My son, now 12, has been running for a few years. We’ve wanted to summit Mount Mitchell (the tallest peak on the East Coast) for two years by running up the Mount Mitchell trail from Black Mountain Campground (6-miles with 3000+’ of elevation gain). This past summer, we did it! I bought him his own hydration pack and trail running shoes. Equipped him with soft flask water bottles and food, and we did the run! We, of course, took a wrong turn and ended up running 8-9 miles with 4000’ of vertical gain, but the memories and pride we shared in the accomplishment will undoubtedly never be forgotten! It’s like asking where their red hair came from (my wife and I are both redheads). If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ll know that most parts of my life involve running to some capacity. My kids come to work with me at my running store, they help me put on races, and they come and crew for me at my races. They were raised with running as part of their daily routine and seeing their father go out to run sun, rain, snow, or ice. My wife and I are both runners, so it’s literally in their blood. Obviously, most of you don’t have this home environment, but want your kids to share your love for running. So, what can you do? The following are items I’ve done that have helped encourage and even nourish a healthy love for running in my kids. First and foremost, you need to present opportunities for them to run. I would suggest starting with just going for a hike with your kids. Make it short and simple but include a cool destination or location. We love to go through a river (multiple times) or by a waterfall or historic site. Build the distance up and maybe include a route with beautiful scenery or views. Then start working in short runs. Maybe challenge them to beat you up a climb or down a descent. Up to the age of 10, I don’t suggest you allow them to run mileage for the week more than their age (ie 10 years old no more than 10 miles per week). The key is to run with them. Make this something you do together as a family! If you have young ones, that can’t keep up with the older ones, but can ride a bike, allow them to do so. Make courses appropriate for their ability level. Challenge them every once and a while but make the risk of failure minuscule. Let them come to one of your races and watch. Talk to them afterward about how it went, how it felt, what were your challenges and how did you overcome them. Let them recognize that Mommy or Daddy doesn’t always win, and that’s ok. We race to challenge ourselves and find out what we can do on that given day. Ask them how they would feel about trying a race. If they’re into it, find a children’s event or a one-mile fun run. Here’s the hard part, let them run this on their own. Be on the sideline and cheer as they do for you in your race. Be there at the finish and give them a hug. Let them know how proud you are of them. Enjoy the moment and on the way home talk about how the race made them feel. Ask them how they felt, how hard it was, what they would do differently (if anything), and see if they want to do another. If so, look for a new style of race (adventure, obstacle course, cross country, trail, color run, inflatable, etc.). Other items that have engaged my children and brought them not only closer to our sport, but to me has been crewing for me in ultras. They love being out there for Dad. Getting my gear ready and helping me at Aid Stations. They love camping in the car overnight and waiting for me to drag into the mile 85 aid station and revitalize me at 2 AM. How often do they get to say they were up at 2 AM and their Dad had been running since 6 AM the day before? Then let them experience something epic. As they get into the sport, encourage the participation by buying “real running shoes.” Check with your local run specialty shop and see if they have children’s running shoes. If so, take them to get fitted. Make this their “running” only shoes. As they get older, get them running clothes. My oldest child received the most basic GPS watch for Christmas. That may be a bit too far, but he wants to be like Dad, so what can I say. He’s not on Strava…yet. It’s simple, love your kids, and in the process, share your love for running while doing it with them! I’ve been asked so many times how I got my kids into running.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A third track for the LIRR, a deepwater port for Shoreham, a refurbished Penn Station, a new Jacob Javits Convention Center, an international customs station at MacArthur Airport, and a serious study of putting a tunnel under the Sound to connect Long Island to Connecticut.Apparently the Empire State’s policymakers have realized that Downstate New York needs more funding for things other than public education.January has been a busy month for Gov. Andrew Cuomo—and it’s hardly halfway through. He gave his State of the State speech in Albany to highlight his ambitious $154.5 billion spending plan for 2016-17. Last week he went on a whirlwind tour that took him to Long Island as he hit all the right notes for local business groups, with countless men and women in suits applauding that the state government finally had a vision for our sagging infrastructure.The relatively quiet Long Island Regional Planning Council sent