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Running Start

"The worst that could happen is wet shoes and a broken ankle."
Those were the encouraging words Katie offered as we walked around the backside of the pond a second time.

On the front side of the pond was a little island, about 7 feet away from the shoreline. It appeared to be the home for the geese and ducks who flocked about the water that warm winter day. From a distance it looked like an easy jump to make it from the bank to the island, but the closer I got to the edge of the pond, the further the jump appeared to be. I definitely knew I wouldn't be able to make the distance from a standing jump but I felt fairly confident I could make the jump with a running start.


If it was just a matter of jumping from point A to point B, I would have attempted the jump with no hesitation, but there was some risk involved. Wet shoes, a broken ankle, and wounded pride were all fairly low risks overall, but still, it was enough to make me second-guess my parkour abilities.

So I decided to measure twice and jump once. I found a long stick and took some crude measurements of the island jump. I took the stick over to the playground and marked off the distance in the mulch. I took a running start and cleared the distance with relative ease. That bolstered my confidence, but I still wasn't entirely sure I had measured correctly or that I would be able to make the jump from cement curb to cement curb. And I knew that if I went for the jump, I would have to be 100% committed when I leapt. If I pulled up at all I knew I definitely wouldn't make the distance.

But you're only young once. I told Katie to document the jump and we had our kids line up to cheer me on. I cast aside everything that so easily entangles (i.e. my hoodie and wallet) and I prepared to get my running start from about 15' up a slight hill. I told Katie to start filming and once I got the go-ahead from her I took off. I knew it was now or never; I had psyched myself up as much as I could and there would be no turning back once I reached the curb at full speed. I reached the edge and leapt....


...and made it! I wouldn't go so far as to say I cleared it easily, but I certainly wasn't at risk of falling in. The only problem was that now I was on a duck-sized island and needed to get back to the shore; only this time I wouldn't have my downhill running start. I found the best route to get some momentum built up and I took back off for the shore...

...and made it! My legs were pretty jittery after the jump, but I hadn't felt so alive in quite some time. It was a risk and it paid off with a reward.

Which leads me to today's life lesson.

During Trump's campaign, many supporters vouched for his ability to run the country based on his ability to run a business. After all, Trump has made billions of dollars and has built a strong company.

“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975 and I built it into a company that's worth many, many billions of dollars.” — Donald Trump

Naysayers of Trump point out that it is easy to make a billion dollar company when you have been given a $14mil loan from a family member. 


“You know, Donald was very fortunate in his life and that's all to his benefit. He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father.” — Hillary Clinton


Donald Trump was fortunate to receive help from his father to get him a running start with his company. It takes an initial investment to see the rewards down the road. It takes a running start to make a bigger jump. 


It isn't impossible to make a jump without a running start, but you might never make it to the oasis in the middle of the pond without the help of a running start. 


But not every running start needs to consist of millions of dollars. It could be seed money of $8000 that is saved over years and years that is sitting in your bank account; and maybe you spend that $8k on a house in Price Hill and end up on a reality TV show...you just never know. 


Either way, it takes an initial investment in order to get the momentum needed to see your business idea grow. And not just an investment, but careful measurement to make sure that you don't end up taking a bath in your idea. Training and practice to make sure that you have enough momentum to carry you to your needed destination. And most of all, courage. It takes a big boost of courage to get out there and make up your mind to start sprinting in one direction and fully commit to the jump. 


Whether it is $14 million borrowed from your family or $8000 saved in your bank account, you need to get a running start to make your wildest dreams possible. Regardless of the amount you save, it also takes planning and hard work to make your dream a reality. It takes training, preparation, but perhaps most importantly....a leap of faith. 

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