Happy Thursday from the Biggest Little City in the World!
On Tuesday this week, I celebrated two years since I took the IRONMAN plunge and showed up bushy tailed and bright eyed at Coeur d’Alene – posse in tow and blissful ignorance surrounding my soon to be (very) sore body. It’s really quite insane that 730 days have gone flying by since then. An event in my life that felt so important, monumental, and lent so much to defining who I was in 2013 that it’s almost dream-like.
You would think something as basic as swimming, riding a bike, or running hundreds of miles a year wouldn’t have such a strong impact on your life’s outlook, but it really does. I remember the moment I completed my first 70.3 and a) how much freaking time it felt like I spent getting ready and b) how completely incomprehensible and impossible doubling the distance sounded. And now, here I am, and I could do a 70.3 off the couch with very little training.
So let’s apply this to the business world…
You start out of college, young, naive, and with a larger than life opinion of yourself and an acute ability to not digest the word “no” very well. The world is your oyster, a ripe, juicy pearl primed for the taking. And then reality hits, you realize what working a full 40 means, and you long for the days when summer break actually meant you did just that – break. Instead, you beg, scrape, plead,
If you’re like me, you changed jobs a time or two in between your first one, and now you rest at a place where it takes you an hour to do what once took you a day, and you find yourself thinking more about strategy, big picture, and how your place is set in the world rather than in daily tasks being your primary worry. Hopefully you’ve traveled to other countries where you see how different and yet how incredibly small the globe can be. You look back on younger years and think how silly you were, and yet how you occasionally miss your blissful ignorance that got you where you are today.
All in all, you probably remember some rather ridiculous if not downright preposterous mistakes that you made along the way, but you find ways in which to appreciate and value what you learned from them too. Good leaders aren’t born overnight, and training for an IRONMAN shouldn’t be done in a year. It’s a cumulative collection of all our experiences that bring us to moments like these. I used to fear a 25 mile ride around Reno and now I feel like I haven’t gotten my moneys worth if I don’t crush an 80 miler out in the Nevada scenery. All about perspective!
The morale of the story is this – try, fail, and press on again! And make sure to enjoy looking back down the mountains as you climb them.