By Wendy Sanacore
T Minus 21 hours until the Tough Mudder…
I’m sitting at my desk mentally preparing for this weekend’s Tough Mudder challenge in Toronto. For those of you who don’t know what the Mudder is, it’s a mud obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces to test strength, stamina, team work and drive. You can see more here, www.toughmudder.com
10 miles, 19 obstacles and beer and orange headband awarded at the end. What could be better?
As I read all about the Mudder, people say so many times over that it isn’t physical strength that’s going to get you through it, it’s mental determination and just outright grit. How else do you face the side of a slippery, muddy ski slope and begin climbing it, only to get to the top and need to scale a cargo net or crawl through a small black tube or something else of the sort?
Am I going to want to quit halfway through? Of couse. Will I? Heck NO!
So I write this blog for a couple reasons and perhaps it may seem a stretch for you to understand how I am aiming to tie it into work, but we’ll get there.
REASON #1: I’m just so freaking excited that it’s hard to keep my mind on work so I decided to make work about what I am excited for, so I write this blog.
REASON #2: I’ve several times mentioned the balance between work and personal life and working for an employer who understands this balance. Finding that employer is so important and money can’t always be the driving factor behind staying at a job. I trained for this Mudder on my lunch hours. Because I have a flexible employer (who by the way, also pays my gym memberships as well as the fee to this Mudder thing), I was able to get to the gym, do my running and complete my circuit cardio workouts. I had a baby 2 years ago and with a little one at home, it’s extremely difficult to make the time to get to the gym before and after work, so I go smack dab right in the middle. And I am so thankful for that opportunity. You don’t have many people who have the ability to do that mid-day. My boss, Chuck Fried, understands the balance of work/life and is an avid athlete himself, so he knows what it’s like to face down a challenge and hit it head on. In fact, he encourages it, hence the company paying for any organized event its employees would like to participate in. And actually, we’re all participating together in a run again on September 8 called the Finn McCool. That one is a 4 mile mud run and 3 of us from the office are running it with friends and family.
REASON #3: You’re only as strong as your mind allows you to be. Training is physical, sure, but the mind is the tool that’s going to push you through when you think you can’t go any further. But that applies to every day work life, and not just physical challenges. When you hit a wall at work, what do you do? The most successful people won’t just sit back and pout, they will find a way around it. (Or in the Mudder’s case, over it…)
Take your daily work obstacles and make them a challenge. You don’t know the answer to something or something seems out of your comfort zone? Look it up, ask some questions, do some research, try something new. Don’t let it stop you there. Push your mind through and allow yourself to reach new heights.
I’m not in any way, shape, or form saying the Mudder is going to be a cake walk, but I do know that when I cross the finish line (after running through a force field of wires delivering up to 10,000V of electricity) I’m going to be proud of my effort. My blood, sweat and tears will be left on that course. I’m encouraging you to leave your blood, sweat and tears in your work every day. It’s going to make you a better employee and a better person!
OK, now that I’m finished with that…T-minus 20 1/2 hours.
By Wendy Sanacore