Monday, December 16, 2013

I Live in Iowa: Week 136

I'll be honest, this was a long week, somewhat stressful too. If I haven't returned your text, call, email, tweet, Facebook message, or just about anything it's because I basically shut off my phone a few nights this past week. Let me tell you about it.

It's work I tell you! Work is not just money in exchange for my time and talents, it's my emotions too. It's my heart and passion that I put into my work, and last week, I really struggled to get that passion renewing satisfaction out of work. It is easy to say this now, today the issue was solved! However, I'm getting ahead of myself. Since moving into my new role two months ago, one particular project was on the top of my list. We have stages that parts and assemblies must go through before they are implemented into production. At every step the design engineer (me) initiates the step, and then a cascade of other people are responsible for doing various things. For example, assembly has to verify they can actually assemble it. Product support has to make sure it has the right part codes so that the dealerships can get a replacement when one fails. These are called tasks. Each task has five steps and depending on the step each step has three to five different people (groups) that need to sign off on the design as acceptable. In short, people have been asking me, about every third meeting, when I will get to the rather important third step. Last week we had the soft deadline of Tuesday to get to step three. Well we missed that. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we missed it too.

Thursday I was so exhausted mentally, and perhaps emotionally, that I came home, didn't even run, turned my phone off, watched a couple of Band of Brothers and went to bed at like 8:30. No one else was emotionally torn up about me not getting the part promoted to step three but I place pretty high expectations on myself. This is actually a really good example of failing (to meet a soft deadline) and succeeding at eventually reaching the deadline today. (Within hours of completing this stage of the task, no less than three people congratulated me.)

On top of all this I have been running more mileage. I have not totaled up the week yet, but I did a 6k tempo Tuesday and a 13.5 mile run Friday night in the dark on the snowy roads. My first workout post-Chicago and my longest run post-Chicago. Probably 40something miles, in only six days of running.

Plus, announcing Everest Thursday was a draining blog post to write Wednesday night. So much has gone into getting to this point, the point of making it official that I am going to the big E, that after paying a deposit and getting permission to take a leave of absence and announcing it, I already feel like I am most of the way to the top. In a mere 30 weeks the whole expedition will be over.

I did get out and go skiing Saturday at Chestnut, south of Galena, Illinois, which was really nice! Best skiing session I have had in years! I caught air a couple times on the sides of jumps and once strait off a jump, but I did fall on that one. I also was feeling like going fast and managed to go downhill averaging over 20 mph a couple times. I figure you have to hit 30 mph to average 20. It's felt really good. Sometimes going off jumps and going fast can be intimidating, and the last few years I have not felt that confidence to stick myself out there. I totally felt it Saturday.

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