Today’s guest blog is from Nick Gonzales, CBC, CPC
There are many lessons that can be learned from running and training for marathons. I started running ultra-marathons a few years ago – ultramarathons are any running race that is longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). After hearing this, many people then wonder why anyone would put their body through anything like that. The short answer is that I did it to find out who I really am and to see what lessons transcend past the races into other parts of life.
Below are the five key lessons I have learned from pushing my body past its limits:
1. Planning is important, but you can’t plan for everything.
I am a planner: I like to try to plan everything in my life and I do this when preparing for races as well. This includes picking out the race, having a training plan, even planning out what and when to eat during the race. The last race that I completed was 40 miles and took me over seven hours. I am fooling myself by thinking that I could plan out everything over that seven hour time period. What’s more is that life is even tougher to plan because it is significantly longer (decades vs. hours) and has much more unpredictability. The best plan is to get comfortable, but understand that you have to be flexible if and when something doesn’t go as designed.
2. We all have the physical ability to conquer any challenge we want; the challenge is convincing our mind of the same thing.
When a person goes to any marathon or ultra-marathon race, one observation can be made that there really is no prototype runner. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, ages, etc. My strong belief is that the difference between the people who are in the race and the people that wish they could do the race is that the people in the race have just convinced themselves mentally that they can do it.
3. We can’t do it ourselves; we need help.
Like most of you, I am fiercely independent. However, if we look at all of our successes, even though we feel like we accomplished them on our own, the reality is that we could have never done them completely by ourselves. To be able to run a business or to run an ultramarathon seems like an individual sport from the outside, but in reality it is a team sport. For a business leader to be able to put in the necessary time to be successful takes a family to help while he or she is gone, a strong staff to take care of tasks that would otherwise be neglected, and a group of advisors/coaches to help ensure there are no blind spots.
4. We have to have a burning WHY inside of us.
Whether it is a race or everyday life, it is not of a question of will it get tough. It is a question of when and how tough it will get. We will all reach these tough times. The question to ask when we reach it is “Do you have a WHY inside of you burning stronger than the tough times?” By a WHY I don’t just mean to finish the race or to have a successful business. This “why” should be much deeper and broader – it should drive your decisions, how you overcome the tough times, and your purpose for being.
5. Pain is best dealt with in smaller increments.
Both life and running long races are tough and involve pain and struggle. People always ask me how I run such long races. My belief is that under this question is an even deeper question they really want to ask, which is “how can you endure so much pain?” My answer to both questions is simply one step at a time. I would argue that everybody can endure the pain for one mile, for one minute, or even one step, but the secret to any race or the tough times in life is that when you add up all the miles, all the minutes, and all the steps that you will reach the finish line successfully.
If your organization needs help planning for the “ultra-marathon” of today’s business environment, contact our expert guides at 800-786-4332 x106 or email CClemmer@AppliedVisionWorks.com. It only takes 30 minutes to get started!