All posts filed under: Adventure

The ONE thing to focus on when times get tough

  When you look back on the accomplishments you are most proud of, what were the most challenging moments when you had to find that extra gear in order to overcome?   Here is an example for me.  Night sky Patagonia Argentina – November.  After running four marathons back to back over four days and operating on little sleep and temperatures dropping we had 75 Km ahead of us in one day to complete the race. Sleeping was uncomfortable, it was cold and getting out of your sleeping bag in the middle of the night to water the flowers was not ideal.    Sometimes when you least expect it you find the motivation and opportunity for gratitude – in the middle of the night.    The most incredible stars and night sky over Tronador in the Andes mountain range.    How did I capture this essence going forward?  NOTHING YOU FACE TODAY WILL BE TOUGHER THAN THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ANGUISH OF DAY 5 IN PATAGONIA.   NOTHING.   What is your leverage moment you can focus …

What Creates 114 Beaming Smiles?

Sock cupcakes! What is that??? I had the opportunity to join our financial services sales team this week to go and invest time helping putting on a Christmas party for kids that are in the hospital during the holiday. A sense of normalcy, meeting other kids in a similar situation and the spirit of Christmas is so important for these kids. Twenty Salesforce volunteers strong joined Project Sunshine to man a bunch of different fun stations including face painting, creating picture holders, ornaments, a Candy station, photo booth and so much more. When one kid said “this is the most exciting thing – with a huge smile on her face” our hearts melted. What is a sock cupcake? A cup made of colorful shiny paper. I very soft and warm multi-colored sock, wrapped in a hair elastic with a colorful puff on top! Why was this created? For the families in Hurricane Irma. They needed socks! Go out and give your time this holiday season and be innovative! Colin

What happens when you completely disconnect?

What happens when you have no access to the outside world? In my time in Patagonia, we had no access to email, text or the interweb for a full week. Talk about a cleansing. There were business owners, executives, professionals, and athletes who are used to being connected to work, customers, family, friends and all the apps and social channels.  Always on, always under pressure. What happens when you have a forced disconnect? – You are present – You talk to people – You learn about peoples’ stories, goals, and dreams – You connect with nature – You reflect, recharge and restore – You get some of your best ideas I learned a ton about different countries, past times, businesses, heartache, and inspiration. Although I prefer to, you don’t have to go halfway across the world to disconnect.  Like I did last night, you can shut down your computer for three hours during dinner and be present with family. Are you due for a forced disconnect? Colin

How can you set up a win for tomorrow?

What did I learn about teamwork in Patagonia? After a big set back on day 2, we got back in synch for day 3.  Being out of synch is the opposite of being in flow. Flow, when it feels like everything is going your way. I get that often while running solo. Harder to get that alignment when running as a team. Timing, communication, different skills, and motivations.  Day 3, the last 10 miles back to camp. We knew the 2nd place team was 5 min ahead of us. We lost a lot of ground on day 2 and we decided on day 3 and day 4 we would not lose any ground and look to gain.  The sun was covered, the wind kicked up and it was getting cold. Perfect for the Canadians and a Bostonian! I can still see it, we had two big hills to climb in the Andes range and on the other side of those are big downhills. We hike the up, run the flats and run the downs. Downs …

Rebuilding Schools – You’ve Done It!

On this Thanksgiving long weekend, I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for all your well wishes on my Patagonia adventure and for those who have contributed to our projects to rebuild schools in Tanzania, Africa. ***We made our $10K goal!*** Where will the money go? Classroom Repairs – You can see from the Arusha (Tanzania) photos, the state of some of these classrooms we have visited is really quite dangerous for the children (roofs caving in and holes in the floor) and we have come across many such classrooms that need to be made safe for these kids to create a healthier learning environment Toilets/Water Systems – We have done dozens and dozens of these and we continually find schools that need our assistance in this respect given ratio of children to useable toilets in the public schools is completely unacceptable and hence big health hazard for the kids and also stops girls from coming to school during their periods. Computer Labs –  We have been asked to complete a computer lab for a school we …

How strong is your WHY?

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 …

Characteristics of a 3 time championship team

I was talking to a mentor of mine last week who is the CEO of a local company in Toronto and a top-notch Athlete. He is actually not (self-described) a very good runner, however, he makes up for it in pure athletic ability, strategy, and competitiveness.   I asked him advice for the upcoming race I am doing in Patagonia in November as I will be running for the first time as a team.   He said “you need to discuss your game plan ahead of time. Start with the objective for the team.  Is it to win or compete?  Think about the obstacles you are going to encounter and the spots where emotion will come into play and have a game plan for how to handle those conversations.   If someone is slow, gets sick or injured, know how they react to distress and discuss the best way to handle them.  Two, have your plan B, C, D already talked through when level-headed.  Emotions can make things difficult.   Understand how each person is …

4 Intentions for Growth

I faced some headwind this weekend. Whether the number of training hours catching up with me or a just an off weekend, I hit some obstacles. Sunday Example. 5-hour hike/run Challenges: – Body/mind tired from Saturday 4 hour training – Backpack weight was too heavy to start and couldn’t dump my water weight – My directions were not detailed enough. I was trying to mimic a North Face race course These type of things happen in every race. So instead of stewing on it with negative statements, I asked myself a better question. What’s the upside? – Adaptability is key to finishing these races – Better to make mistakes in practice so you can fix for race day – I’ve got lost on course before. Patience and calm in the storm help you dig out. It was an opportunity to reset and reframe. Now if I step back and look at some overall intentions of a tough training weekend they were: To get set hours and mileage in To problem solve, overcome obstacles and mentally …

5 Ways to Handle A Daunting Road Ahead

Many of us climb the hill every week.   Tough conversations with employees, bosses, customers, and peers.   Tight deadlines on projects, deals, and customer events.   Not to mention personal and family challenges.  How are some of the best leaders seemingly immune to stress?   Most of them are not. They have more practice and a template to handle it!   What do top leaders share with me?   1. Expect it and have a plan.  Visualize your way over and through.   2. Know when to recharge and restore so you can hit it hard the next day.   3. Look back and review what was once hard and how you overcame it?  The past provides clues.   4. Like military men and women making their bunk first thing every morning, get your day started off with even the smallest success.   5. Start the day well and end the day well. End the day with a win to ride the momentum into the next morning. This can be as simple as asking ‘what you are …