October 24, 2010

Running or Realtor - You've Got to Finish Up Strong

Hey Runners...

When was the last time you ran 26.2 miles? How about 13.1?

Completing a marathon or a half marathon is an incredible achievement no matter what your age, race, sex or physical condition. It takes dedication, focus and a tremendous amount of effort to complete all of the necessary training runs, eat a healthy diet, sacrifice much of your extra time each week and overcome fear as you cross the threshold of the starting line on race day. That not even mentioning the potential pain you may encounter between then and the finish line.

Hey Realtors...

When was the last time you finished a successful year in real estate? How about you rookies looking to finsih your first year (or partial year)?

Completing a successful year as a Realtor is an incredible achievement no matter what your age, race, sex or physical condition or tenure in the business. It takes dedication, focus and a tremendous amount of effort to complete all of the necessary training and development, eat a healthy diet of phone calls, open houses and talking to strangers, sacrifice much of your extra time each week and overcome the fear and pain as you cross the threshold of your office each day of the week.

Been There, Done That

Back in 2005 I ran my first 5K. That led to a 5 Mile Turkey Trot, a few more Jingle Bell Runs and then I ran my first 1/2 Marathon in Cincinnati in May 2006. I made the dedicated effort to complete the Columbus Marathon in October 2006. I ran a few more 1/2 marathons over the next few years up until a knee surgery put me on running's "injured reserve list" for about eighteen months.

I've been back out there lately, running shorter distances, and am excited to get signed up to run some races. Maybe I'll get out on Thanksgiving Day and compete in the Turkey Trot?

Last Sunday, October 17th, I volunteered with several co-workers from Coldwell Banker King Thompson to work at Water Station J at the 12 mile mark of the Columbus Marathon. We had to arrive early - 6:15am (see the pre-dawn photo to the left)- to begin setting up and filling over 15,000 cups with water and Gatorade. My 11-year-old daughter Riley also joined me for the second year in a row.

As both races pass through Station J (full marathoners and half marathoners) we had to be prepared to provide water and support to the 15,000 entrants into this years races. It was clear that the liquid refreshments were very important for people's physical needs after running for 12 miles but it also was evident that the verbal support and cheers by the volunteers and fans lining the streets of Columbus were just as vital to many of the runners seeking a physical accomplishment that many had never attempted before (or will again).

As the runners thundered past the tables filled with water and Gatorade, the volunteers held out cups for them to "grab & go" and offered words of encouragement (see video below). Having completed both races before, I felt I had some personal knowledge of some of the runners mental states at this point in the race.

The full marathoners still had more than half their race to complete. 14 more miles seems like a long distance but in a matter of minutes, they would be more than half way done. In just a matter of hours, everything they worked so hard for all summer long would be in the past and they'd be so proud of their determination to finish all 26.2miles.

"Keep it up. Just one more mile and then you have the 'easy' half"

The half marathoners were just 1.1 miles from the finish. For many it is the longest distance they have ever run at one time. I felt encouragement to these runners was even more necessary.

"Keep your arms and legs moving"

"One mile to go. Finish up strong"

"This is why you got up early all summer and pushed yourself. Don't walk now"

"Make all the training before today pay off. Push hard this last mile"

"Run hard now, you can walk tomorrow"

Sure, the encouragement and support was easy for me to say. I was standing in comfortable shoes and wasn't sweating or chaffing. I was enjoying a hot chocolate and donut and didn't have cramps and aches to look forward to later that afternoon. But they needed to hear it.

Can you imagine training all summer to complete your first marathon or half marathon and you give up and start walking with 1 mile to go? Sometimes the negative voice in your head can be pretty convincing and having some other voice push you along just might be what is needed to keep the arms and legs moving for the next stretch of roadway.

Hey Realtors - Finish Up Strong

So how does this relate to the real estate business? We're coming up to our finish line of the 2010 race. For long time Realtors, it's another full marathon that we're about to complete. Will we allow ourselves to ease up and "walk" the last 1/6 of the race or will we grab some Gatorade and dig deep to find that "extra boost" needed to cross the finish line with momentum?

For those who have joined the real estate race sometime in 2010 - the "rookies" - you've got two more months to finish your fist half marathon. Will you keep those arms and legs moving and remember all those long hours away from the family when you were sitting in those boring pre-licensing classes. I know you never figured yourself to be a mediocre agent just walking acorss the finsih line, did you? Remember those early days trying to start up your business in Sunday afternoon open houses or late evening showings with Buyers? Don't slow down now.

To anyone reading this, you've got ten weeks left in the 2010 race. Keep those arms and legs moving, stay hydrated and focus on the finish line.

And remember...next year's race begins as soon as this one finsihes. Get ready enjoy the accomplisgments of this years run but then get ready to tighten your shoelaces and start running all over again.