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Summit Insights
Aug, 20

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…


Ever hear that expression? Kind of reminds me of our current situation. We’re open. No, we’re closed. What? Well let’s skip over that part and just say it reminds me of a story.

Many of you know that I run for fun, fitness, and for my ‘clarity break’ a few times per week. Sometimes it takes me several miles to obtain clarity, so a few years back I started running half marathons, then full marathons. Just when I thought those days were over, my wife convinced me to run one more, so we compromised on a deal to run the San Diego Marathon. My side of the deal, in exchange for running it, was that I could catch a game at Dodger Stadium, the Big A in Anaheim, and Petco Park, thus checking three stadiums off my bucket list (list completed July 4, 2018 in Seattle but that’s another story). What’s the big deal, I thought? I had run the Rock-n-Roll Marathon in San Diego a few years before (with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – and I was training well, so I could handle it.

Or so I thought.

They had slightly changed the course and for a city at sea level, that is one city full of hills! The last four miles were uphill on the wrong way of a freeway heading back to downtown. Brutal. The sun had come out. It was humid: a total sweat fest. And you know how those people are standing there handing you water and power goo telling you ‘you’re almost there, keep going’. I’m thinking “I have 2 miles to go, just give me the dang water!”

We finally approached downtown when my wife’s watch tells her we’re at 26.0. Huh? Must’ve missed the mile marker sign. There’s another volunteer telling us ‘the finish line is right around the corner’, so we started looking hard for that finish line. But the reality was that that corner, and that finish line was still a mile away. We kept going, finally crossing the line. Exhausted. Spent. We were feeling awful, but we had made it.

Or so I thought.

My wife saw the camera – I did not, which resulted in this image. That’s my wife Natalie on the left. I learned a valuable lesson that day that I should have learned in 1973 from Yogi Berra – ‘It ain’t over til it’s over’, and that includes crossing the finish line and snapping the pic.

I did have the chance for a mulligan….
…but let’s face it, you’ll only remember one of these.

The point is this: we’re not through this yet. The finish line may feel like it’s around the corner, but it sure seems like our watch is off and we still have a-ways to go. Think long term; do your planning, take a deep breath and be ready for the long haul. This will have an end and you and your company will be stronger by your actions today.

Stay safe and healthy.

Mike Derringer is an Area President with FocusCFO based in Columbus, OH.