Sunday, May 30, 2010

"We're gonna kick some cancer butt!"

"We're gonna kick some cancer butt!" Becky Post, our team organizer, made this proclamation a couple of weeks ago, and I think it really exemplifies the tone of the team every time we train together.

Yesterday, the team ran together at William Land Park (behind the Sacramento Zoo). We train together twice each week, and follow a training schedule when we are on our own.

As you can see, it was a beautiful morning. We met at 7:30 am--Here I'm standing with my mentor, Julie.

I love training with the team because there is such a positive energy--everyone is here for a purpose.

We have three coaches, Sherri, Tony, and Rich (Sherri and Tony are in the picture to the right). Sherri is the walking coach, Tony and Rich are the running coaches. A couple weeks ago, they provided clinics for us before and after our workout--it's great to have that kind of support.

Yesterday, Rich stressed the importance of taking it slow in the beginning. Tony continually reminds us to focus on form now--you have to go slower now to go faster later. Right now, I'm totally focusing on form when I run.

Today . . . well today I'm going to focus on work (yes, on a Sunday) so I can spend next weekend in San Diego drilling with my new unit (looking forward to meeting everyone!).

Check back for more updates, and please share stories and pictures of your own if you have them.

Traci Hamilton - Raising funds with Team in Training for LLS

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Follow me: what makes a good leader?

"You must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader or someone else who determines if the leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed." Concepts of Leadership
A successful leader is determined by the people following. That being said, who do people want to follow? In the Army, if you can't run, people don't want to follow. To some, that may not make sense. After all, becoming a successful runner requires discipline and good physical condition, but it doesn't require other characteristics normally associated with leadership (ethics and integrity, for example). Some people are naturally good runners and don't necessarily have discipline. But that doesn't negate the fact that being a good runner is a requirement to being an effective leader in the Army. An NCO at Ft. Benning told me that it doesn't matter how many sit-ups and push-ups I can do, it's the run that matters--a good leader is also a good runner. And logical or not, if the follower determines the success of the leader, a good leader should make every effort to be a good runner.
Leadership is influencing people—by providing purpose, direction, and motivation—while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. FM 22-100
Clearly, leadership involves more than running, but running affects motivation and cannot be ignored. I'm not a naturally good runner. I had to work hard just to pass the running portion of the APFT. However, if being a good runner is necessary to being an effective leader, I'll do whatever it takes to become one.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A reason to write

I love to write. I do. And I've been wanting to get back into it. However, I don't really want to post all of my many opinions on the internet for anyone to read. So though I've had much to say lately (just ask my friends and family), I've been trying to weed through what I want to post here (in case someone chooses to read my blog!).

Upcoming topics:

Running for a cure. I recently registered for the 2010 Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. I'm training with Team in Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Although I've always been active, I've never been much of a runner. I can pass my APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), but that is just two miles, and the time for my age group is generous. A marathon is 26.2 miles . . . So far, I'm enjoying the training and am learning to like running (one of my goals). Over the next few months, I will be blogging about my progress and about where the money goes and the people it helps. You can help me by donating via my fund raising website.

I'll continue to add topics as I read other blogs and items in the news, and I'm open to ideas! I want to use this space to work on my writing skills (I'd like to start submitting to blog carnivals again!), but I also want it to be a place for brainstorming and collaboration as well.

If you have a blog or website, email me a link and I will add you to my blog roll.