Saturday, October 12, 2013

How To Establish Credibility

Our oldest son is the Nike+ athlete for our local store in our community.  Besides his position at Nike, he waits tables between classes at the community college.  His FaceBook posts detail how far he runs, at times up to ten miles in a single session.  Our daughter has a similar schedule.  She works two jobs and attends University full time.  And our youngest manages to keep our grass mowed and our house clean while staying busy on the football field after school every day.  I give each of them high marks for their ability to get things done.

My wife and I took our daughter out to dinner at our local pizza eatery the other night and we were talking about physical fitness.  My daughter mentioned she was getting cold and I offered to run home and get her a jacket.  "It's too far to run, dad.  I'll just drive home and change clothes."

"You don't think I can run home and back before our pizza is ready?"  I asked.

She nodded her head no.

"I can run a 10k right now with no training,"  I said.

Our daughter pulled out a ten dollar bill and waved it in front of me.  My head was spinning as I sipped my Bud Light.  I plotted the racecourse in my head and considered her offer.  Then I came to my senses.
"You're busting your butt to get through school.  I can't take your money.  Besides, I'm having a great date night with the two of you and I want to savor this moment."

My wife jumped in to the conversation.  "Honey, you're no Spring chicken.  Running ten miles is not something you just do.  You have to train for that."

"A 10k is not ten miles," I retorted.  "It's only 6.2 miles.  I could walk out of here right now and run to the Interstate.  That's just over two miles.  Then, I could turn around and run back.  Once I do that, I can turn around one last time and complete the 10k."

"Go ahead," she teased.

We enjoyed our pizza and returned home.    Our daughter wouldn't let up.  "Your sons don't think you can do it, either," she said, showing me the text message from her brothers about the running challenge.

Obviously, I have no credibility in my own family.   They don't see me doing my leg raises every morning while I'm flossing my teeth.  They have no idea how much running I do throughout my shift at my day job.  And they discount all the times I stepped up when confronted with major challenges because that's all ancient history now.   Here's what I see in front of me — a teachable moment.  That's what parents do.  They raise the bar for the children and they show them by their own example how it can be done.  And the way to make the lesson stick is to follow the Nike motto:  Just Do It.

My next days off are Monday and Tuesday.  I will put on my running shoes and have one of my family members drop me off in the corn fields 6.2 miles away from my house.    Our daughter can keep her ten dollars.  This challenge is not about the money, it's about how to establish credibility.

Please share what you do to establish credibility in the comments section below.  I will leave a comment at the end of this blog message after I complete my 10k challenge early next week.  And yes, honey, I'm certainly no Spring chicken — I'm an Autumn chicken who loves a good challenge at any age.


jo said...

I have NEVER known you to not do something once you set even one part of your mind to it. Your integrity, grit, faith, and humor are pieces of your internal want to run that 6.2 for street cred, for your daughter's benefit, for your bride's smile, for your sons' ah HA's, for you and what you stand for? I say, go for it and yeah, you'll do it, all right. Just Continue to Do It and Continue to Be...xoxoxo\

Michael Mulligan said...

Thanks, cousin. You are an amazing encourager. Yes, I went for it this morning. Mission accomplished! Hugs to your family. And keep being you!