out a celebratory email thanking Cuomo: “The LIRPC, as Long Island’s Chief Planner and one of the Region’s leading advocates, is outspoken in soliciting support from State and Federal leaders in addressing our Region’s needs. It is therefore appropriate that we salute the Governor and his leadership in addressing long-standing problems that adversely affect the Island’s sustainability. The LIRPC looks forward to continuing to work with the Governor, his administration and the State Legislature in helping to make Long Island strong, vibrant and livable for generations to come. Bravo, Governor Cuomo!”The Long Island Clean Water Partnership implored their members: “Please take a moment to send a message to Governor Cuomo to thank him for his unprecedented investment in our environment and communities.”Nancy Rauch Douzinas of The Rauch Foundation, which handles the annual Long Island Index project, expressed her encouragement: “This is a remarkable opportunity for the region and one on which we should capitalize.” Rauch went on to say: “Governor Cuomo’s vision is an exciting one that offers a dynamic future for Long Island. I urge Long Islanders to seize the momentum that his vision conveys and work together to achieve its extraordinary potential.”Not to be a party pooper, but aren’t the tasks of investing in our infrastructure and protecting our environment some of the fundamental functions of government? Especially if the transportation networks that residents—and taxpayers—use daily are inadequate?If Long Islanders are for some reason compelled to say “thanks” to policymakers for doing their jobs, it should be when these projects are completed.Gov. Cuomo’s initiatives would amount to a hearty expenditure of money. Planning for the LIRR’s 9.8-mile third track along the Main Line in Nassau would cost $7 million, while the project itself is estimated to cost another $1 billion. A new Penn Station would run $3 billion, but Cuomo says that private bidders who profit from the retail options there would shoulder “nearly all” of the hearty price tag. Adding 1.2 million-square-feet to the Javits Center in Manhattan would require $1 billion. These large, bombastic proposals make spending $5 million to study the feasibility of a tunnel under the Sound seem paltry by comparison. All of these big ideas carry hefty price tags. Although we can’t be curmudgeons and let cost impede our ability to think in transformative terms, the timing of these billion-dollar hits in rapid succession may be more than the economy can absorb. Pairing these charges with the exorbitant expense of overhauling La Guardia, factoring in potential cost overruns for the other MTA projects in the pipeline, as well as the sweeping programs intended elsewhere in the state, and the fiscal picture gets ever and ever murkier.Our skepticism doesn’t mean that the project proposals aren’t exciting, but we cannot let our judgement be skewed because we are salivating over pretty renderings. As exciting as these “new” reinvigorated proposals are, the reality is that much-needed projects already in the pipeline like East Side Access, the Second Avenue Subway and the LIRR’s double-track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma have been long delayed, and the capital funding to complete them are in jeopardy.Although the third track for the LIRR is the most realistic proposal Cuomo has floated, other ideas, like the Sound tunnel, are essentially non-starters at this point in time. Despite this, few are questioning why New York State is spending $5 million dollars to explore a question that most know the answer to, and why Suffolk County is spending its own hard-earned and scarce dollars on asking the same question, which inevitably would lead to the same conclusion?Considering the astronomical costs that these projects surely would carry, it is almost Quixotic to propose them without addressing a critical component of long-term regional planning: implementation.We welcome big thinking. But doing so without properly addressing how to build or how to pay for them is the reason why so many of these projects have languished for so long.All too often, critics use the concept of cost to torpedo any notion of big thinking. It’s an effective argument, but it usually is intended to stymie the exploration of ideas that could truly transform a region. In this instance, cost is not merely a go-to, knee-jerk reaction; it’s a legitimate concern. State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), co-chair of the state Senate’s transportation committee, is skeptical that New York can afford the price tag of Cuomo’s big ideas.