Tuesday Catch Up and 7 Habits Series Kick-Off!

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are having a great week. Although it was like squeezing blood out of a rock, I did drag myself out of bed this morning and got to spin class for 6am (my first one since the Milton Tri). I was telling Matt’s mom this weekend while she was here that I seem to have formed this really bad habit of taking two weeks to push off training after I do a race. I did it after Around the Bay (except for an entire month!) and now again after Milton. I really think it’s more mental than physical because my body felt terrific after Milton, it was more my brain that went into vacation mode.

PIña colada anyone?

 Pina Colada

There have been lots of little adventures over the past couple of weeks that I’ll bring you up to speed on quickly before I launch into the kick-off of a series that I am just so excited about.

#1 – I bought a wet suit. A “real deal”, professional wet suit. And it has sleeves.

I know right, are you wondering who am I and what I did with Sara? You may remember from my last experience wet suit shopping that I was totally freaked out by how tight the suits fit around the neck and the restrictive shoulders on the wet suits with sleeves. I left the store very frustrated and ended up swimming the Milton Tri in a water skiing wet suit from Costco that weighed about 1,000,000 pounds.

That Costco wet suit ended up totally saving the day though because it taught me that what everyone says IS true (sorry to everyone who I totally ignored), and wet suits DO feel 100% different when you are horizontal and in the water then they do when you are dry and vertical. I went back to the store much more confident, knew what size I needed to get, and just like that I walked out with a full sleeve wet suit that I love and can’t wait to swim in.

Can I just tell you how close I was to getting a black and pink wet suit? They didn’t have my size in the model that was in budget; they only had my size in the model that was $200 over budget. Oh and when I was trying on said expensive, black and pink wet suit, I accidentally put a small rip in the neoprene shell when I was trying to pull it up. Thank God the sales man understood, but I definitely had to walk out of there buying a wet suit that day!!

My suit is the one in the middle with the orange!
My suit is the one in the middle with the orange!

#2 – I’ve started running on the track.

I’ve been kind of curious about these “track workouts” that Matt talks about in his running, and fed up with feeling like a slow hippopotamus and getting passed by everyone and their grandmother on the bike and run, I thought that it would be a nice change to try out these track workouts.

I’ve only done two, but suffice to say that they are NOT for the faint of heart. You basically sprint “balls to the wall” for one lap of the track, then jog the next half lap easy (or in my case, double over, breathing like you’re in labour and then eventually carry on) before repeating again. And again. And again.

It sucks. But in a kind of awesome way.


Okay, now that the chatter is out of the way, let’s get down to business! I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take three days away from work and attend a “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” classroom course, delivered by the Franklin Covey facilitators themselves.

To say the course was phenomenal wouldn’t do it justice. It was seriously three of the most amazing and revealing days I’ve ever spent. If you ever, EVER have the chance to attend the in-class training for 7 Habits, don’t hesitate, don’t ask questions, cancel whatever plans you have those days and DO IT. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

I’m not going to rush through any of this because it’s all so important, but over the next several months, my plan is to do a post for each of the habits (maybe piggy backing onto some training talk similar to the structure of today’s post). I hope that you enjoy the journey, and that I can do it some justice in my delivery.

Before I begin – a small disclaimer that the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is (obviously) a licensed trademark of the Franklin Covey Institute. Obviously I’m not the one that came up with all of this amazing work, Dr. Stephen Covey did, and he gets 150% of the credit. Cool? 🙂

On the first day of training, we spent about three quarters of the day talking about the “foundation” for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was so eager to launch right into Habit #1 that I didn’t really see the need for all this foundation talk at first, but without it, the rest of the work that we did wouldn’t have held near the same value.

Think for a moment about the Giant Redwood trees in California. Nearly 400 feet tall, it takes approximately 15 people holding hands to circle the base of the tree trunk. The redwoods have stood for hundreds of years. They have withstood fire, drought, storm and siege from their human counterparts, and still they stand while other trees around them crumble.

Giant Redwoods

Why? What is it about the giant redwoods that helps them stand so majestically?

What we don’t see when we look at the redwoods are the deep, penetrating, thick roots that lay under the ground. The redwoods roots run deep into the ground, strong and secure. They entwine with the roots of other redwoods in the forest so that not only do they stand tall and strong for hundreds of years, but they help their neighbours stand tall and strong for hundreds of years as well.

When we look at the redwood, we are awe struck by the absolute splendor of the tree itself. The incredible height and diameter, the colour of the bark, the leafy green tree tops way up in the sky. The foundation on which the entire tree stands is invisible to us from the outside, but without it, the tree would have crumbled long ago, and wouldn’t have reached the magnificent height and beauty that it stands at now.

Sorry – did I lose you??? 😉 I get pretty caught up in talking about the redwoods. After this course, I’ve added a “bucket list” item to go to California and walk through the redwood forest.

 Redwood Forest

The link back to the 7 Habits is simply that people, like trees; need to have strong roots in order to stand to their full potential and weather any storm that may come their way. Franklin Covey calls these “roots” a person’s character.

Although the roots are the foundation that everything is built off of, the observation is that so many people spend so much of their time doing work on the top of the tree (the green leafy part that everyone marvels at and takes pictures of), that we neglect our roots. Franklin Covey calls the “top of the tree” a person’s personality.

A person with a strong personality can stand tall and beautiful for a while. Maybe even a long, long while. But in times of real turmoil, confusion, upset and stress, the person that has only worked on their personality while neglecting their character falters.  

Can you think of anyone in your life, or maybe a celebrity figure, that has spent so much time working on the top of their tree, that their roots have rotted and decayed away to nothing? Anyone that was so focused on “looking good” on the outside, that they lost their character and morality?

How about Lance Armstrong? Tiger Woods?

(Someone in our course suggested “every politician that ever walked the earth”, but I won’t go there ;))

Anyways – I’ll leave you with this thought for today. The first three habits are meant to nurture and strengthen the roots of a person’s character. The idea is that before we can begin to work on our “effectiveness” and improving our personality and our actions, we need to turn the lens inside and make sure that we are building our tree top on a strong and sturdy set of roots.

For more information about any of the 7 Habits, please check out the Franklin Covey website here: https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits.php, and before you go I would love to hear your thoughts on any of this!

Who’s in for a trip to California to walk with the giants?!

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