Hit the wall lately?

What do you do when you know you’re going to hit the wall?

Marathon runners know it’s coming and make sure to plan for it – training, drinking fluids before and during the race, eating to replenish carbohydrate stores. The wall seems to appear between the 20th and 22nd of the 26.2 miles. Not really any damage occurs. The eat and drink like crazy to get themselves ready for their next training day or race. They plan for the next wall.

When NASCAR drivers hit the wall it’s a different story. Last weekend Michael McDowell – one of Michael Waltrip’s drivers – hit the outside safe-wall. He went from 165mph to 0mph in 1 foot. He walked away from that crash, but there was extensive damage to the car after it flipped over some six or seven times and caught fire. McDowell’s life was saved because of the safety equipment NASCAR requires. This wall was planned for.

What are the walls that you have to face? Situations? Technology limitations? People?

Here are some suggestions for planning for the inevitable.

  • Be realistic – analyze the wall, look at it from several different perspective; get a good picture of what you are dealing with. Do you really have to hit it?
  • Train for hitting the wall – prepare, cover your bases, and pull others into the training. You’re not alone – find a community of people who have your viewpoint (but not 100%, that’s impossible and unhealthy)
  • Have a back-up plan – even if there’s no chance of hitting the wall, we don’t always know when one will appear; be ready
  • Prepare to recover – have a plan and practice it
  • Embrace the wall – don’t hug it, just realize that you can learn from this difficulty; learn in order to change future encounters with the wall

How would you prepare – what can you add?

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