“There is no doubt that we need a significant infrastructure investment here on Long Island,” Marcellino said this week. “The question is, are these ideas the best way to use these funds. Many of the proposals are not new and have, in fact, been around for quite some time. The problems that have existed with these projects still exist and the solutions, to date, have not been sufficiently laid out. There’s a multitude of questions that demand answers. Logistics, property rights, traffic, community input, noise, parking and, of course, cost just to name a few.”With so many projects in the pipeline, but few nearing completion, we should focus our regional efforts on amassing good will to build the LIRR’s third track, and the third track alone. This project has the most compelling reason for expediting it. It would eliminate a critical bottleneck for commuters and accentuate the effectiveness of the Farmingdale-Ronkonkoma double track as well as the East Side Access. They’re both already underway. Giving Penn Station a makeover, on the other hand, has been a work in progress for decades. It could be a worthy investment in the long run, but it’s not as critical today as ensuring that the entire system is able to meet current and future demands.Any policymaker or elected official can take to a stage and make promises. The exceptional ones are those who can get things done. Until these projects so crucial for Long Island’s economy are actually underway, let’s hold the applause.(Photo: Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers “state of the state” address on Jan. 13, 2016. Photo courtesy New York State Governor’s Office/Flickr)
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The hiring process is a difficult one. Certain skills and knowledge are required for each position, and candidates must also be a culture fit. Leaders of organizations need to have an effective hiring strategy in place that balances desired traits with the ability to do the job.As you reflect on the hiring process at your organization, here is an interesting take from executive coach Whitney Johnson in the Harvard Business Review: “Hiring people is a lot like picking stocks.”“We begin by asking ‘what kind of stock is this?’” Johnson says. “Is it best-in-class, with strong positioning in the market and consistently solid results; a turnaround story, where there have been struggles but better days are on the horizon; a cash cow, where revenue is flat but the business will pay out dividends for the foreseeable future; or a growth story, with potential for accelerating revenue and expanding margins?”A stock’s performance in the market – and how it fares in volatile times – is a good analogy for a person’s career, especially in the current fast-paced, ever-changing work environment. To ensure you’re hiring people with high-growth potential, here are some tips from Johnson:
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Just as Gov. Andrew Cuomo was updating residents on the state’s plan to battle the first winter storm of the season, forecasters upgraded their projected snowfall total for parts of Long Island to up to 18 inches.That update comes after meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Upton office for the last day have predicted up to a foot of snow for the region. However, the agency throughout the week has warned that the storm’s track was uncertain meaning forecasts could change, either for the better or worse. Officials have said that their major concern with this Nor’easter is the potential for flooding in coastal areas. Parts of the Island are also under a coastal flooding warning.“Flooding can do tremendous tremendous damage, as we’ve learned the hard way,” Cuomo said.Also causing angst among officials is near-zero visibility on roadways due to expected blowing snow and whipping winds.The duel effect of potentially serious flooding in low-lying areas and heavy snow throughout means municipalities will have to deploy resources to battle the storm on many fronts.Cuomo’s message to residents was to stay at home because stalled or abandoned vehicles put first responders in harm’s way.The massive Nor’easter is threatening much of the mid-Atlantic with upwards of two feet of snow. More than 4,500 flights have been cancelled due to inclement weather. Area airports have also begun cancelling flights, including LaGuardia Airport (700) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (350). Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said he expects all airlines to waive rebooking fees.All flights out of Long Island MacArthur Airport will be cancelled by 7:35 p.m. Friday and will resume again Sunday afternoon, but departure times vary depending on airline. While officials are warning residents about traveling by car, the Long Island Rail Road has not made plans to halt operations but could modify or suspend service depending on snow accumulation and if sustained winds become greater than 39 mph.Cuomo said agencies have beefed up their ranks as they brace for the storm, including PSEG Long Island, which has nearly 1,000 personnel on standby.Hundreds of pieces of snow-fighting equipment is headed down to help battle the storm, including more than 1,000 operators and supervisors, dozens of plows, and a half-dozen vacuum trucks outfitted with sewer jets destined for LI to help relieve flooding.“You hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Cuomo said. “But we are preparing for a significant occurrence.”Officials in Nassau County echoed Cuomo’s plea to heed warnings.“We are asking our motorists, should the storm stay on track, please do not take to the roads.”Mangano urged residents to use its non-emergency hotline in non-life-threatening circumstances. The number is 1-800-315-5153. The hotline will be activated 8 p.m. Friday.Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone encouraged residents to shelter in place, saying “this is a real storm that does pose risks.” Despite the bleak outlook he chose to look on the bright side.“It is fortunate that this storm is hitting at this time, on a weekend” when people will be at home and not traveling to work, Bellone said. Suffolk’s non-emergency hotline is 631-852-4900. SICK OF ALL THE COLD WEATHER? #BLIZZARD2016 GOT YOU DOWN? MAKE SOME EXTRA MONEY WHILE BOOKING TRAVEL PLANS FOR YOU, YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY TO WARM, EXOTIC DESTINATIONS ALL AROUND THE WORLD!Download the “Questions Answered” Agent eBook:
