We All Need a Stretch Team
I’m a walker not a runner. But three years ago I decided to join my friends Dan Britton (co-author of One Word) and Chris Regan (Musician) for a 5 mile run through the battlefields of Gettysburg while spending time at an FCA lacrosse camp with my daughter.
It seemed like a good idea in theory but after the second mile I wasn't feeling very positive about my decision. At the three mile mark I wanted to stop running but knew it wasn't an option. As we ran the last two miles, mostly uphill, I felt like I was going to pass out but with Dan and Chris's amazing encouragement I kept going and made it to the finish line. It was an incredible feeling.
Last week, three years after my first 5 miler, I did it again with Dan, Chris and Scottie. But this time the run was 5.4 miles. Dan said he was making me adhere to my own 1% rule where you have to give a little bit more each day, each week, each year. Thanks Dan! Why did I ever come up with the 1% rule in the first place?
Once again I needed encouragement during the difficult uphill portion of the run but was able to persevere and even sprinted to the finish line.
The next day as I took a very slow walk to get the lactic acid out of my aching body I realized that there’s no way I would have been able to run 5 miles by myself. I would have given up around the third mile if I was on my own. But because I was with friends I kept running. Because they encouraged me I was able to power through the most difficult part of the run.
It’s the same with life. When you stretch yourself you need the support and encouragement of others to be successful. No one creates success alone. We all need a positive team to push and encourage us. Life is a team sport.
For every Olympic gold medalist there is a team of trainers, coaches, parents, friends and supporters that encouraged and challenged them through the stretching and growth process. And for each one of our greatest accomplishments there is a story and group of people that made it possible.
If we try to stretch ourselves without the support of others we either won’t go very far or we’ll likely snap. But when we have support and encouragement we are able to stretch ourselves and reach farther than we ever thought possible.
We all need a stretch team!
I want to encourage you to build a team of people that will help you stretch and grow. This might include co-workers, a mentor at work, a spouse, friends, family members or a business coach.
I also want to encourage you to be part of someone else’s stretch team.
Just as Dan and Chris selflessly cheered me on as we ran uphill, I encouraged Chris and Scottie the last half mile as we sprinted to the finish line.
When you are part of a stretch team you make each other better.
Dan, Scottie, Jon, Chris