Friday, May 20, 2016

Running in Cities

I just got back from two weeks of traveling. Guys! What's happened? I looked around at the other people in the meetings, and they look so....young. There's a huge shift in my agency to hire millenials who have plenty of school experience but have never cleaned a toilet, cleared a trail, or fought a fire. Not that you HAVE to do those things to be a good resource manager, but if you are supervising people who do those things, you really should be familiar with what it takes. It's hard not to be a little envious of these twenty year olds who skated in without years of hard seasonal time, in jobs that it took me twenty years to attain. Especially when they try to condescendingly explain policy.

Soon, these people will be my supervisor. That's a little hard to take, but it's been a conscious decision on my part not to chase numbers. Often to move up, you have to live in an urban area. That's just not for me. The quality of life for me really goes down as population goes up. Traffic, having to  lock doors, being worried to run down a street after dark...No.

But there can be some good things about visiting. Both places I went to have amazing greenbelts. I giggled to myself as I ran out of my hotel right onto a flat path by a river. It was so novel not to look at my feet for rocks,  not to face plant, not to climb breathlessly up several thousand feet in elevation just to attain a few miles, to run a normal running pace. I allowed myself a moment to think of how much faster of a runner I could be if I lived in a place like this.
Paradise for running!
Plus there's fun things to watch:

I'd like to try this!
It's funny to be the older crowd at meetings because it seems like such a short time ago I was the youngest one in the room. I remember an old salt calling me a hippie because I wore sandals. Even though I worked my way up, I'm sure they had some of the same misgivings I do when I see the new people today.

For now, though, it's eyes on the prize (ten years!) and traveling to places I don't want to live in, but can mine the good stuff from. Like running on greenbelts, where for a few brief moments I can be fast and fearless.

15 comments:

  1. Running is such a fun way to explore a city. I went running a few times in San Francisco when I lived in the Bay Area, and enjoyed the people watching and incredulous discoveries of what I thought were completely unviable businesses (there's a "pirate supply" store on Valencia Street.) Ah. I'm going to miss San Francisco.

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    1. Because you have to pay attention when running, I think you know a place way better than driving. Hmm, pirate supply sounds intriguing.

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  2. Yeah, my work is getting invaded my millennials too...some of them are as old as my kids! While I admire their energy and enthusiasm, I too get annoyed with them wanting to jump directly to the top of the ladder without doing the "grunt" work to get there (like we did). Guess I'm beginning to sound like a cranky old lady! :)

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    1. I feel the same way so I guess that makes me old and cranky too. I started with lots of enthusiasm but I feel I earned where I am. It's different now.

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  3. Your phrase "quality of life for me really goes down as population goes up" perfectly explains my experience. Role reversal is unsettling but there are indeed benefits. Being around the energy and enthusiasm of the younger crowd both buoyed and humbled me. It also helped to remind me to reevaluate my "been there done that" auto response. You have the right attitude, you'll survive and thrive.

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    1. I really work hard not to be the "we've always done it this way, so it's right" person. That's equally annoying. I think it's just having things explained to me when I've known them for years that gets old! Also, I think everyone in my organization should do at least one full day of trail work!

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    2. Preferably in the wilderness with hand tools, and clean at least one outdoor toilet. In general, where possible, supervisors should always have done at least a bit of the work they will be supervising....true in many jobs!

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    3. Yes, mostly because it is easy to cut the budget or say certain positions aren't needed or ask why it takes so long if you haven't done it. I've seen this happen.

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  4. Hi Mary, I find people in Alaska who are new or even been here for 10, 15 or 20 years see me doing something like fishing, hunting or whatever, will always tell me there is a better way. I just smile and say ok. I don't usually tell them, I was born here 68 years ago and pretty much have a handle on things. I for one, do not handle cities of any size to well.

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    1. That's funny, I am glad you don't listen to them. I would bet you know a thing or two by now. :)

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  5. I've ventured so far from my career path, but I'm with you about the never wanting to "move up." The millennials scare me a little bit. You should be proud of what you accomplished and how hard you worked to get there. I guess every generation has their "when I was your age, I had to ..."

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    1. I feel old saying this, but I really see the difference between when I grew up and now. The worst is the phrase "adulting". I've seen younger people use it, as in "adulting is hard". They typically mean paying bills, or buying a house, or going to work. Not to broad brush because not everyone does this. But I have to laugh. I couldn't wait to be an sdult.

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  6. I admire your drive to get out and hike in all weather. I really don't like rain so I tend to not go out hiking when it's threatening. I did brave it when I was in SouthCentral Alaska, since you just Don't get out unless you do, but at heart I'm still a sunshine hiker.
    I was hoping for warm and sun for Memorial day weekend to get out for a backpack trip, but it's not looking like it will shape up the way I was hoping.
    After the relentless rain in Alaska (even the locals were complaining) I'm craving sun and heat.

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    1. That's bad if locals are complaining. Unfortunately we have had a very rainy spring in these parts. It's good for fire danger, but not so great for backpacking!

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  7. Oh, there is such a big difference between millenials and other generations. All the commenters hit it right on the head; they want to jump straight to the top (and think they SHOULD be able to) without having any experience. It cracks me up when they hear about my life (self employed, international travel, etc) and say "that sounds great, how do I get into that?" and I explain they have to get an advanced degree and fifteen years of progressively more complex experience, and I can see in their eyes that the answer just doesn't compute. They genuinely do not understand why they can't just run out and start doing what I do.

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