After the Storm

Last week, my team and I embraced the suck and ran in the midst of a storm—and it was hard. Here are three things I learned during my 4 hour and 17 minute journey.

Lesson One: Running against the wind stinks.

Unfortunately, I had to run with stiff wind in my face for a significant chunk of my race, and I was not prepared for how hard it would be and how much energy it would take. During several tough miles of fighting the wind, I began to realize that my goal time would be a challenge—if not impossible—to meet. So I adjusted my goal, put my head down, and kept slugging through.

Sometimes in life we have to run against the wind. Things don’t work out as we planned or hoped they would and we are often forced to adjust our expectation and accept that some things are beyond our control. But sometimes, we create our own headwind. When our actions, behaviors, or habits create steady opposition that prevents us from moving our lives forward—like when foolish spending habits keep us from saving for a rainy day, or oversleeping causes us to miss class and fail the course, or when our choice of friends produces the wrong type of influence.

Lesson Two: Don’t miss opportunities when the wind is at your back.

While it seems like we’re often running against the wind in life, there will always be magical times when the wind is at your back— you are driven and energized and confident. But when things are easy, it’s tempting to fall into the complacency of the comfortable. Don’t! When the wind is at your back, take advantage of it and make progress! Plan ahead so that when the winds change direction, you’ll be prepared.

Lesson Three: Surround yourself with people who will go out into a storm with you.

When the storms come, everyone of us need people who will walk (or run) alongside us, helping us endure until we emerge on the other side. We all were aware of the not-so-favorable weather forecast and the conditions we would be running in. Anyone on the team could have said, “I think I’ll skip out on this one, get a few extra hours of sleep.” But instead, they showed up and walked out the door with me, into the cold and rain and wind, and we suffered together.

How have you and your team dealt with storms in your life or in your business? Are there any practical steps you can take to prepare you and your team for the future?