Think about a time when you had to really embrace a challenge. Maybe it was an exam in school or a test to be certified in something that really matters to you. In my life I’ve had a few of these moments. You know, the times where you start to question your abilities. Is this challenge something I can handle or is it too much?
In a previous life I drove a school bus equipped with air breaks. In fact I drove a charter bus in Downtown Minneapolis! When I worked for the YMCA obtaining my Class B Commercial Driver License was one of those times that I personally had to embrace a challenge. I had to first pass a written test, followed by a period of practice driving with licensed driver. Next, I had to perform a walk around inspection of the vehicle. I learned about tire tread depth, leaf springs, oil seals and all sorts of other unique components of a vehicle. After the walk around inspection I performed a test of the air brakes system and if I could do all of that I finally got to take the driving exam. This included a set of unique commercial vehicle maneuvers (yes, I had to parallel park a 45 foot bus and would later do it often on Minnesota Avenue in front of the YMCA) and finally driving on the streets with my rig.
For my camp friends and I this was a big challenge. I was nineteen years old when I got my CDL. What this meant for me at camp was that I could make more money. It was a challenge worth embracing. It also meant that I had a lot more responsibility and it gave me the opportunity to show my superiors that I could handle added responsibilities. Moments like this in my life stand out because they have helped shape the person I am today. Eventually, I trained other camps staff on how to successfully complete the process of gaining their CDL.
The truth is on my first attempt at my walk around and skills test for my CDL I failed. I was crushed. Some of my friends had already passed and I felt like a loser for not successfully obtaining my license on the first try. This was a one of those moments where you have to dust yourself off and try again.
Why am I talking about this on the blog today?
Winter running. I’m asked questions almost daily about year-round training outside. I love running this time of year. The thin cool air, the harvest moon and on the clear mornings when the stars pop so bright, you feel like you could reach up and grab them. Yes, this is a challenge worth embracing. Running this time of year takes a different kind of commitment. You have to plan what to wear for the conditions. Every run is an adventure and most of them are in the dark.
I can tell you to dress in layers, I can offer different styles of shoes for more grip and I’ve got tips galore on how to avoid chaffing and wind burn. But, the anxiety of being cold, falling on ice or justified fears of what might lurk in the dark are much more difficult to speak to. All I can do is offer perspective from my experience. Our group run on Wednesday Night at 6:05pm and on Saturday morning at 7am is a safe way to embrace the cold running challenge. We will also have a fantastic Tuesday Night Chat on the 12th with my good friend and member of the Sioux Falls Police Department, Sergeant Jess Speckmeier to discuss personal safety.
Many of you are new to the sport and that is fantastic. I know winter running is intimidating and a seemingly unsurmountable challenge. Trust me, some challenges are worth embracing!
Greg Koch is the Co-Owner and General Manager of 605 Running Company and Co-Produces the Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon. He serves on the Board of Directors for Downtown Sioux Falls, the 605 Race Crew and the Sioux Falls Area Running Club. When Greg isn’t with his family or working he enjoys being outside biking, kayaking, golfing or playing church softball.
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