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Push Past the Pain

By Joey Havens

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The beach is one of the places that restores my energy and creativity.  

Thanks to some great friends’ hospitality, CeCe and I have enjoyed the beautiful ocean views on 30A near Seagrove Beach, Florida, this year. I decided to work virtually and gaze out of the den to a beautiful white sandy beach and clear ocean waves.

My energy this morning was so good that I embarked on a 7 a.m. jog. As you may know, I’m pretty loose with the term jog; regardless, the exercise created some space for insights.

My first three miles are clicking around 13 minutes and I’m finishing stronger on my final mile. That may be a fast walk for you, but jogging has never been my favorite exercise — my body was simply not designed for running. It’s always painful, yet I will jog several days in a row when I’m at the beach. I guess it’s the opportunity to be in a fun, beautiful place, seeing so many others enjoying the outdoors, too.  

This run has been especially fascinating as I love to people watch as I jog along. I’m seeing more young people than in past years and frankly, more people are out early and exercising. In past years, I would only meet one or two people per mile. Many of these young people are speed demons, quickly passing everyone on the path. I’m also seeing some older people setting some pretty strong paces and passing people of all ages. I’ve been pretty steady and I’ve even passed one of these speed demons further down the trail as they have slowed down in this intense heat. 

Well, I finished mile four in 12:32, which is blazing speed so don’t try to go out and do this without some serious training time first. Ha! As I complete my stretching, my mind begins connecting the dots on how the people jogging along with me today are so representative of what is going on in the business world.  

The impacts of COVID-19 have set the table for anyone to start learning faster and deeper. Seniority is no longer an advantage with so much new technology, new ways to work, virtual networking as well as so many new regulations and business model opportunities. We are seeing some young people seize these opportunities and fly past many older team members with new knowledge and skills, making a bigger impact. We are also seeing some tremendous leadership from our older team members who also have set a fast learning pace. And, of course, we have team members of all ages that are setting strong, steady paces so that they are impactful in the long run and help gain opportunities that were previously too far or maybe entirely out of sight.

Just like jogging, learning is painful. Our challenge is to push past the pain of that first mile, that first challenge, and set a pace that seizes our future and secures our relevance. 

Out of Gas