Monday, March 8, 2010
Itz a lonely job being the LEADER of Undisciplined MEN!!!!
Musings from a recent training seminar...
'Tis Pride with these old men
To tell what they have seen.
'Twill be Pride, when we are old,
To say that in our youth
We heard the tales they told
And looked on them in their truth.
No doubt, like those that have come before me (i.e. Washington at Valley Forge or Shackleton sans The Endurance), I have come to appreciate that the trials and tribulations of molding a cadre of raw men into an efficient team is often a thankless, confusing, and desperately lonely job. Yet, leaders of MEN must never lose sight of their overarching goals. For Washington, it was the birthing of a new nation. For Shackleton, the survival of his men. For my charges, the goal is nothing short of podium finishes for all of them in Iowa this late April. To this end, I shall prepare them! To this end, I shall endure their insolence!! To this end, I shall continue to push them onward beyond what they think is possible!!!
Specifically, in accordance with my duties as a DBD Member-in-Good Standing, I led my small intrepid group out for a long 115+ mile training ride on the recent Sabbath. Namely; Hendricks, Eki, and one of the two Jasons, the one of whom that oddly insists that I call him, 'Jeremy', respectively. (Note: we also had the pleasure of the multi-talented Dave S. along as well for a bit in the early a.m.). Thankfully, these roughly-cut men are not without talents and yet they collectively are resistant to civil order and thus must be managed with a complex melding of strict adherence to proper cycling protocol, rigorous exercise, and yet balanced out with empathetic, even maternalistic support and nurturing.
Pedagogically sound from nearly twenty years of teaching high school students, I am equipped for such endeavors, but this group is particularly challenging as they are use to some degree individual successes and thus lack (at this stage) a commitment to (or understanding of) the joys of winning group efforts. Such a unit of men must therefore be approached to educate with extraordinary and unorthodox teaching methods.
For example, to simply employ “modeling-technique” to instruct these uncouth men in the subtleties of an efficient and rapid tire change would be counterproductive as they would simply not pay attention to me. So instead, I feigned a series of flats during Sunday’s ride and then pretended to screw-up the process of repairs. Initially, in the first instance, I pretended to use the pump in a manner that would sheer off the valve-stem, then during a subsequent "flat," I gave the impression of blindness by applying the patch NOT over the puncture hole, but near to the hole. Finally, I feigned throwing up food chunks whilst admonishing an underling for allowing his digestive system to shut down.
In doing so I compelled the trio of ruffians to sharply criticize me, to rally, and to ultimately “bind” together in their disregard and contempt for a shoddy job done by their leader. Tricking them into learning the correct way to fix a flat, coupled with teaching the importance of proper nutrition; success was obtained, important lessons were learned!
I was silently elated and yet I must always stand alone, apart from the group...Progress was made that day, although there is still much work to be done!!!