Catching an Ejector Crab

I would like to share a personal story this week. When I was a senior in college, rowing was my guts and glory. I lived it and rowed it and woke up and slept to it. I recall this one time we were racing down the Potomac River in the fall, practicing feet out – prepping for the Head of the Charles. I was stroking one of the 8+’s. Our boat became offset as we came through to the release and my rigger dipped into the chilly water. The rest of the boat recovered but I took an oar to my gut and was launched out!

I was angry, frustrated, and more than a bit embarrassed. Catching a crab is a mistake less experienced rowers make. I shouldn’t have been in this position – but I was. Conventional wisdom would tell me I needed to focus more in the moment and consider my team. Everything I do has an important effect on the boat. This is all great advice, but only applicable once back on land. In reality, the only important thing at the time: get out of the water and back in the boat. Acknowledging and immediately dealing with an adverse event is the only way to move forward. Yes, a lecture on focus and more practice is all great in theory, but life doesn’t always give you the luxury of time to do all those things.

This brings my story to the fall of 2015: I had just finished an alumni race at the Head of the Charles and I caught my next ejector crab: a phone call from my supervisor telling me that I had been laid off. I had just moved from Syracuse, NY to Providence, RI and launched my new business, LEO Training. The “plan”, my “excellent foolproof plan”, was to continue with my day-job to give the business time to grow. That phone call was an oar to my gut.

I was confused and scared, for the first time since college I didn’t have a clear plan in front of me. I didn’t know what to do next. I wanted to eventually make the jump and do training full time, but I was not yet ready to make the full commitment.  But life is funny; it does not always follow your plans. I had to immediately shift from the status quo to transitioning NOW to my new career and continue paying my bills.
As scary as that moment was, it forced me to make the transition earlier than I had planned.

Looking back on both events, catching a crab and getting laid off – I’ve learned that every event in our life is an opportunity to learn and improve. We can prepare, but we can’t control how events are going to unfold on the day. We can only adapt and re-adjust our course to continue on to our destination, goal, or desired result.

My “failures” have forced me to re-examine everything I do and question my process and trajectory objectively. I do not consider them failures, they were exactly what had to happen for me to take the plunge and commit to my business.

As you move forward in your own endeavors I hope my story is able to shift your perspective:

  • Preparation toward your goals is key but the right moment is NOW. Start taking steps towards your goal today.
  • Losing stability is humbling – whether it’s getting thrown from the boat or losing the ability to comfortably pay your expenses.
  • Appreciate what you have and get everything you can out of your resources.

Until now, I’ve written about what interests me, because I believe that kettlebells, indian clubs, and bodyweight training are fun and excellent tools to promote strength, movement, and injury rehabilitation in the sport of rowing.

But, I created this business to help YOU reach your goals. To follow through on that, I need to know what you want to learn more about.

Please take two minutes and fill out this survey so I can learn more about you, my community and how I can help you on your journey.

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Thank you!
Joe