Why do we get blisters? It is from friction; an irritation rubbing and rubbing against your skin.  In my case, there was a bit of a break in the material in the heel, and at mile 5 it was starting to hurt already.  But I didn’t stop; I continued on.  So after 8 miles I stopped, yes I had a blister alright and actually it had already popped and my sock was sticking to the new skin…. OUCH … as I took it off.  But as I was getting ready to take my shower after my run, I was thinking about how this pertains to business – after all, there are answers to all the questions we are looking for, as long as we take a look.

So the body has a natural way of buffering itself when it gets irritated over and over again.  We have that too.  I know of coaches that suggest ignoring the irritation, but what happened to me when I ignored the pain and kept on running? It got worse.  So is that a good idea?

If I had stopped, by the time I really was feeling it, it was already a blister, so what would I have done? (assuming that I could’ve just stopped, but I would have had to walk because my car was still two miles away)  I guess the best thing to do for a blister is to stop irritating it, give it a chance to heal, without popping it would be best as long as it did not get too big.  Can we do that in business, I guess sometimes we can avoid the situation that causes the friction, until we are “healed” and ready to face it again, this time maybe a little more callused, and stronger.

The best thing would have been to check my shoe before the run, to make sure that there wouldn’t be anything irritating my foot.  But just like going out on the run, in business, forethought sometimes gets overlooked in our eagerness to take action.

So what did my blister teach me?  It taught me that regardless of the right equipment and the like, that sometimes the environment that we don’t have control over will end up irritating us. We have natural defenses that work well but don’t work well if the irritation is constant and enduring.  But if we put a bandage on, and are warier next time, we can get out there and run again.

Irritations and blisters are a part of the journey.  They happen, and though they hurt, life still goes on.  Have a small victory that you still went on, that you did not let it stop you, but seek remedies so that you don’t deal with the same issue over and over again.  And guess what, you toughen up by going through it, your skin will get thicker and the irritations, even if they are there, will have to be a lot more present to become a problem… Your capacity for handling the problem had become greater.  We never grow our capacity for dealing with problems without being involved in them in the first place.  

So my blister taught me a lot, and also didn’t get in my way too much.  It was a reminder that I am human, and that we all have weaknesses, but we can overcome those weaknesses and be stronger for it if we continue to push forward.

John “Z” Zeydel – Training for the 2017 Iron-Man – also an Executive and Personal Coach through PUSH Coaching – Helping business people everywhere PUSH to greater success. 502-777-7892

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