Rules of the Road


The holidays are an impossible time to diet and they can be terrible on all our waistlines. Having a December birthday just makes it that much more challenging for me. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to squeeze in one more celebration. Anticipating the holiday season I decided it was time to get off the couch and hit the street…yes jogging! Before you read any further let me tell you unequivocally I am not a great runner. I blame it on too many years wearing stilettos.

Like so many other things, if I am going to do this I had to establish my set of rules. The first was I would run in the morning. Waiting until the end of the day held the possibility of too many distractions. There were never conflicts on my calendar before sunup. I needed to be committed to getting up at 6AM to be on the street no later than 6:30. I would run Monday through Thursday giving myself Friday morning to sleep in and rest. As my plan began to come together, I also recognized the need to be patient with myself to avoid an injury. By the second week, I was surprised as to how quickly I was able to complete the course I had laid out. Using an app on my phone, I could track my speed and compare it to previous runs. My progress was evident.

I opted not to listen to music while running. If I were in the health club on a treadmill I needed my ear buds to block the noise and chatter from everyone around me, but on the street, early in the morning my environment was serene. The only noise would be the sound of my feet hitting the pavement or an occasional barking dog. Most of my neighbors were asleep; only a few homes I passed were beginning to show signs of life. It is amazing what you discover when the world around you is silenced.

I had thought I would discover a new strength within me from the physical challenge of running, but to my amazement, I learned a larger life lesson. Jogging through my neighborhood, I learned that the easiest thing to do in life is to quit. At 6:30 in the morning, I am on the road alone. If I choose to walk my course or run, no one knows but me. As I struggle to make it to the top of one of my hills, I learned the easiest thing I could do is to stop running. It is far more challenging and some days harder to maintain forward motion.

Running TerraFina is no different, and I think every business owner has had those days when there are a dozen reason to close shop and go find another job. The harder decision is to keep moving forward. It may require taking smaller steps, rethinking your strategy or re-evaluating your market position, but those are the challenges we control as the business owner. On the road, I can control my pace, I can manage my breathing, I just can’t stop. That would be against the rules.

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