The Quandary of 4.99

I went running this weekend with my wife and her friend.  They frequently run a 5 mile loop around a lake near our house.  They run more than I do so I was grateful they let me tag along and even more grateful that I kept up with them and made it the entire way!

As we neared the end of the run, one of my morning running partners noticed on her watch that we were at 4.99 miles.  So the three of us jogged around the parking lot until we got to 5.0.  I liked the idea of going the extra effort to get to 5.0.  It gave a greater sense of accomplishment to be able to truly say I ran 5 miles.  (You see, while I try to exercise regularly I don’t run too often and when I do, it’s normally under 5 miles.  So 5 miles was meaningful to me.)

My other running partner noted that running was her release from the deadlines, goals, and challenges of life and her preference was not to add metrics and goals to something that was for her enjoyment.  Adding these goals and assessing the performance made it just like work and the purpose of her run was to get away from all that.

It was an interesting discussion that reminded me of the importance of balance in our lives.  They both made great points and actually, I understand and agree with both of them.  As leaders, our lives will be full of goals and metrics and assessments and drive for results.  And when we are focused on work, I hope we don’t ever stop at 4.99 miles.  We need to go the extra mile to show our team members the effort , commitment, and perseverance it takes to succeed.  But as leaders, we also need balance.  We need to get away at times, to escape from the “rat race.”  And when we are balancing, we need to forget about tracking the miles.  We can stop when we want because we won’t even know when we hit 4.99.

Balance is tough for leaders.  Leaders typically have great work ethic and are driven to get results.  And as such, turning it off and taking a break can be difficult.  But we all do need a break.  So remember, it’s not always necessary to track the miles.  Sometimes it’s okay to stop at 4.99, or better yet, to not even know when 4.99 comes.

Thanks for reading,


6 thoughts on “The Quandary of 4.99

  1. I agree and believe making the effort to run is the first step in achiving a goal that makes you feel good weather you run 1/2 mile or 5 miles do something that makes you feel good!

  2. My favorite post so far!!! Inspirational!!! now im going to go finish up this paper i have to submit!

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Jim, thanks–I ran for 30 some years but now with hip replacement I’ve calmed down a bit—however, it provided balance in my life as you mention which is critical, thanks again


    • Thanks for your comment Jim. Balance is so important, but seems very easy to lose. Hopefully, we all can find something like running to help us escape. Coaching my kids’ sports teams helps me escape, but doesn’t quite have the same health benefits as running!

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