hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

6.2 Miles

This is how far away my office is from my house. For ages I've wondered what it would be like to walk home from work but the sheer idea of Silver Spring to Woodley Park sounded incredibly daunting. Until yesterday. Faced with the option of spinning class, it suddenly felt like a waste of a perfect weather day to spend it sweating in a gym. I had all I would really need for a long walk--sneakers and an Ipod. And so I did it. I walked home. 16th Street provided a perfectly pleasant route for my journey. I had measured the route on Gmaps Pedometer before I left and had noted various landmarks that could stand as distance markers. For instance, I knew I couldn't let myself think I was too tired before I even hit Walter Reed, as that was only the 1/4 mark. I also knew that once I hit Columbia Road, I was mostly home.

The path had more hills than I expected, and since I had foolishly walked in Converse on Saturday, my shins were a bit mad at me. The inclines were a little uncomfortable, but overall I managed to keep a pretty good pace. I hit Adams Morgan at the 1 hour and 30 minute mark. I had been determined to make the trip in less than two hours, and although I was obviously in the clear, I picked up my pace and booked it down Lanier Street, over the Calvert Bridge and up Connecticut for the remaining leg of the walk. My end time? 1 hour and 40 minutes. Not bad.

As I've said before, I'm not an athlete. But there's something so wonderful about a nice long walk in good weather. The summer I lived in Boulder I walked five miles, five days a week. Now I'm lucky if I get to the gym once a week. Too bad the oppressive humidity that is DC in July is about to kick our asses. A 6.2 mile walk could otherwise become a pleasurable habit.

In other news, I am finding myself in a very take-charge sort of mood these days. Perhaps it's exactly that sort of motivation that inspires somebody to walk 6.2 miles. My special project at work has been stalling so I've stepped it up a bit this week and I've been taking all sorts of action. Including being a more hands-on manager of my intern, who was starting to get a little whiny and unmotivated. I'm enforcing a little tough love this week and way more things seem to be getting done. Have I mentioned that my intern is the CEO's daughter? Yeah. It's sort of a complicated endeavor. I want her to be happy, but she shouldn't be allowed to do whatever she wants based on birthright. But I can't let her family ties to the company intimidate me any longer.

I have very little management experience. Mostly I've just been managed by some incredibly incompetent individuals with terrible people skills. So I have a lot of knowledge about what I shouldn't do, but very little about what I should. In my book a good manager...

-Treats others with respect
-Clearly communicates expectations but sets only expectations that can reasonably be met
-Motivates through positivity rather than threats and negativity
-Knows when it's time to be firm and tell people to get it done
-Is flexible and open to new ideas
-Isn't afraid to admit fault when necessary
-Is confident in their own ability to lead and take charge

Mostly I am finding that I have little tolerance for other people's shit, to speak perfectly plainly. This isn't to say that I've lost my great sense of empathy. More that I've lost my previous ability to give people multiple second chances and the benefit of the doubt. I find that I tend to let others get away with a lot. I make excuses for their inconsistencies and pretend that it's okay when they let me down. I guess I'm just looking out for myself a little bit more than I have in the past. Like everything else in life, it's a constant balancing act.


Anonymous Ms. Tart said...

Sounds like a great walk! You've inspired me. Next time there's a nice, non-humid day, I will also walk home from work.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Michael J. West said...

I bow to you, O Queen of the DC Walk!

I once decided I was going to walk from Cleveland Park home to Southwest--you know, back when I lived in Southwest. I further decided, just to be different, I was going to walk down Rock Creek Parkway. At the P Street interchange my achin' calves gave up and demanded a cab.

Ergo, you win. And I pay homage to you, Queen Hey Pretty.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Impressive. I'm a huge fan of the huge walks in nice weather. (I'm also a huge fan of the metro in humid weather.)

1:16 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

"Mostly I've just been managed by some incredibly incompetent individuals with terrible people skills."

Haven't we all? :)

7:31 PM  
Anonymous zandria said...

That is so cool that you did that! I don't blame you for taking advantage of the good weather, especially since it'll probably be getting a lot nastier (hotter, humid) pretty soon. Very cool. :)

By the way, I just posted the 8 Things meme this morning!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I walk home from my downtown office to Southwest about two or three times a week. It takes an hour to an hour and a half, it saves me the $1.35 in Metro fare, and it keeps me in decent shape. It's great.

A boss should offer clear, reasonable expectations and good manners. Those are my top two qualifications.

3:54 PM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Wow, you walked a 10K! That's awesome. I think that my longest DC walk has been 5.5-- it's so nice to be able to enjoy the weather while it's nice and get some exercise in a non-exercise-y way.

And good for you for looking out for yourself-- I tend to give people too many chances, too, so I should start to follow your lead.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

That is an awesome walk. I have been walking from Cleveland Park to Georgetown a lot lately (for work) and it is sort-of intoxicating once you get going...but the iPod is key. I don't know if I would be so happy to make that trek (especially the uphill part on Wisconsin) without music.

9:43 PM  

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