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? 

 

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.

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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.

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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!