All posts filed under: Adventure

A big adventure deserves a big dinner

Almost a decade ago I sat along the Nile river in Egypt celebrating a big adventure. My friends were celebrating the completion, I was celebrating the attempt. Since then, I’ve put a celebration dinner on the day of or after, for any big hairy audacious goal, not only to celebrate the effort but to honor the journey. I’m in Vancouver this weekend running a 50 KM race with a friend. I’ll get to celebrate the journey with him and his wife and another lifelong friend who I ran my first marathon with! Good things come together when you rally the right people about a worthy endeavor. I can’t wait to enjoy the moment during the race and after! Colin

How To Gamify Your Way Through Your Toughest Challenges

  I spent my Sunday training for the DiazVista race in Vancouver, Canada two weeks from now! As part of my training, I planned on taking a long run four-hour run.   I decided to run over the George Washington Bridge and make my way through Fort Lee Historic Park, hitting the trails. A bit of greenery near our concrete jungle of Manhattan.   What I didn’t anticipate was going a bit too far into the park, and making my way out and back over the bridge close to dinner time. I knew I had a long slog from 178th street back home to Battery Park (all the way at the bottom of Manhattan near the freedom tower). I knew I was staring down a 1.45 hour run home after putting in over 3 hours.   The last half-hour was brutal. I must admit, I thought about calling an UBER but I thought better to challenge myself to a bit of a mind game to get to my goal.   And it worked!   I decided to run for an entire song. …

Episode 249: Colin Nanka – Success Starts With A Choice: Salesforce.com Leader, Adventure Racer

The Learning Leader Show – Guest Colin Nanka I want to thank one of my mentors Mike Wolff for connecting me to Ryan Hawk who runs the Learning Leader Show.   What I loved about doing this episode is being on the other side of really good discovery.   Ryan and I got to know each other pretty well over the last couple months and he does really good research. He also breaks down larger ideas into actionable insights.   You’ll hear my thoughts on:   Building trust Mistakes first line managers make Mentorship Accountability Anxiety Mantras and more! I highly recommend the recent episodes with Maria Taylor from ESPN, James Clear (Author and speaker on habits and decision making) and Jim Collins (Author –  Good to Great) and of course mine!   Colin  

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 …