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.

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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? 

 

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!?

 

 

 

 

 

Be Brave Today!

I recently watched Losing Sight of Shore on Netflix. Sooo good, great documentary. Anything that makes me think is something I want to see/hear more of. There was also a podcast from SwimBikeMom speaking to one of the six team members, so I listened to that today and got some inspiration as I was driving to a practice lake swim this morning. They literally crossed the Pacific, but one of the things that came out of it is the idea that everyone has a Pacific to cross… and you should find it! Whatever that means for you.

Here is the link for the podcast – it’s also on iTunes & other places…

http://thesame24hours.podbean.com/e/27-natalia-cohen-losing-sight-of-shore/

That documentary wasn’t a fast pace, lots of created drama for ratings type of thing. It was just a beautiful experience documented by 4 women (6 total) who rowed a long boat across the entire Pacific Ocean. From California to Hawaii was their first leg of three on the trip. Flying from CA to HI takes a while, so can you imagine rowing a boat with no motor the same distance? It’s hard to grasp the vast and open amount of space between those two land masses. They rowed in pairs…2 hours on, 2 hours off. For 9 months. I watched it last week, and heard the podcast this morning. It made me think about a lot of things. I don’t know what “my Pacific” is, but I knew one small thing I could do that would be scary, make me a little uncomfortable, but also make me grow…

The lake swim was choppy – more so than I had seen out there. I was also with a friend and it was her first time intentionally swimming in a lake for distance & practice. I had decided earlier today that I was not going to wear my swimsuit that I wear for laps. Instead I was going to be brave and wear my tri shorts and…….just a sports bra. (GASP!) Out in public. With other people around. With my stretch marks that surround my belly ring I got way before kids and somehow has stayed in place all these years.

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…You know what? Nobody cared. Really. And neither did I! It was pretty great to be out in the water without feeling the need to be covered up completely in a conservative one piece suit for laps. The women who rowed did so totally naked sometimes. It helped prevent chafing and was just easy, and liberating. And just better. So I figured just having a sports bra & my triathlon shorts was totally doable. Thin, skinny people don’t really understand how cumbersome it can be to have boobs or curves. I know that people of all sizes can have body image challenges. I definitely don’t hate my body or get on the crazy train about it. But being half naked with your belly in sight isn’t something that comes easy or naturally for me. So that was a big deal…to do something that was intentionally uncomfortable and not easy.

I guess today that sports bra swim was “my Pacific to cross”. I hope to keep this mindset for as long as I can. I want to keep growing, challenging what I see as normal, and doing epic things – even as small as being brave enough to not wear a bathing suit at Jordan Lake.  =)

Oh, and if the women who did this expedition do something else that’s epic, fun, and crazy – I soooooooo want to join them!