The discovery of time (outside work)

This story is not about running… or, well, it actually is somehow… see for yourself:

Today, I spent a day at an adventure park with my family. The day started off at half past seven with my son waking my wife and me with the cutest laughter a 9 month old baby can have – ever. We got ready for the ride to the park, drove for one hour and spent time in one of the regions smaller, but most authentic adventure parks. We had the full package with lying in the grass, playing in the sand, taking funny children’s rides and watching animals. We had one wonderful day together as the small little family we are since my son has been born.

On the way back, I was checking the time: We had spent not more than 7hrs in the park. But yet, all the action and fun and good feeling felt like this had been a much longer time. It definitely was packed with lots of memories to hold on to for a long time.

The realization came as a shock to me: For the last couple of months, I had been engaged in a major project at my company. I do care very much for the company and colleagues I work for and this project was important to them. So, naturally, my last months had been filled with 10-14h-days at work. I literally sprinted through my work day not to disappoint anyone and to keep up with everything. Following several heated discussions with my wife, I had been trying to balance work and family life, but it never occurred to me how poor my choice of priorities had been.

Not until that moment in the car, returning from that adventure park, my son and wife in the back. These 7hrs spent with the two people I love most, in a tiny adventure park, had been more rewarding than any of the 14hr-days spent at work in the last few months. There were not nearly as many memories worth holding dear in the whole sequence of endless work days. And not one reward as fulfilling as the giggling of my son and wife, when we drove home.

This is when I discovered the true meaning of time and I want it written down clearly to remind me, the next time, I am tempted to work late:

  • If 7hrs of a day spent with the ones you love holds that much joy, what a waste were the 14hr-days spent away from them.
  • If months spent for something you care for deeply, fade in the light of just 7hrs spent with your family, then the priorities should be clear.

Credits to the unknown shoemaker…

Dear maker of my recent pair of running shoes,

Thank you for providing my feet with ample support.
Thank you for helping me to run happily for more than a thousand kilometers.
Thank you for that special reinforcements around the ankles.
Thank you for the great traction on every terrain.
Thank you for making these shoes stable enough to carry me home even after the sole started to fall apart (20 km from home…).

Thank you for providing us with new shoes to replace the old ones.
Thank you for adding additional support for my funny way of running.
Thank you for that crazy shoe color.
Thank you for having these shoes available whenever we need them.

Thank you for doing what we ourselves cannot do anymore.
Thank you for being our shoemaker…

Others’ thoughts on running: Columbia students

This is a very nice article about the benefits and challenges of running. Written from the perspective of eager students that make their way in a big city’s university.

…In nature, we watch the seasons change; they see grey, and we see green become yellow, become brown, become nothing. The cracks of our shoes are filled with dried up mud, the windy river air crashes imposingly against our chapped faces…

A very nice picture you paint there, Ms. Jacobovitz!

Read the full article here: Just run it: Jogging Columbia students

A break from running: Peter’s traveling 

Today, I’m traveling to the U.S. This is my first flight with Lufthansa: The airline that my dad is so very fond of.  So far, I can’t back up his high thoughts for this big German airline. The entertainment system on my seat is defective, the cabin is more than crowded and we’re late one and a half hours without even leaving the airport gate.

The way to the airport was much more effective, but all in all the journey so far turned out to be a reminder of what I value so much about running. Just to be clear, I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to the U.S. after a few years of not traveling by plane at all. But you know, it’s always more fun to complain. And after sitting in this cabin without moving for over and hour now, I have some thoughts on my mind. And since I’m embarking on a ten-hour flight with nothing else to do (TV’s broken, remember?), I gladly share these with you in full detail…

Continue reading A break from running: Peter’s traveling 

Two ways to drive change…

Recently while running, I thought about the different ways change can happen. I’ve been involved in quite a few discussions and events involving change lately. Change on a personal level, change in business terms, change in general. None of those events were related, but somehow it felt like they were all handled alike.

So, the thoughts circulated my mind about the patterns behind the changes I’ve witnessed lately and as I ran along, all the change events were lining up in between two extremes of how change was driven.

Continue reading Two ways to drive change…

The danger of stepping out the front door…

Yesterday, I took my shoes out for a walk and like Mr. Tolkien made Bilbo say:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

I remember stepping out my front door and the next thing I remember, as I ran down some muddy road, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a flock of sheep. There was “baa” all around me. Lamb hid behind their ewes, while the older sheep just chewed, watching me alert but not at all fearful. A few minutes later, the lamb also decided it was safe to give in to curiosity and so some approached me while others just resumed their meal.

And I? Well, I stood there.And I smiled. I smiled at those little lamb, I smiled at the older sheep, I smiled at the whole scene: A few minutes earlier, I stepped out of the door with a head full of issues, todos and whatsoever. A head so full, I didn’t even notice how I got onto this muddy road. And now, none of these problems that clouded my head remained. All that was left was fresh air, a cloudy saturday morning and that terribly beautiful concert of “baa”.

So, you were right, Mr. Baggins: It’s a dangerous business, going out your front door. But a life-enhancing one as well.