Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Strengths, Weaknesses, Balance, and Basics
January 26, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

A couple of weeks after the beginning of 2010, I started attending a fitness bootcamp at my gym. This bootcamp is three times per week for a total of eight weeks. My goals attached to attending bootcamp are simple: I want to lose between 20-25 lbs. and be able to run 2 miles with no stops. I have aggressive goals beyond this, but for an 8 week program, I think these are ambitious, yet do-able.

On the first day of bootcamp, we worked out HARD. I had sore muscles where I didn’t think muscles existed. I was a little surprised by this because I’ve already been working out with a personal trainer a couple days per week to work on strength and tone. The bootcamp began revealing areas of weakness that I didn’t know were previously there.

Last night, one week into bootcamp, we did measurements and took photos. To date, I have already lost 2 1/2 lbs. and .5% of my total BMI. No – the “before” photos will never appear on this blog 🙂 We’ll have to see about the “after”s…

I am learning some things about myself as I go through this bootcamp that I don’t particularly like. When you make a commitment to change, a true commitment, there are going to be parts of you that are going to be peeled back and exposed as weak. For example – I have incredibly weak hip flexor muscles. Those are the muscles that help you bring your knee up to your chest. But I am also learning about strengths of mine, such as the fact that I have pretty steady aerobic endurance. I used to be a competitive long-distance swimmer so it’s natural for me, but it’s been years since I last competed so I am pleased to learn I still possess this strength.

The kicker though is that strengths and weaknesses have to work together in order for you to operate properly. I can’t just focus on strengthening my hip flexors and neglect the quads or the calves. I can’t just work on my aerobic endurance and neglect sprinting activities. If I did that, I would be unbalanced as a whole. The whole point in working toward achieving this goal is to become more balanced in my fitness. And in order to do that, I have to go back to some basic movements to retrain my muscles on how to do things properly.

So – what does this have to with sourcing? Everything, if you ask me. In order to refine your strengths and strengthen you weak areas, you often have to go back to the very basics of your function. You have to return to developing basic Boolean search queries, or perhaps you have to go back to some basic phone skills to hone your style of communication. If you neglect these foundational areas, you will become unbalanced in all your efforts to better yourself professionally.

Discovering, and in particular owning up to, your weaknesses can be a pretty unpleasant experience and leave you feeling somewhat exposed. But owning your weaknesses and recognizing that you need to make some improvements can also be liberating and open up a world of learning opportunities. I was reluctant to admit that I needed help in achieving my fitness goals. I wanted to believe I could do it on my own. But finally realizing that I work harder in a group setting has been incredibly freeing for me. The same is true for pinpointing your professional weaknesses. Admitting them can be painful, especially if you’ve denied them for a long time, but it also allows you to begin the process of getting back to basics and retraining the way you approach things at work so you can be better balanced in your skills.

I have every intention on reaching my short-term goals during this eight week period. However, if for some reason I don’t, I know I’ll still be better off for having tried because I will have started a process of continual improvement and desire to achieve balance. So, when you apply these same principles to work, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to where you want to be as quickly as you wanted. Just know that you’re better for having tried, and keep the end result in mind. You’ll make it there eventually!


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