics until I’ve gone a full season.
Suffice to say, the message appears to be that my appetite is greater than my tolerance. The only way I’m going to fit in “more” is to go a whole lot easier (most of the time). This reminds me of an observation I shared with KP (when he was my age).
I used to do a lot more easy training than I remember.
He liked that quote so much, he hung it above his desk. As I near 53, I’m glad the memory came back to me.
Anybody over 50 who says “age is just a number” isn’t paying attention, or may be trying to sell you something. 🙂
A recurring theme across my fatherhood journey… remembering it is OK to be sensible.
Another observation, this one physiological, each time I give myself a novel anaerobic stimuli, it kicks my butt for at least a month.
The first month of something new kicks my butt. Being wrecked is obvious to me. Thereafter, the fatigue gets more subtle.
Mark Allen quote… just because you feel better, doesn’t mean you are better. At the time we were talking about over-reaching but it applies more broadly.
In other words, adaptations are continuing even when I can’t “feel” them.
The shirt pictured above is from the last time I was “fast” in a conventional sense, August 2012. We had a 3 year old, a baby and my wife was 8-months pregnant with our youngest.
Shortly thereafter, I decided to pause the racing. That one choice started a positive cascade of consequences that continue to benefit my family.
The “pausing” racing choice was a big one to make. I had a lot of my identity tied up in my relative performance.
I also had a mistaken belief that the process of race preparation was essential to look good. As I age, I’m bumping into the same fear.
Just like with my household, changing the incentives can lead to better.