Thursday, August 20, 2015

I just do.

A couple weeks ago, I had a text conversation that left an impression. I was texting with a competitive athlete about her training. I know how long my training takes...and I'm only doing a fraction of what her training demands. This person is an adult with normal grown-up working to pay for shelter and food. (Being a grown-up is so overrated.) So I couldn't help but does she do anything else?

"How are you going to fit a job into all this training?"
"I just do. ..."

I just do. Of course. When something is a big deal and non-negotiable, people make it work. Happens all the time. Parents coordinating kiddo stuff. They just do.

I was struck by her simple (profound) answer...and thinking maybe I don't have any "I just do." Right now, my life is pretty easy. (I am grateful!) I should have plenty of time and energy to "just do" what I want...and yet...

Fast forward. Last night, I was out to dinner with a colleague and her (grown) daughter. Her daughter is in the midst of a career crisis. She asked about my work history...she was not interested in the actual jobs, she was very interested in the why. She wanted to know..."Why did you apply for each job?" We were talking about my job at FedEx...and I said "I'm super debt adverse. My scholarship money ran out...I wanted to finish school...FedEx would pay for school...all I had to do was pass a weightlifting test and throw boxes from 11p-5a and I could go to college. WithOUT debt. That was a big deal to me."

"You worked night shift?" (Colleague)
"You went to college during the day?" (Colleague)
"How did you do that?" (Colleague)
"She just did mom...that's what people do." (Colleague's Daughter)

She just did. I do have it.

Turns out...just do is a product of motivation. That means it's available to everyone (including me!) at any time. All one needs is the right motivation.

Work. School. When my brother was sick and I went home to help. I just did. I've had seasons where my I just do was prominent. I guess...I just haven't needed it lately.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Outside My Comfort Zone

Taking a leap (or even a teeny tiny baby step) outside my comfort zone is not something I like to do. I don't do it willingly. I have to be pushed. Strongly, and from behind.

They call it the comfort zone for a's UNcomfortable outside that space.

In the past few years, I have come to appropriately appreciate my health. I am amazed at what the body can do. My fitness level has dramatically improved over the past year, but there are still a few moves I struggle with. (Olympic weightlifting, specifically the snatch.) Of all the fitness forms I've tried, weightlifting is the one that changed my body. It's also fun (and empowering) to move a heavy bar.

The only way to get better at something is to do it. I'm terrible at the snatch. It's precisely because I'm terrible, that I must do it. A lot. So I switched my training program...I moved from the regular fitness program to the barbell program.  

I started my new training program last Monday. I've done more snatches, snatch pulls, and snatch balances in the last week than I've done in all of last year. I've dropped the bar and fallen down more times than I've caught the bar in the receiving position and stood up. I probably look stupid with as much as I fall down...but I don't care. And nobody else cares either. I don't see anyone making snarky faces or comments when I fail. Instead, I hear a lot of cueing and encouragement...and big cheers when I make the lift.

Saturday was a busy day at the gym (so there was an audience.) After I dropped the bar and fell on my butt for the 6th time in a row, I took a time out. I sat down with my back to the bar. (A needed break and a silent tantrum of frustration.) I thought about how annoyed I was that this particular thing is hard for me. Then I thought about that first day...I did 20 snatches....and 3 were perfect. I might've just missed 6 in a row, but I made 4 before those misses. This might be really hard 
for me, but I've made successful lifts...I am capable.

Everyone has to start somewhere. This is my beginning place. I know I won't be a beginner forever. I know this will get easier. I know that one day, my comfort zone will expand...and this will fit nicely right inside my comfort zone. Until then, you'll find me on the platform - dropping the bar, falling down, and getting up to try again.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Vomit Happens

I'm often asked "Do you travel a lot for work?" Because it's all relative, I'm never quite sure how to answer that.  If you asked "Do you drive a lot?" The answer is absolutely.  I average 1000+ miles/week. But I know the travel question is related to air travel.  So that varies...some years and seasons are heavier than others...the average is 6-8 times a year.  For some people, that's a lot.  Others do much more flying and that number seems low.

