I do these races to better myself, to acquire new skills, life lessons and test my metal in the toughest of elements. In addition, the shared sense of purpose you encounter with like-minded individuals create an experience that is hard to replicate.
This year as I wrote on Monday, I entered as a team. I now start these races knowing what it takes to finish and am prepared to handle the majority of obstacles that stand in between me and the finish line. The team element is a new level of difficulty and risk/reward that increases the learning I bring home. Like mentors before me, I enjoy sharing these experiences and paying forward to those who are interested.
Who are some of the characters you meet and why are they there?
- Three entrepreneurs who ran together 14 years ago in the eco-challenge and are using this as a forum to bond a relationship as they start a new business venture
- A former top runner and world-class photographer from Korea. He was there for the amazing sights.
- A 60-year-old Taiwanese businessman testing his metal and showing his son what is possible.
- An attorney who had back surgery after an accident to see if can still endure.
- A retired general in the Canadian Army keeping his skills sharp
- A 28-year-old Cancer survivor – to prove she can
The why’s are strong!
What does it take to complete one of these races?
Let’s focus on the long day, which is a pilgrimage in itself, after running four marathons (ish) back to back the previous four days.
- Sleep deprivation
- Being present through very cold nights
- 10/10 leg pain for most of the day
- Anxiety of completing the team goal
- Cold wind and rain crossing the Andes mountain range
- 43 water crossings in one day!
- Not falling into rushing river crossings!
- Managing low energy and a mass calorie deficit to keeping moving
Never give up, never give in, never stop learning. Give to others to help them make it through and leverage the power of shared suffering and community to keep moving forward.
Where do you come in?
Know your why!
Go and do something that puts you through the mental anguish you can leverage in the future. What once seemed difficult, will be much easier to accomplish.
Whether it’s a job, a meeting, a project, a negotiation, you will have leverage on yourself to be at the top of your game.