Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding the joy...a dispatcher's search for job happiness.

It seems to me, that when you've been doing something for an extended period of time, you tend to lose the joy in what you do.

Realizing this, I've started to question why I'm doing what I'm doing, and trying to turn the tables on how I approach the main subject.

I've taken a newer approach to my job, asking myself a few questions to help diagnose whether I'm burnt out or just bored. Some of these questions include: what is my main purpose, do I really enjoy my job and what aspects do I like about my job.

The first question, is obvious: my job is to help those in need of assistance from law enforcement or fire department services. That's a no brainer, but that is the most important thing to remember about my job. I am the link between the caller and the first responders.

If you take a more detailed look, from a faith based point of view, I am there to serve others. I personally feel my faith plays an important role in my job. The problem is, I don't allow my faith to work "behind the scenes" if you will. I don't need to tell people "God bless you" or other faith sayings, but what I can do is pray for those who need it most. That includes the first responders. I believe God has put me in this job to serve, and I can either do it happily or just be miserable the rest of my career.

Secondly, do I enjoy my job? I can honestly say I do enjoy doing what I do. Its no adrenaline rush, and there are the good calls and the bad calls, and I've learned coping skills to deal with the bad ones. But what I fail to do is actually taking pride in my job. I always tell myself I want to do better, but I never practice the art of becoming better. I feel as though I'm not going any further, so why bother? Imagine going through the rest of your life never learning any new things. Sounds boring, huh?

Finally, what aspects of my job do I like. Well, first off, the hours. I work the afternoon shift, which is 3pm to 11pm. I have time in the morning to do things, like working around the house, excercize, and do some hobbies. Really, I do like these hours. Sure, I'm not home in the evenings, and if there are any special events, I do have the ability to take time off, so that's a big plus. There are a few tasks I really enjoy, and am always trying to find new ways of doing paperwork quicker and easier.

So, in a nutshell, that's what I've come up with. Maybe a good refocus, reboot, reset or whatever you want to call it, is in order. Whatever you call it, staying fresh, and having a positive outlook on your career, whatever it may be, I have found to be vital.

Maybe this isn't news to most, but it is a new discovery for me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Hill-emental block.

Since I've been taking a serious look at riding, one nemesis I've always had were the hills. Hated them when I was younger and rode everyday, hate them now, even though I don't ride everyday.

What's been the "mental block" when it comes to hills? I'm not really sure. Maybe its the lactic acid pain in my legs, maybe its the actual work. I'm not really sure.

When I was in school, my ride was an old Murray 10 speed frame, no brakes, and a Columbia 3 speed rear wheel sitting 26" tall. Now, I couldn't change gears, so it was stuck in the highest gear. Which is probably the reason why I don't like hills so much.

Fast forward to 2013. My ride is a '12 Giant Defy 5 Triple with a 700x25 wheelset. But what's this triple, you may ask? Its the front sprocket. There are 3 of them, alledgedly making hill climbing so much easier.

So they claim.

Well, I'm here to tell you that, in fact, that third little sprocket does indeed make climbing hills much easier.

Much easier.

However, there are some hills that just laugh at the fat guy in spandex, and snickers at him as he dismounts and walks the rest of the way up (thank you St Charles).

But, that's a story for another day.

There is a hill at one of the entrances of my subdivision that during the winter time dares cars that don't have all wheel drive to attempt the climb. Even the SUVs have a struggle. And during the warm weather, cyclists are often seen walking their rides up the hill, heads hung low, panting. I wanted to climb this hill to prove that I can conquer it. It intimidated me. It dared me to fail. It was taunting me. And I was afraid.

During this past weekend, my daughter wanted to get a 5 mile jog in and wanted me to ride next to her for moral and water support. Any chance to ride the Giant is a welcome time.

So I donned the gear, all except the shorts; it was a quick ride, who needed them, I thought. Always wear your cycling shorts. On your road bike.

She said she wanted to go up the hill. I asked her why she was trying to off me so close to Father's Day. She giggled. Oh boy. Hope I can make it.

As we approached the crossing point to get into the subdivision, I looked up the hill. This is going to be tough, but you need to support your daughter, I thought. We crossed the busy road, she kept walking, and I stopped to clip back in, and take a deep breath, anticipating the burn.