I have done a lot of flying in my life (pretty much all domestic)...I was a transplant kid with family far away...I worked in logistics and calculated weight/balance of planes...and I studied air traffic control.  It is fair to say I've grown up very comfortable in airports and around planes. There was a time that flying was fun. That time ended sometime around the year 1998.

For (some) people who do not travel much, there seems to be a perception that work travel is cool and sexy.  It's not.  It's air travel.  And I HATE air travel.

Yesterday, I boarded the plane for home and attempted to listen to my iPod.  iPod died on song 2.  I thought I charged this thing, but I must've accidentally left it on after my gym time. Errr.  Good news, it's only an hour until my layover. I'll have time to charge it before the next flight.  I'm annoyed, but it's not the end of the world. Then I notice a smell.  And lights start going off.  The lady sitting directly in front of me threw up all over the place.  It takes the flight attendants 10 minutes to respond.  As they are working to clean everything up the best they can, a man behind me taps me on the shoulder. "Your bag under the need to check that."  OMG...I didn't even think about that.  So I grab the handle and slowly drag my bag from under the's covered in vomit.  I get the flight attendant's attention...I need help.  She pours some dusting powder on my bag and hands me a dry cleaning voucher.

You have got to be kidding me?????  You want me to carry my vomit covered bag off this plane, onto the next, into my car, home, and to the dry cleaners and then submit a receipt for reimbursement?  No freaking way.  Not happening.  Bring me trash bags.  So I unzip the bag and remove the contents into a clean garbage bag.  Then I throw the bag in the trash.  

By this you can imagine... it smells pretty bad on the plane.  So I tell the flight attendant, we need coffee grounds. English is not her first language and she doesn't understand my request. She is trying to assure me that the cleaning powder she put down works.  I'm trying to explain to her we are in an enclosed space...and she does not want to start a chain reaction.  The gentleman next to me leans over to reveal he is a hospitalist and "it smells like work."  I appreciate the laugh.

She brings me 2 coffee pods.  She never understood the request so of course this does nothing for most of the people on the plane.  At least my row is no longer overwhelmed by the awful smell.  The Dr. says to me "Aisle 8 LOVES you right now."

I've never been so happy to get off a plane.  I make it to the next gate, plug in my iPod...and sit down just in time to hear my connecting flight is cancelled.  I learn the previous flight was also cancelled.  2 full planes.  No weather at home. Cancellation reason unknown to customer service agent.  All she can tell me is they cannot get me home...and if I want to get home the next day, I will need to connect yet again.  I take the earliest flights available, the hotel voucher, and request my luggage be moved to the carousel.  All this drama caused my brain cells to quit firing.  I suddenly remember I have a work travel team.  I call them.  They are unable to get me onto a better flight, but they do verify I'm in a good hotel and I grab a cab.

Yesterday sucked.  But as I was standing in the customer service line, I heard people say some really awful things to these agents.  I heard the agents do their best to respond in kind and try to get people home.  (Let me just point out, I was in a main hub and not all these people were on my flight.  There were all kinds of flight issues at the airport yesterday.)  I was not happy, but I know that jumping up and down while screaming obscenities is not going to solve my problem.  That's not going to make the customer service agent want to help me...and it's not going to make me feel any better.  

I am by no means a perfect person.  But I was truly horrified by the behavior I witnessed at the customer service counter.  How do you think you would respond if someone just started screaming and cussing at you for an unknown reason?  (Most of these outbursts happened before the customer service agent knew the situation.)  It is totally possible to express dissatisfaction, frustration, anger, and many other negative emotions withOUT that ridiculous, obnoxious behavior.  Did I mention that yesterday sucked?  Have I told you that I HATE air travel? But there are worse things in this world.  And I had some empathy for the customer service folks.  Sh!t (or vomit!) happens.

Oh...and fingers crossed, but this morning...I got moved to an earlier & direct flight.  It looks like today is going to be a good day. :)