The Story Economy Blog

Hello, 2015

running by fenceAfter years of thinking about it, I finally met with a running coach last week. One of my 2015 goals is to change some of my physical movement patterns that I suspect aren’t serving me well. Like standing on hyperextended knees, sitting slumped at my desk, and striking my heels when I run.

My theory is that if I change these things, I’ll not only be physically stronger, but it might also spill over into other areas of my life, and help me tweak other patterns.

But I wasn’t expecting to feel so distraught after the first meeting. The coach I’m working with is awesome, and I’m excited about the whole thing, so it’s not that. It’s that after seeing his video footage of my really, really terrible and ungraceful stride ‚Äì with completely misaligned shoulders and hips, a strange bounce and twist, and heels that dig into the pavement step after step after step ‚Äì I’m wondering how I’ve possibly managed to run for the past 20 years. I’m going to estimate that I’ve run about 14,000 miles in that time. How have I been so inefficient all those miles and not known it? I’ve barely been able to get motivated to run this past week, thinking about this. (Here, I thought I was looking pretty good in this picture, but now, I just see a mess!)

Now, I have confidence that my coach will help me change it (since this is what he deals with every day). And, I know that this uncomfortable feeling is for the best, because I wouldn’t make the effort to change without it.

Still, it’s making me wonder what else is completely messed up and inefficient, and I just haven’t noticed it yet.

One Inefficiency Leads to Another

It’s enough dealing with problems of inefficiency that are front and center, like the fact that I don’t have a good backup system for my data or the ridiculous amount of time it takes my applications to open on this computer.

But now, I fear that just lurking behind the known problems are a whole set of inefficiency-related problems I don’t even know I have.

Like, how am I using my time during the workday? I mean, really using it? If someone video-taped my time use throughout the day – the way my running coach video-taped my running – what would it show me? How much time am I wasting without knowing it?

And, how am I marketing myself and talking about what I do? If I saw a snapshot of it, would I wonder how I’ve been doing what I do for 13 years and making a good living? Would I see the ungracefulness of it all? The way perhaps I’ve been holding myself back by some of my own ideas?

And then there’s my process for gathering information: me, half-hidden by a laptop, firing question after question at clients, listening and typing. Listening and typing. More questions. More listening. More typing. And then, organizing the notes. I spend hours organizing notes and mining them for insights. I’ve always thought this was a strength of mine. But what if it’s just a chance for second-guessing? What would the whole process look like if I saw it in front of me? Would I shudder? It’s always seemed like the only way. But what if there is a more efficient way?

The irony is that this is what I said I wanted to happen in the beginning part of this blog – remember? I even put the sentence in bold up there! I said that I was hoping that changing physical patterns would spill over into other things.

Be careful what you wish for. It scares the shit out of you when it starts to happen.

It would really help if there was some jerk standing there, berating me, telling me that I don’t have what it takes to actually change these patterns and create more efficiencies. Because more than anything else, I’ve always loved proving people wrong (especially asses). I love that adrenaline-fueled moment of: I’ll show you!

But – the irony only increases here – I already tweaked that pattern a few years ago (where are the unhealthy patterns when you need them?).

The only jerks that truly have a say in my life now are a four-year-old and a six-year-old, and I love them.

So . . . seeing how my stride is too lumbering and ridiculous to effectively run away from my problems, I might as well just face them. Look straight-on into the footage of my (many) inefficiencies and figure out what could be tweaked.

So . . . hello, 2015, you beautiful mountain of chaos. We have some work to do.


  • Debbie

    Posted by Debbie on 01/21/15 2:25pm

    Thanks, Judi. So inspiring to get past what stops you. There's a reason I haven't had anyone videotape me giving a presentation -- I'm petrified about what I'd have to see! But it's worse to stay stuck in an old pattern; once you start facing these things, they aren't as scary anymore, like old nightmares you had as a kid.

    • Judi Ketteler

      Posted by Judi Ketteler on 01/22/15 6:11pm

      Thanks for your comment, Debbie!

  • Joanne

    Posted by Joanne on 01/21/15 11:39pm

    This is a truly inspiring article. Perfect timing, and exactly what I needed to read. And I'm chuckling to myself thinking about you wanting to "run away" from your too, sometimes, but instead I think I'll face mine with a better perspective now. Thank you!

    • Judi Ketteler

      Posted by Judi Ketteler on 01/22/15 6:13pm

      Thanks, Joanne! I always figure, while I'm working through all of my own silly issues, I might as well shine a light on it and let others see, because inevitably, they have many of the same issues, and sometimes it helps a little.

  • Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Posted by Christine @ Love, Life, Surf on 01/22/15 5:58pm

    It's taking me 5 minutes to leave a comment here because my computer is so slow and overloaded! It takes it forever to open up and switch between applications. Talk about time wasted during my day!

    I just came across your blog through Amy Paturel's essay writing class and I'm so glad that Amy shared your work with us. The way you talk about your writing process is one that resonates with me and I just wanted to say thank you for that! And you're a runner too! Best of luck working with your coach. I worked with one last year and it was one of the best things I did for myself.

    • Judi Ketteler

      Posted by Judi Ketteler on 01/22/15 6:14pm

      Thanks, Christine! I love Amy! Her class is tremendous, and I'm always honored that she shares my writing. I appreciate you stopping by. And I'm glad to hear that you had success working with a running coach. I am excited about it. I'm sure I'll write about the results at some point (it will wind up as an essay!)

  • Jennifer

    Posted by Jennifer on 01/25/15 12:40am

    Great article and good for you stepping out and taking a look at your life from a new point of view. I believe the saying that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and reading this has reminded me to keep pushing into new (and scary and difficult) areas of my life too. Keep it up and I'm sure your efficiencies will increase (running form and otherwise).

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