Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (October 8, 2021)

When running a marathon, is the goal making it to the starting line or crossing the finish line?

For my oldest son Matthew, crossing the finish line in under 3 hours was his goal. It was a stretch goal, for sure, considering this would be his first marathon. But he spent months training toward that goal and was feeling good about it until August 5th, the day he severely sprained his left ankle playing basketball. The physical therapist told him that it could take 10 weeks or more to recover from a level 2 ankle sprain. The marathon was less than 8 weeks away. At that point, his goal changed from crossing the finish line to making it to the starting line.

By diligently following the recovery plan outlined by his physical therapist, Matthew made it to the starting line at the Wineglass Marathon this past Sunday. And he crossed the finish line too in 3:12, placing 3rd in his age group and 113 out of 1,389 overall. “It was the hardest thing I have ever done,” he said after the race. “I have never felt so much pain as in those last 4 miles.”

As his father, of course, I am extremely proud of him. But am I more proud of him for making it to the starting line or crossing the finish line? If I had to choose, it would be making it to the starting line.

Before he got injured, there was little doubt in my mind that he would cross the finish line (maybe not in under 3 hours, but in a good time nonetheless). After his injury, however, the odds were stacked against him making it to the starting line. In many ways, dealing with adversity and setbacks is more difficult than running 26.2 miles. When you sign up for a marathon, you sort of know what you’re getting yourself into. But when you suffer a setback in life, big or small, it’s not something you signed up for; it just happens unexpectedly and then you have to figure out what to do next.

For Matthew, the marathon wasn’t just the 26.2 miles that he ran last Sunday, but also the miles he traveled for eight weeks before getting to the starting line (wearing a boot, icing his ankle, doing ankle strengthening exercises, swimming to stay in cardio shape). It’s the way he traveled those extra miles to the starting line that I’m most proud of, and what made crossing the finish line even more special — not just for me, but for him too.

Moving on to this week’s supply chain and logistics news…

Since this is a holiday weekend in the US and many folks are taking today off, I’ll share my commentary in future posts.

Have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “Miracle Mile” by Cold War Kids