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Enjoy the journey

Life is a journey, not a destination. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my biggest fears in life is to forget. I’m not referring to forgetting the usual things in life but rather forgetting the purpose of why we set out to do what we do and in due time, forgetting that the journey is more important than the outcome.

I am not free from the above and in fact, forgetting is sometimes something I do best. My life experiences have taught me a lot for sure but that in itself can sometimes be its own undoing. Diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, and Tourette’s Syndrome at the age of 34, overcoming obesity to conquering my first Ironman as well as running multiple start-ups with successful exits prior have all contributed to an image that I could do no wrong when in fact, all it does it gives us a façade that accomplishment is an indication of perfection.

That’s not right.

The lessons learned from ultra-endurance races and life are similar…. eerily at times. One good day of training followed by a patch of bad ones. Feeling terrific today followed by the onset of fatigue and a drop in form just before a race. I have a firm belief that endurance races keep us honest and not just within the sport but also with life. The latter, however, gets drowned out by the constant noise and chatter that surrounds us, often causing us to ignore the bad patches which inadvertently leads us to remember never to forget that the journey is more important than the outcome.

As we rush from place to place, one of the things I learned from endurance races and training is the importance of learning from new experiences all the time, even during the actual race. The art of slowing down and reflecting on the move gives us new insight into how the journey is slowly shaping us to get to our destination and even that is its own process. Through many races and hours of training sessions, I have learned the beauty of the process and that the process defines us more than the outcome.

"Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."

- Abigail Adams

I speak to many people on the process of losing weight, and getting into endurance sports and find that most do not actually seek endurance sports as their own but usually seek a much deeper gratification. They usually seek something that will help to put them on the right path to enjoying the journey. We don’t usually get that in life with everything that happens around us but how often have we seen the new runner complete a marathon or a trail race with minimal training? Surely that didn’t happen by chance and it definitely wasn’t genetics either.

The journey unlocks hidden potential.

I can dare say that most of us can complete an endurance race with minimal training and that the training simply makes us complete it faster. But therein lies the wisdom of how the journey shapes us. As we progress along the journey, we motivate ourselves to work harder to achieve more. It was the journey that spurred us on, not the outcome. Ask anyone and they will tell you that they remember the process of training, the pain, blood, sweat, and tears more than crossing the finish line. They cry when they cross it because everything has come together into that one final moment. And their next thought? I’m going to do this again.

I’m going to do this again. 90% of what they are going to do involves the journey more than the outcome. I daresay even 99%.

So let us not forget about the why and always enjoy our journey moving forward in any endeavour we embark on.

Enjoy the journey.


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