My brother just graduated from university to join the working world. As a typical older brother does, I decided to offer my unsolicited advice.
No, we don’t know what’s going on with COVID-19. No, we don’t know exactly how companies should address social issues. But we are figuring it out. It’s a work in progress. Companies, like people, are always changing.
Employment is a transaction. The company treats it as such. Look at the job description and pay. Your employment is an exchange of value: delivering the stated items on the job description in return for value.
In response to their expectations, you can prepare. Be clear about what you want to get out of your employment. List out three things that you’ve learned at every stage in your life. Then come up with three things during this transaction (thank you to Dave Kerwar for this suggestion!).
For example, at your previous employment you learned:
How to work as an individual contributor as a team
Technical knowledge of data integration
Then at your next stage in life, you can learn through:
Ownership of projects, work-streams, projects, or services
Experience of how different business units work together
Management of a team of people
The company will pay you for the value you give them. But state a few non-monetary things you want out of the experience, and the smart company will be happy to give you more of it. You work more on the things you enjoy, which gives the smart company more value. It’s a win-win.
To do this, you’ve got to be honest about what three things you want out of the employment transaction. The smart company will be doing the same.
In July of 2018, I got engaged. Six months earlier, this was not a possibility.
I wasn’t ready for marriage for a long time. But it was hard to articulate why not. I finally decided on three things that would make me ready.
We must tell each other our deepest, darkest secrets. Have trust and openness through vulnerability. Trust is the bedrock of a good relationship. If you cannot tell your spouse your deepest secrets and thoughts, who can you tell? To truly become one, you must fuse all that you have: strengths and weaknesses. If we hold back, this could cause trust issues in the future.
Earn independence from others around us, even family. We must operate on our own and choose to be us, wherever we go. We must be able to be a distinct unit. We must make our own decisions as full adults rather than relying too much on family ties. Often, an over-emphasis on outside forces rather than the relationship can sow discontent. Love for family comes from choice, not from obligation.
Finances go into one shared bucket: not two, but one. What affects one of us affects both of us. We must be able to talk about money and value before getting married. That way, we get those ideas out in the open. Finances cause most of divorces, so why don’t we talk about these ideas first before we make that commitment.
In reality, we made the goals concrete by writing them down. Then we accomplished them together. She was especially excited to tackle tasks that were concrete. Before, we were floating along with no direction, not knowing if we were getting closer to commitment or further.
After accomplishing the tasks, I stood by my word. I could think of no other reason to delay marriage other than my own fear of the unknown and the change that would be required to adapt to it. But change can be good.
I did more than resolve the reasons why I did not want to get married. In fact, I learned reasons why I wanted to: gains beyond one person could ever achieve:
Self knowledge and self-improvement
Touched by the divine, following our ancestors’ path
Paying respects to our ancestors
Following in the ancestors’ path by tying ourselves to another
Love beyond passion: the love that stays when lust is gone
So, we jumped in. Here’s to one year and many more to come.
I completed my first triathlon on Saturday, July 11th, 2020 with friends. It was an amazing experience. This triathlon is the first of many for me. I am planning to take on longer triathlon distances. So, this was a good test.
International Distance: 800m Swim, 24.8 mile Bike, 6.2 mile Run
Actual Distances Recorded with Garmin Forerunner 945: 856m Swim, 25.36 mile Bike, 6.25 mile Run
21:42 800m Swim (2:18 per 100m pace)
1:17:29 Bike (19.6 mph, 331W or 3.7W/kg normalized power)
1:45:19 Overall time at Bike finish
2:48:41 Overall time at Run finish (5th)
Temperature: Mostly sunny, 74F -> 81F with 60-75% humidity (hot but not scorching)
For future triathlons, I should switch my mindset from “me against others” to “me against myself.”
Swim –> Good! Need to reduce heart-rate.
I did better than expected on the swim. I hadn’t trained for the swim because I stopped in March due to pools closing from COVID-19. I swam once on the course a few days before the event.
I started behind the stronger swimmers. I followed their lines. I tried a new approach of taking a breath on one stroke, and then looking ahead above the waterline on the other stroke. I switched stroking sides only a few times.