She started jogging, and I started pedaling. I was already in the lowest gear, so I didn't have to fiddle with the shifters.

As I caught up to her, she was having a difficult time. Halfway up the hill, she was in agony. I shouted encouraging phrases like "you're doing great, just keep moving..." and so on. We moved around a couple who were walking, but my daughter kept jogging, in agony. She was doing great! I was so proud of her.

As we reached the top of the hill she said she wanted to walk, I told her to keep going until we reached a sign up ahead that was maybe 10 yards away. She kept going. Legs burning and all.

Funny. My legs weren't burning at all. In fact, I wasn't even out of breath! I could tell because I was still encouraging my daughter without gasping for air!

As we reached the next intersection, I rode ahead, got the water bottle out for her and told her to stretch a little and rest. She did so, face all red and scrunched up.

I turned and looked back at the hill. I was amazed that I was standing at the top, looking back, breathing normally.

This day broke the block. It tore down the wall that kept me from achieving so much. I compare it to the scene in "The Right Stuff" where Chuck Yeager saddles up the X-1 and takes it past "that 'ol demon in the sky". Corny, but yeah, that was my demon.

The Hill.

Now, the block is less intrusive. The block is a discomfort, not a disabler. The block is welcomed, so that it can be chiseled away some more.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An answer

I asked you to handle this situation, and you did. I thank you for your faithfulness. I thank you for listening to my cries. This truly instills upon me the truth of your love and grace.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I am comforted (speaking to my Lord)

In this turmoil, knowing you're there for me eases my discomfort. Like the songs played on the radio reminded me that You are always there for me, whenever I need You. It was soothing to know that You are in control.

I humbled myself in Your presence. Lord, grant me the wisdom to recognise the peace and patience that comes with that verse. I don't want to think this is all for nothing. I know, within my heart, You can handle all I put upon You. And I thank You.

I am asking for peace; peace in knowing that You have everything under control. Let me leave it to You.

I thank you, Lord, for your sacrafice for me. I thank you for your faithfulness. I thank you for my life and all who are in my life. Thank you.

Knowing Your presence is with me, comforts me. Peace is yet to come. But until then,
I am comforted.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Crash of Spring

All this time I have been reading about biking, watching the YouTube videos and the like, I have been enamoured with the guys who seem to have this whole cycling thing down pat. They glide, they dart, the bike is an extension of their bodies. They are the bike.

I have been riding bikes for 30 plus years, and I have finally figured it out that there are just some things that you just need to learn the hard way.

Like crashing.

Your new bike.

I knew this was going to happen, I just wasnt ready for it. Not this soon anyway. See, it all started with the warm weather. I wanted to ride on my day off, the sun was shining and it wasnt really too cold out. Besides, if I wore my Under Armor thermals, then my new jersey would look great! So, don the gear I did. Including the shoes. I was going all out.

Got the garage door lifted, walked the bike out, started the app on my Android, threw it in my back jersey pocket, and clipped in. Right foot. Left foot.

Pedaling easy, it was nice to be back riding again, although the new saddle reminded me of how much time I had spent off the bike. Going to have to get used to this again. But it was a nice feeling. New bike and all.

I turned the first corner, and was met with the little incline that warms up your legs pretty quickly. I kicked up to a slower gear and the cadence jumped. I had no issues on that grade. The speed carried into the small left hander as the chain clicked from the larger cog down towards the frame. Then the right hander, and a stop sign.

I got thru that stop pretty well. I thought of how I was going to unclip; stand, twist and dangle. Pretty easy, and I had done it before. As planned, it went smoothly. Ok, Im getting this, I thought as I pulled my right leg up and pushed off. I struggled to get my left foot clipped, the pedal kept flipping upside down. But once I got it clipped, I was good to go.

This writing never got posted. Since then, I have had quite a journey. I rode 35 plus miles, am feeling more confident and am really looking forward to doing my first metric century(62miles), my first century(100) and my first double metric(126) in one day.

Until then....

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Gadget

Just saw this posted on the ride with GPS blog....

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thoughts of doubt

Why must I have these? What is it? Why do I start doubting my ability, my progress and my end goal? I have everything in the world going for me.

I musnt listen

I must strive on towards the finish

I cannot allow these thoughts to discourage me

I must trundle on

I must

I must