Today is my brother, Britton’s birthday and I was reflecting on my favorite memory from this past year and it was when he and I completed the Hoka OneOne Rocky 50 50 mile trail run race. It took 13 hours and 49 minutes in 24-degree weather.
The question we have received all year is “HOW DID YOU RUN 50 MILES?” The answer is quite simple, but the same strategy we used to run 50 miles you can use to reach any milestone, business goal, or finish line in your life.
- STICK TO THE PLAN
We had a training plan and we stuck to it. We logged over 800 miles in the 6 months leading up to the race. Half marathons at 4 am before work. 20-mile weekend runs. None of it was fun. It wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to prepare us to win and it did. Success in any endeavor in life comes down to having a baseline plan and trying your best to stick to it. There are contingencies and yes things happen, but those that at least have an understanding of how they are attacking a goal and a metric to track progress achieve more than those who simply wing it. The reason there are no reality shows on the ultra-wealthy in life is that they are consistent and stick to their plans – they’re boring. They aren’t freestyling through life and that’s why they win.
- USE A DISADVANTAGE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
We knew two things going into the race. 1) it was extremely cold and 2) we were bigger than the other racers. On paper, that’s a recipe for disaster. Luckily “on paper” can’t measure heart or mind. We knew others would complain. We knew the lack of body fat in the other runners would play a factor in maintaining enough body heat for the multi-hour race. We make a conscious decision to just Not be cold. We wore short tights and convinced ourselves that the cold would not be a factor for us. It’s that simple. Decide what it’s going to be and be that. Want to be more confident? Start now. Want to be a leader? Go be one right now. Look at every “on paper” disadvantage you or your company has and ask yourself, “How can I make this MY advantage?” There’s always an opportunity.
- HAVE THE MOST FUN
Our race strategy was very simple. HAVE THE MOST FUN. We waived, thumbed up, high fived, and “go win the race’d” every single person that passed us….and pretty much everybody passed us a few times. We wanted to be remembered as the two dudes that laughed the most and enjoyed the race the most. To this day, 9 months later, I still get messages from people who raced against us who remember the high fives and cheers.
We all want to win in life. Success takes work. Most days are monotonous and grueling. If you’re not careful, you’ll never get to enjoy it. We learned that life happens DURING the race, not at the end. So the smiles and happiness should happen during the race, not just at the end.
That’s our approach to the race. And that’s our approach to life. Don’t wait until the end to be happy, start now.