Big vs. Little, A Step vs. A Leap, Do I Have To? vs. I Get To!

A man has to determine… what stride is needed… for his particular… race of life, in order to finish, and finish strong.

Some men start off hot out da gate… but… are not much for stamina… when they realize the size of the track that they are on.

Some men start slow; go slow; even lag behind… never finding any kind of race pace, because they refuse to truly participate.

Some men, stumble out of the gate, almost disqualify themselves by leaving their lane, struggle to get up to at least a disjointed gallop, and for some time feel like they will never attain any kind of competitive pace.

Until they learn about their specific makeup.

I’m that guy.

My whole life, when I would run. I would get shin-splints. For me… bad ones. (Were they really? Or just a good excuse?)

Until January 2021.

My oldest son had trained for a 1/2 marathon. He learned a thing or two.

He relayed to me some information on shin splints, he thought if I shortened my stride, taking smaller steps, I wouldn’t experience my dreaded shin-splints.

The day came for my yearly Marine Fitness Test which includes… a 2 minute time limit for crunches, Pull-Ups to failure, and a… 3 mile gauged run. My run time needed to be under 25 minutes to qualify for my age.

I wish I could tell you that I trained really hard for this… but I can’t… my life goal for fitness has me working out 3 to 4 times a week with weights and shooting my bow, I wouldn’t call it “heavy” and I chalk my cardio up to my new 12 hour shift, I walk fast… a lot!

It never occurred to me to take a shorter stride and smaller step.

“GO BIG! Or GO HOME!” as they say.

When I worked with “at risk” teenage boys, I had a co-worker who over time became a friend.

And every time he had an opportunity to “present” at a company gathering he would ask, “What is your B.H.A.G?”


He would explain what that meant. Using the “Beat The Heat” race team he was able to get started for our students.

It took him years.

B.H.A.G… BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL. His was… having a race team.

Mine was… “being a big shot business man who hadn’t attended college, and possibly a business owner at some point”

I had run the race of hard work, being a worker who the bosses would think of when a new position or responsibility popped up, I learned when to throw my hat into the ring and when not to, it seemed I was running a good race.

It ended… one step shy of the corner office.

I thought I had learned enough, and had increased enough personally to attain to the responsibilities required by that specific corner office.

As an EMERGING MAN, looking back, I can see how disjointed, being “all asses and elbows” I really was during that phase of my life.

I was physically mature… but not mentally or emotionally.

One of my hard work skills was having the ability to see “the big picture”, people I worked for seemed to like that.

I could see the goal, and I could do the daily work to get us there.

But I had a peculiar penchant for skipping the small steps of 1 & 2… heading straight to step 3… I figured, “I already know step one and two, let’s go! Let’s start at step 3 get it done, so we can get moving on to the next project!”

I felt like I was accomplishing things… but I always had a “feeling” of something was missing.

I was good when it came to doing a “one off project”.

Or when having to start something “new” that had no parameters yet.

What I have learned now, the thing that was missing was… being able to replicate my success. I was good at doing step 3.

But developing a system that was repeatable, or developing a 10 step process for success… alluded me.

After my, very successful, Marine Fitness Test… learning how to take a smaller step, and stringing them together… allowed me to crush my personal best thus far… completing the test in the category of men 10 years my junior!

As far as my personal approach now… I have coined a phrase, [you know me, I’ll research the heck out of it to find if it’s being used anywhere]… I call it “MICRO GOALS”.

I have a B.H.A.G… it is my EMERGING MAN PROJECT.

I also have “micro goals”… daily goals, loosely scheduled inside 3 hour windows of time, that are very specific to moving the big project forward… every day… one step, sometimes one baby-step, at a time.

This in turn has changed my mental position from one of “I have to get this done!” to one of “I get to work on this today, at this time, and I get to enjoy the whole process!”

As an EMERGING MAN yourself, what track are you on?

As an EMERGING MAN yourself, what is the stride you need to use?

As an EMERGING MAN yourself, what is your B.H.A.G?

The Emerging Man Project… helping to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, & ENGAGE… one confident step at a time!

1 thought on “Big vs. Little, A Step vs. A Leap, Do I Have To? vs. I Get To!

  1. paulmichielsallstatecom July 22, 2021 — 1:59 pm

    I like the challenge of defining my BHAG! PS, the guy that coined that for you is selling his home next year, going on a one year trip with his wife all over the USA in a travel trailer being pulled by his used diesel truck, just another BHAG!


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