Two Dozen Basic Management Principles (Part 8)

“Dad,” Lopez said, I would like to run, then play football, er, soccer.” “Okay, Lopez. You can do that. How far would you like to run?” Dad said. “Thirty kilometers.” Rob Rogers looked at Barbara with a very puzzled expression. “Don’t look at me,” Barbara said. “I have no idea how far thirty kilometers are. You should give Jim Paccia a call. He will know.” Jim was the coach of the high school cross-country team. Rob pulled out his cell phone and left the room. He returned a few moments later with a very shocked look on his face. “You’re sure you want to run thirty kilometers?” he asked Lopez. “Thirty, yes.” Rob’s eyes got very big. Thirty kilometers was nearly 19 miles! Lopez did not understand what the big deal was. Every boy in the camp who played soccer ran thirty kilometers before he was allowed on the field. That was the distance one had to run to complete one lap around the refugee camp. Lopez’ request seemed perfectly normal to him. “Well, if you take a right out of the house and run to the dam and back, it will be about 14 miles.” Lopez shot out the door and took off running down the road in a borrowed set of running shoes. The shoes made his feet feel heavy and out of control – since he always ran barefoot. He thought that the shoes were in the way. But soon the heat of the blacktop was evident even with the shoes on. “Maybe, they are not such a bad idea,” he thought. It felt good to run again. The air rushing into his lungs seemed heavier, more humid than what he lived with in Kenya. At the same time, he discovered that he could run harder without losing his breath. Only later did he learn that he’d spent his entire life in a high elevation and Syracuse, NY sits at only 380 feet. He felt like he could run forever here and never grow tired. Before he knew it, he reached the dam and turned back toward home. The run back took him up a hill, but he did not mind....

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