One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when you commit to waking up at 5 am three or four times a week and get your blood flowing by running in 45 degree Celsius through a dark city chanting “Allahu Akbar”; you must possess qualities that can be transferable to other things in life like business.
Like many other sports that require determination, discipline and emotional focus that comes with training alone day in, day out for extremely challenging endurance events like marathons or ultras, you need to have mental strength.
The difference with other sports though, is that in running you need to have this dedication and discipline only to be able to finish the marathon within the cut off time. You don’t need this discipline to finish a football game.
Whether you’re training for a 21 K, a marathon or an ultra, you can’t fake the training. You cannot avoid it and you definitely can’t lie to your body. Most big shots ultra runners say “the mind is what get you through it” or ” 95% of an ultra depends on the mind” but it is a lie. You need that minimum of physical preparation in order to have you mind fight for something that is not a lost and vain attempt that will ultimately finish in an orgy of injuries.
Once you committed to finishing that 50K, you have to take time for training and building up your body to that “minimum” physical strength required otherwise it will all come back to bite you in the ass making you regret all the hours spent in front of the TV eating all that chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that your mind won’t make you go through an ultra or a marathon. Of course it will, but there are so many things to take into account, that you cannot depend only on mental strength. Training will bring you there. “There is no glory in training, but there is no glory without training”.
You learn a lot about yourself during those run. You learn that nobody cares if you get a ride for those last 5 miles, nobody cares if you stop and walk or if you finish strong. Nobody gives a dam but YOU because YOU set up your own goals and nobody asked you to do so.
In business you are not alone. People you are working with care about your performance and so do you. You will work with people that are partisans of the least amount of effort, and you will work with dedicated professionals. The runner, provided he is motivated enough, is the dedicated professional because he knows that only hard work can bring glory.
But I still wonder. Is it running that makes you a more dedicated and hard working person or is it because you are dedicated and hard worker that you take on running as the only way of finding self fulfillment (glory) through hard work? Something to think about.