I took the pace steady. I was breathing without too much effort. I was mostly relaxed and not tense. However, my heart rate was still high for the duration of the swim–tempo pace rather than base pace.
T1 –> Solid!
The first transition from swim to bike was good. 2-3 minutes is a good transition time. I was a bit dizzy but not delirious. My heart-rate was high throughout the transition, so I didn’t relax too much. I didn’t know where others were. I knew some were ahead but I didn’t look behind to see where I was in the pack.
Bike –> Too excited, too hard!
I’m a stronger at biking than the other areas. I was pushing it hard after a few minutes of eating a Gu, drinking some water, and getting my gloves on. There were a few stops at red-lights. But I was pushing at relatively close to my FTP for the duration (about 90% of FTP). And near the end, with a few miles to go, I got excited. I had excess energy. I ramped up the effort. I realized I could maybe catch up to the leaders. I gapped some other riders who were pacing it more steady. My heart-rate was high for the bike: at tempo pace rather than base pace. I finished strong. I had switched my mindset to trying to win.
T2 –> Fine
I was fast during T2, with less than 2 minutes. By then, I was in race mode. I was ready to hit the run hard and overtake the leaders, wherever they were on course. My feet were wet from the swim in my socks, so I changed my socks. However I could have spent more time drying my feet before changing, because the 2nd socks got wet, too. I had planned to eat another Gu, but my stomach was uncomfortable so I didn’t.
Run –> Overextended
The run started off fine in the first mile, around 8:21 pace. It was a hard first mile though. My legs were wobbly and my arms were weak. My stomach was very uncomfortable from the fluids I chugged during the bike. After 1.5 miles, I wretched after a water stop. The 2nd mile and 3rd miles were slower, in the 9:00s and 10:00s. At that point I had to start walking up some hills. My heart-rate was way too high even while running at the relatively slower pace. I caught up with my wife Sahyli who was just doing the run. We walked & ran together for about 1.5 miles. Then for the last 1.5 miles I ran through the finish, increasing the pace.
For the duration of the run, I hit the wall. My legs were slow and feeling like molasses; my breathing was labored and heavy; my stomach was upset the whole way. At 2 miles in, I switched my mindset from trying to win to trying to finish without dropping out. I passed a few runners and was passed. I had a small sprint in the last half-mile. I was exhausted by the finish line.
For next time
For longer triathlons, I should maintain a new mindset: finish the race against myself. The mindset should not be trying to win. I saw the benefits of racing “me against myself” in the swim. As a result, I mostly ignored other competitors, not worrying about “trying to keep up.” I was in tune with my body and cadence. I finished the swim with energy and clarity and confidence.
The bike was my chance to make up time, so I switched my mindset to trying to race my competitors. I finished the bike ride tense and with a sense of urgency. This caused undue stress. Instead, I should spend more time listening to my body and relaxing for the ride. Since I am stronger biker, I can ease up on the effort and still manage a good time.
For the run, I can start out waaaaaay slower for the first mile. I should practically be at a fast walking pace around 10:00 min/mile. This is to shake up the legs from the bike and get them used to the effort. And especially, I should manage my heart-rate to get it down to a tempo pace rather than a hard anaerobic effort. After steadying the heart-rate to a manageable rate, I can steadily speed up the pace while maintaining that heart-rate.
There is a lot of excitement coming out of transition, but that adrenaline wears off within the first few minutes of the run.
I had one Gu before the swim and one Gu before the bike. After the bike, my stomach was feeling bad so I didn’t have another one. I drank almost 2L of water during the bike. One Liter was mixed with supplement and another Liter was regular water. I chugged the water too fast, causing serious discomfort for the run. I’ve got to take smaller sips during the bike. And I should drink water on the run rather than being a camel and storing the water on the bike. There were a couple of water stops on the run but I only had a couple of sips from paper cups. I didn’t pee for the whole race, nor did I feel the need to.
I should also consider carrying a water bottle for the run because I sweat a lot. And I should take some salt sticks or similar easy-to-consume nutritions for the run.
The run is a hard transition after the bike, and so I should continue to practice bricks to simulate the transition with high fatigue.