This weekend I step up to the line in my first ultra-marathon.
52 kilometres of dirt, trail, gravel, rock, cliff face, river crossings and possibly even snow. And let me not forget to tell you about the 2700 metres of incline along the way over three mountain peaks.
When I am out there training by myself mostly, my mind wanders. One of the areas my mind wanders to is my work. Be it a specific project, my career, places I’ve actually worked and how similar the approach to my goal race is to survive the many goals and targets set in the business world. Or the myriad of decisions you have to make to finish strong.
Sports and business is a major topic and I’m not here to revolutionise theories, just reflect a little. I may even allow a bit of pride to seep in.
My “race” this weekend is 52km with 2700m of ascent over three mountains. The actual race is the goal event but the journey to get to the point where I am able to compete with a chance of finishing is where the real action is at.
I have trained for eight months for this moment. Eight months! Eight long and testing months. Eight months where my wife and four kids have let me train (some weeks) 10+ hours. And don’t start me on the cost of the sport. It’s not just a pair of shoes and out the door. Tickets, travel, shoes, shoes and more shoes, supplements and the gear. It all adds up. Like a career, you are always “training” and learning and investing be it emotional or financial.
With my career, there are real similarities. Starting with no or little knowledge, training, trial and error, understanding the craft, attending seminars and listening to the industry leaders, taking risks or calculated moves. Then it’s about knowing where to go… what path to take and ultimately, deciding on a major event or setting up your business or employer or whatever the best situation is and making it happen. At some point, you have to lace up or front up, and just do it.
Not a lot more to it than that… Just some reflection that deciding to do something that sits right outside your comfort zone is not just good for you, it can be great. Life changing great. But completing an ultra-marathon or pitching for a promotion or starting a business takes hard work and lots of it. It may even take a little bit of crazy.
This is my race and my goal. The journey has been very testing but I'm excited to see what comes of it.
Keen to check it out my little bit of crazy… Have a look here. https://motatapu.com/macpac-motatapu/
And you can bet that some motivational speaker—or maybe your boss—will soon go into a lengthy discourse about how business is just like sports. There’s competition. There’s teamwork. Let’s get out there and give it our all!