Vic Black

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." – C.S. Lewis

An old fashioned GPS

GPS technology is so cool to most people. Now we have a device available to us that tells us how to get from one point on the globe to another. It makes you wonder how we ever got around without them, let alone made it to The Moon. I don’t have to try to remember what it was like without one. I still don’t own a GPS. I really don’t see the need for them. I have a wife and three daughters to give me directions and for me – THAT IS ENOUGH.

Besides I work in the computer industry and am quite aware of the errors inherent in computer database mapping software. When I want to know how to get from my office to a client’s office I use a much more reliable method. I ask for directions. (I know, I know, a man asking for directions!? You may not believe it, but that is how I do it.) Getting directions may be like an old fashioned GPS, but it works. And it is usually the most reliable way to get to the place I am headed for. Why?

  1. Because the person giving me the direction has been there before – in fact has usually been there a lot.
  2. Because the person giving me direction knows the obstacles that might get in my way
  3. Because the person giving me directions wants me to get there as efficiently as possible (if they are waiting on me, their computers are probably broke down.)

So you may ask, what does this have to do with Marathon Makeover?

A lot! Because I am talking about following directions.

The way I see it, when Mark and Robin tell us to NOT run for the first ten weeks. . .  When they tell us to NOT do more or less than what is listed in the training guide. .  . When they tell us to NOT make up days missed . . . it is because:

  1. They have been there before and they have watched many others go there
  2. They know the obstacles along the way
  3. They want me to get there

They are just giving me directions on how to get from where I was to where I want to be.

I could, instead of asking for directions, just drive in the general direction of where I think my client has his/her office.  And I have a chance of getting there. After all, I have to get somewhere. But I think the odds are against it. And I  might end up in a part of town I would prefer to not be in too.

You could try to do your own thing because you know you feel like you can go a lot further than they are saying you should go. You might think that if we are supposed to do 1.5 miles, 3 miles should be twice as good. You might pat yourself on the back because of how much more you are doing. If that is your thinking it makes wonder why you wasted your money on Marathon Makeover.

Our culture is all about doing more. Our culture is all about being your own boss and not taking orders from anyone. Our culture is all about excelling and being the best and driving the hardest. And you might do it without getting injured and everything might turn out fine. But I wonder if you will really reap all the benefits that you would if you just followed the directions of the people who know the most about getting where we all want to be. I think even if you don’t get injured, you won’t gain as much as you would if you would just follow the directions.

Although many may disagree with me and think I am being unsportsmanlike, it is my opinion that we should only get a “Good Job!!!” high five if we are doing EXACTLY what the program says we should do. More or less equals “bad job!” or at least, “Not all that good a job.”

I don’t intend to be negative. And most of my posts will not be. But I have heard Mark and Robin Speak three Saturdays in a row about the same thing. Then I read blogs and see people post about how much more they are doing than the program calls for and how hard it is to hold themselves back. It really makes no sense to me. Are these people attending the same meetings I am? I know that some of these blogs are written by people who were walking at least ten weeks before Marathon makeover and thus it is OK for them to run earlier than the folks who really did start from Ground zero. But my guess is that many are from people who have a somewhat active lifestyle or who do not see themselves as being terribly out of shape and so they believe they are the exceptions. When in reality, they are probably the very group they had in mind when they wrote the plan.

I wish all of my MM friends a safe and enjoyable 38 more weeks. God bless you all. I pray no one gets injured. I pray we all finish healthier and happier than when we started.

To end, allow me to borrow a phrase from Mark and Robin (slightly altered),

Gotta Walk!

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