Hey there. It’s 5 am on Wednesday. I’m sitting in an airport in Madison, Wisconsin where I had a couple of meetings yesterday. Now I’m headed back home, where I’ll immediately go to swim practice, then to the office and then finally home… all before I leave again tomorrow morning for the mountains of North Carolina for the Blue Ridge Relay.
It’s GO GO GO GO GO all the time. I can’t say that I don’t love it. You know I do. I don’t rest well. Everyone makes fun of me because I don’t know how to vacation. It’s a running joke around the office. It’s not so funny to Elizabeth.
I get anxious when I rest. I feel like I should be doing something to move myself, my family and my businesses forward towards our goals. There’s always something to do. Or there is always something I could be doing. Always.
It’s hardwired within me. Even when there is absolutely zero fuel left in the tank, I will sit on the couch with a bottle of wine to watch a movie and I’ll constantly be on my phone just waiting for an email to arrive in my inbox. I’ll stare blankly at a screen, trying to respond to an email without the ability to muster up the energy to actually type a word.
Why not just put the phone down? Why not get it all out of my mind?
I don’t know. I wish I had the answer to that question. I just don’t. I’m not sure I ever will. Some people can knock off work at 5pm. Like Fred Flintstone, they can hear the bird yell, say “yabba dabba doo,” slide on down the dinosaur’s tail and never think about work again or until they clock in the next day.
I don’t know how to be Fred Flintstone. Even if I knew how, I don’t think my brain would even let me do it. It’s like trying to swim right now. I hear my coach tell me that I need to straighten my body out and get long. I know that’s what I’m supposed to do. But my shoulder and back muscles will not allow my arms to straighten directly over my head. My brain knows what to do but my body won’t let it happen.
Before attempting my first triathlon, my coach gave me great advice “just keep moving. If you get tired, roll over and backstroke. Survival stroke if you have to. Just don’t stop moving.” That’s also the plan for this weekend as I go into the Blue Ridge Relay, a 200 mile relay in the mountains, a much different terrain than the flat coastal lands of Charleston, South Carolina. On the toughest climbs the goal is to run/walk. Run a few minutes and then walk a minute. There’s no shame in that. But there is shame in stopping —in not moving.
I know I’m not normal. I know most people can stop and relax. And I know that it will one day take a toll on me. It already is. But I don’t think you have to be abnormal like me to build a business or to run a marathon. It’s okay to relax. But most of you are relaxing all the time. You spend half or more of the 24 hours in your day relaxing.
Convince yourself that being still is bad. Stagnation is the devil.
GO! MOVE! NOW!