Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best in the Long Run

As I type this entry, I'm doing something I rarely do: watch television. In this case, it's a live telecast of the final Olympic event, the men's marathon.

Somehow, it's appropriate to be watching the marathon, which is a test of stamina. My day felt a bit like that as the friend I'm visiting and I faced the Sisyphean task of re-organizing her 10x10 storage unit and culling books from her lifetime collection to make room on her apartment shelves for what we extracted from the storage unit. In the end, we moved a lot of things around, and yet the apartment looks just as jammed as before. My firend assures me it's better; I hope she's right.

A marathon is 26 miles and change. I've been doing community networking for 28 years and change. Close enough. (In fact, change is the most exciting part of networking.) A marathoner needs to be in it for the long haul, and that pretty well describes my relationship to networking. Unlike many athletes, marathoners don't typically peak until they're in their 30s. I like to think I get better with age, too.

While community building is not typically aerobic, it's definitely energetic. And I firmly believe community living is great for a person's long-term health—physical, emotional, and spiritual. It's a multi-disciplinary sport.

Now that I'm putting my mind to it, It turns out there are a plethora of parallels. I've just never thought of it before.

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