You should hire an athlete!

Athletes make excellent employees

Here are my personal reasons for why you should hire an athlete! Granted, I’m a little biased. I realize that, and I’m OK with that. Read on & see what you think…

  • Goal setting. Goal setting is natural for athletes. Whether it’s a run or any type of athletic event there’s always a goal in mind, even if it’s just to finish the event. Being able to see something big, even just in concept, and committing to it is part of being an endurance athlete.
  • Being OK with being messy. Life is messy, and exercising is *very* messy. Hard work usually requires sweat – maybe literal, maybe not, but athletes understand that working hard and sweat are tied together.
  • Understanding consequences. One of the unintended consequences of signing up for events such as triathlons is the huge (did I say huuuuuge) amount of laundry! You have to be willing to have both, and there are many parallels in life & work. Creating things can be messy and can have unintended consequences.
  • Setbacks. Anyone who has any athletic experience can understand the power of a setback. Race day can take a sharp turn quickly. Being able to adjust for factors that are out of your hand – like weather, pot holes, choppy water – is a great skill that’s developed over time and with athletic performance.
  • Endurance. Long term planning at work requires the ability to pace yourself, especially through a complex project or one with multiple people/layers. Employers want people who are able to endure and be persistent over time.
  • Planning. Planning is different than goal setting. Seeing something in the distance is one thing; being able to plan backwards from that goal with smaller steps and milestones along the way is a concept that resonates very well with athletes who enjoy triathlon or other long distance sports.
  • Tools. Having good equipment (tools) makes a really big difference in performance. Being able to quantify your distance, pace…having solid running shoes…a good timing sports watch… a good support system in place…goggles that don’t leak…all those things make a huge difference. It’s best to invest in good quality rather than cut corners and suffer long term injuries. That’s true about people, technology, and just about everything!
  • Commitment. Sticking to a goal is a great skill and ability to have. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do a big event in 10 months. It’s quite another to consistently get long bike rides in, wake up at 5am, and swim miles every week over a period of time. Sacrifice & commitment are tied together in working for something that’s important.

img_3432

If you were to Google this question – “why you should hire an athlete” you will get tons of hits… see here for more  …I’m just sayin’….. people with an athletic mindset will set goals, crush them, and do it all over again – for fun! Why not put that energy to work at the office. Makes sense to me!

Did I mention that I’m available? 

 

53 days until my first “oly”

Before you know it – BAM! I sign up for these events while I’m still “high” from a previous one. All the endorphins are swimming around in my brain…I feel like a cartoon version of Wonder Woman…I’m powerful…invincible…….I truly believe Ironman’s slogan that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

img_3496

I’m drunk & high on endorphins. It’s a really awesome place to be!…

…and then some time goes by. And I start wondering…WTH was I thinking!? This {insert whatever event is next that I signed up for when I was in my endorphin hangover} was a really bad idea. Reeeeeeeeally…bad idea.

Then some time goes by & I realize it wasn’t the worst idea ever. I get focused on my plan and move forward. And then inevitably some “life” thing happens & gets in the way. Whatever it is, it becomes a barrier to my progress. It takes my focus away and my enthusiasm for my progress starts to fade a bit. But then, like the circle of life, I see the date in the distance and I slap myself out of it and restart my laser focused plan again. And that’s where I am right now – restarting my focus for the next 53 days so that I can complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

So here I am below in a progressive slideshow. This was yesterday when I had the small epiphany and realized that I was behind & needed a kick start. It’s the progression of finishing a brick (20 mi bike, 2 mile run) and wanting to kick myself for allowing life to get in the way of my goals. For a minute, a small minute, I heard that nearly audible voice in my head that said – just drop back to the sprint distance! NO. That’s not an option. I don’t need a way out. That’s too easy. A good analogy is with parenting – if you always make the easy option your kids are probably going to be assholes. Really. Because anything that is important usually involves the harder, more complicated, more long-term choice – not giving in to the kid who wants candy at the counter. That’s way too easy. Now I’m back on track and I absolutely WILL finish that oly.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Strengths Finder – do you know yours?

strengths finder

Have you heard of “strengths finder”…?? It’s one of those personality assessments that ask you lots of questions like – on a scale from 1 to 5, rate your most/least likely agreement with the statement. I took it last year and here is what I got:

LEARNER 

MAXIMIZER

CONNECTEDNESS

RELATOR

DEVELOPER 

Have you taken that test or something similar? I think I’ve taken so many over the years that they all blend together. On many of those tests, like the Meyers-Brigg, I seem to be on the fence with my traits – a good example is the introvert/extrovert. I really straddle that fence…seem to be really comfortable in either situation, for a period of time, then I need to go to the other side of the fence. In the Enneagram I don’t seem to dominate in any of the categories, 1-9. I think I’m #10….which doesn’t really exist in their paradigm, so I created my own category: I’m a 10 on the Enneagram scale. There are others too, but that’s just a small sample of where I fit & where I don’t.

How does this relate to triathlon? 

 

Learner: There’s a HUGE learning curve in triathlon! Always something new to learn, a new goal to achieve, a new swim technique to try, a new pair of shoes or orthodics, a new swim cap, you name it. Always something new, no exaggeration.

Maximizer: (not sure this is accurate, but it’s how I use the word here) Being strategic in your form, improving skills, or being more flexible will maximize your results in any leg of the triathlon. We athletes are always looking for ways to maximize your time, energy, and increase your capacity for endurance.

Connectedness: Even though this is mostly a solo sport, there are so many connections that have come from this sport that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve made friends specifically due to this sport, found other women in this area through a familiar kit (clothing at the tri) that caught my eye and knew we were in the same tribe! I’ve found similar people through the TriMafia at Velocity Sportswear. It’s nice to find those connections and similar mindsets through this sport.

Relator: To me this means being able to intentionally build a community around a common energy. I’ve pulled a lot of people into this sport! Helping people see the greatness in overcoming obstacles and doing things that are hard is very important. Being able to relate to those feelings and encouraging others to move forward despite the discomfort is a great skill to nurture.

Developer: When triathlon becomes your thing, you are always looking to build on what you have. Developing skills, developing technique, improving form, and similar things. It’s a little like creating a really fun meal. Each part needs to compliment the other, and they all work together for a great taste.

I also think these things are just part of how I’m wired. For a long time I assumed that most people naturally have a growth mindset…….. apparently that’s not true! I can’t imagine going through life & thinking that things should always be the same. How boring would that be!?