Story Construction

Run to the Pain

September 30, 2009

My oldest son and my daughter run cross country. It is an awesome sport for them. They get in great shape. They enjoy camaraderie with their friends, teammates, and opponents. Their teams are quite large so they get to meet many new people. They learn about nutrition and training. They work all season long to drop their times with the goal of being at peak performance at the end of the season when the district and state meets happen. Cross country is a great sport.

As I travel to watch them run, I not only watch my runners but all of the runners in an event. What I like most of all is watching kids that run to the pain. It is clear who they are. Whether they are leading the race or back in the pack, those kids that give it all they have from start to finish are obvious.

There are also kids that cruise through the race and have a lot left in the tank coming down the homestretch where they finally turn it on. They are not necessarily running from the pain but not managing themselves in the race to give it everything they have from start to finish. Running to the pain usually is accompanied with grunting, slobbering, sweating, and gasping. It is fun to see kids that get what that feels like and look forward to doing it again and again in practice and competition. They are absolutely doing their best.

I think this is a metaphor for the turbulent economic time we find around us today. As companies and individuals, we need to run to the pain now more than ever. We need to be creative. We need to work harder. We need to test assumptions and rules of thumb. We need to explore all of the possibilities. The only way to survive and thrive in this economy is to run to the pain. Those that cruise through their work at the same pace they did before will be left behind and may never finish the race at all.

At Story, we are challenging one another to run to the pain; to do our best and to be at our best for one another, for our business partners and for our clients. If there has ever been a time, it’s now. The irony of this statement is that by deciding to run to the pain, we are working very hard to avoid the pain many others are feeling in this economy. Gotta go, it’s time to run.



Mike Espeset

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