My job as a junior product engineer was basically sustaining designs with little creativity, mechanical understanding, or initiative required. It laid a critical ground basis for sound engineering organization and paperwork, but it held me back from deeper design and manufacturing experience. Moving to my new job as a Manufacturing Design Engineer and then Director of Manufacturing threw me into a hands-on world of assembling complex products and designing tooling. This shift felt like going from knowing the parts of a car to actually physically knowing their direct function, criticality and method of production. I think I learn much more when I actually put my hands on a part, assemble it, take it apart, reassemble it, and ship it.
The responsibility as the D.O.M has made me appreciate how hard leadership really is, and the duality of how critical teamwork is with a large group of people. I understand how engineering companies work and also have a healthy respect for how hard it is to run a successful one. Shipping a quality part and making money is not something to take for granted. This is a larger metaphor for the interactions of our economy as a whole, and how vast human ingenuity is. Sometimes my head just spins for hours about how amazing an airplane is.
Similarly, my running with good friends has increased my daily running dialogue and helped me learn a lot through sharing experiences. I don't know what aspect of ultra running we haven't talked about yet, but I think we've got a good grasp of the key facets of a good runner after picking apart race performances. What's more, I've ran through more sunrises this year than I've slept through, and I've gotten some really rich moments on the trail.
As I go through building my base up again for 2014, I'm excited to push some Strava CR's to their proper times. The idea is very clear that the daily 10-40 minute climbs in the southern Santa Monica Mountains have a lot of potential for building power and speed, and the 1-2 hour climbs in the San Gabriels will develop my strength for my goal summer 100's. I'm exactly where I need to be to push myself to the next level.
My goal in 2014 is purely to know myself: physically and mentally.
I ran 3,454mi and climbed 755,671ft in 2013
"oh I'll be better.."
Shakey Graves - The Many Man