A journey that would not only test my physical and mental endurance, but one that would also teach me valuable lessons applicable to the world of business. It was the Comrades Marathon, a grueling 90-kilometer race that demanded absolute clarity, unwavering commitment, and the willingness to push beyond my perceived limits.
A journey that started 6months before I stood at the starting line. Whilst I had never physically seen the route or the stadium where the race would end. I had a clear vision of what it would look like— the stadium, the overhead digital clock with the time I was aiming to achieve – under 7hrs 30min [a silver medal]
Deep down, I knew that the actual race day was unpredictable, and anything could happen over those 90 long kilometers. Despite this, throughout my entire training, I maintained an unshakable belief in my ability to achieve my goal. In business, having a Clear Vision and the unwavering belief to pursue it, even in the face of uncertainty, is crucial.
To achieve my desired outcome, I committed myself to doing whatever it took. My success was dependent on the strength of my desire and my willingness to put in the necessary effort and make the necessary sacrifices. I understood that mere wishing would not suffice; action was required. This principle holds true in the business world, where intentional commitment and determination are essential to overcoming challenges and reaching ambitious goals.
Throughout the race, it was vital for me to track my progress. I had a laminated card [made by my wife] with time I would need to maintain at each kilometer, that helped me constantly monitor my pace and keep a keen eye on the distance covered. By knowing where I was at every kilometer, I could make necessary adjustments and ensure I stayed on track to achieve my desired time. Similarly, in business, having key reference points as measures to indicate we are on track and remaining aware of progress is vital to make informed decisions and steer towards success.
Although running is seen as an individual sport, the support of others played a crucial role in my achievement. In the group of runners, we formed a bond, encouraging and inspiring each other to keep going. Additionally, the unwavering support of my wife throughout the training process and on race day proved invaluable. In business, recognizing the importance of teamwork and cultivating a supportive network can make all the difference in accomplishing collective goals.
During the race, I discovered the incredible capacity of the human spirit to push beyond perceived limitations. When faced with fatigue and self-doubt, I tapped into a reserve of strength I never knew existed. It was a reminder that in business, we often underestimate our capabilities. Understanding our potential and pushing ourselves beyond self-imposed boundaries can lead to remarkable achievements.
Crossing the finish line in 7 hours, 25 minutes, and 9 seconds— was an achievement that symbolized the culmination of preparation, determination, perseverance, and the importance of a strong purpose. However, this victory was not mine alone. A part of my medal had to go to my training colleagues and especially my wife, whose unwavering support propelled me forward every step of the way. It serves as a reminder that success is rarely a solo endeavor. Acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of those who stand beside us is vital in both personal and professional pursuits.
As I reflect on my experience running the Comrades Marathon, I realize that the lessons I learned along those 90 kilometers extend far “beyond the finish line” and the realm of sports. Clarity of vision, intentional commitment, measurement of progress [constant review and reflect], support from others, pushing beyond our perceived limitations, gratitude for those who contribute to our success, never thinking you’ve arrived, and one can never be bigger than the game itself, are some of the fundamental principles that apply equally to the world of business.