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Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka beat world number one Novak Djokovic with a scintillating display to win his first US Open and third Grand Slam title.Wawrinka, seeded third, won 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-5 6-3 to add the US title to his 2014 Australia Open title and his French Open triumph last year.The 31-year-old hit 46 winners in a brilliant display of shot-making.Serbia’s Djokovic made a strong start but struggled physically as the final entered a fourth hour in New York.Wawrinka has now won all three Grand Slam finals he has played and his last 11 finals in a row, and has become the oldest male winner of the US Open since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970.”My goal is to give everything I have to be the best I can,” said Wawrinka, who saved a match point in the third round against Britain’s Dan Evans. “I never had a goal to win a Grand Slam but I am trying as best I can. Match after match I was playing better.”Djokovic, 29, was the defending champion and trying to win his third Grand Slam title of 2016 and 13th of his careerHe required treatment for a blister on his big toe in the final set, prompting complaints to the umpire and tournament referee from Wawrinka as the interruption came before his service game.”Stan, sorry! I can’t stand,” Djokovic shouted across to him during the break.After the match, Djokovic said: “Congratulations, Stan, to your team as well. This has been absolutely deserved today. You were the more courageous player in the decisive moment and he deserves his title.” ‘I came here without the goal of winning’Wawrinka had won just four of 23 previous matches against Djokovic but two of those had come on the way to winning Grand Slam titles, and the contest brought out the best in him once again.Djokovic had spent just nine hours on court getting to the final, compared to 18 for Wawrinka, and the Serb started much the sharper.However, a comfortable 5-2 lead disappeared as Wawrinka began to find his range and it required a surge of adrenaline and form to take the Serb through the tie-break.The Swiss claimed his only point of the tie-break in an astonishing rally of attack and counter-attack, and his groundstrokes began to flow as he took control of the final in the second set.Wawrinka beat Djokovic for only the fifth time in 24 meetings Djokovic pegged back an early break but Wawrinka continued to exert pressure, setting up two set points with a forehand winner and celebrating as the Serb went wide, smashing his racquet in frustration.There were early signs of some physical discomfort when Djokovic patted over two smashes at 3-0 down in the third set but again he broke back, converting just his third break point of 14.Another tie-break loomed but the sheer weight of shot coming at him across the net drew a 14th error of the set to edge Wawrinka ahead.The Swiss looked much the stronger in the fourth set, and doubts only emerged when Djokovic called for the trainer to treat a blister – something that riled Wawrinka as it occurred ahead of his service game.Wawrinka appeared to have been distracted as he fell break-point down three times in the following game, but he held on each time, pumping his fist as he clinched what proved to be the decisive hold. Djokovic continued to chase down as much as he could, despite a bloodied toe, but Wawrinka converted his second match point to claim his third major title in as many years.”This is amazing,” he added. “I came here without the goal of winning it but stepped on the court trying to win the match.”I played a lot of tennis, I am completely empty. There was so much emotion with the crowd, the atmosphere, the stadium, it’s been an amazing night.”‘I would have taken reaching the final’Djokovic has now lost nine of the 21 Grand Slam finals he has playedDjokovic had arrived in New York with doubts around his state of fitness following a wrist injury, his form after defeat at Wimbledon and the Olympics, and the added concern of unspecified “personal issues”.The Serb, 29, was helped in terms of recovery by two retirements and one walkover among his six opponents on the way to the final, but he still came up short physically. “At this level, after playing seven, eight months of the season, obviously you’re not very fresh but coming into the Grand Slam final you are giving it your best,” he said.”We both felt it. We both felt the demanding match that we played today, but he came out on top, he was the better player, tougher mentally.”It was a fantastic couple of weeks for me. I didn’t know if I was going to come a few weeks before because I struggled physically. If someone had told me I was going to play in the final I would definitely have accepted it