By Paul McCambridge, senior director of EMEA sales
Humble brag: I recently completed an Ironman. Proudly crossing the finish line was an unforgettable moment! I always considered Ironman events to be for real athletes, so as I stood on the start line and looked around, I felt like an imposter. But the truth is that 75% of the people standing next to me as we waited on the start gun to go off probably all felt that way too. Like many things in life, if you can put aside your doubts, plan correctly and execute to the best of your abilities, successful outcomes often follow.
Thinking back on my six-month journey to reach that finish line, it’s clear how much the training process relates to other aspects of life.
Just like improving swimming technique, life and business demand continuous learning and adapting to stay competitive. Change is the only constant, and our ability to adapt is linked to learning new skills. A few years back, I couldn’t swim more than 25 meters. But now, completing the 3.8 km swim leg of an Ironman is the culmination of small advances over time. As the French saying goes, “Petit à petit l’oiseau fait son nid” (little by little, the bird makes its nest). Though frustration might arise from slow progress, it’s only temporary, and significant advancements often follow. So, stick with it, and gradually your nest will take shape.
Endurance and focus are crucial during the cycling leg, mirroring the persistence needed to navigate the changing landscapes we cross in our lives. The longest of the three legs, it can feel never-ending. You know the objective — cycle 180 km — but it feels so distant that it’s easy to get distracted. Focusing on the core elements sets you up for success later. On the bike, that’s balancing output power with calories consumed. Much in the same way, we need to strike a balance between work and personal life. Creating a sustainable ratio will help set you up for long-term success. Patience and persistence pay off. Even when the destination seems far away, taking one pedal stroke at a time eventually gets you there. Similarly, achieving a goal may take time and effort, but progress is inevitable if we keep moving forward, no matter how slowly.
The marathon at the end of an Ironman teaches you the importance of pushing through obstacles and sticking to the task when it feels like quitting would be so much easier. The run is probably the leg that we all relate to the most. If you’ve ever laced up your running shoes you will know that feeling where your body questions your sanity and yells at you to stop. It happens a lot in life too. Headwinds come in different forms big and small — negative comments, a business deal that derails, a delayed project plan, a child misbehaving, the loss of a loved one. Even the smallest events can test our resolve and put in jeopardy all that we have done to get this far in the “race.” Difficult times will come, so double down on getting to your goal, even if the goal itself needs some tweaking. Keep on keeping on.
Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz finishing time: 10:59:40