Last Saturday I realised one of my goals for 2018. I finished the Eiger Ultra Trail, a 101km mountain race with 6700meters vertical climbs and descents, and while the race organizers for safety reasons had to stop, pause and restart the whole race on a shortened course due to a heavy thunderstorm I got about 88km and 5500meters vertical under my belt in 14hours 10min 52s.
Here are 3 key lessons I have learned:
- We overestimate what we can do short term vs. what we can achieve in the long run
I started training 1 year ago and started with an overloaded training schedule with too many and too hard workouts which led to injury and frustration and I questioned my goal. Lesson, whatever you do, start small and build on it, step by step, like building a house and do it with consistency never losing sight of the end goal. It will happen over time. The principle of additional marginal wins.
- Get a coach
After my first weeks of training I realised I can’t do it on my own. Not that I felt too weak, too stupid, no, I needed someone to support me, push me, coach me and make me feel accountable against my online training plan. I hired a coach. You might think I am tooting my own horn here but regardless, if it’s a life change you are seeking, any obstacle you want to overcome, any goal you want to reach you need somebody supporting you to go to the edge of your comfort zone and beyond. It’s a sign of strength not weakness having a coach.
- Surround yourself with like minded people, cut the toxicity out
We know intuitively the people, the places, the actions which are good and bad for us. In particular, if it comes to human beings we often don’t have the courage to cut them out of our lives as it can be a painful process. However, they holding you back reaching your goal. In your actions and motivations, they see their own limitations and often they don’t want you to outgrow them. I did cut people (and actions) out, they will have a place in my heart but they wont hold me back. Lastly, find a mentor, a group a trusted human being who encourages you. I couldn’t have done it without my wife, as a nutritionist, she supported me with her advice and she did a lot of cooking the right stuff. On race day, she supported me on 4 different aid stations almost doing a race on her own with a backpack of food and clothes.
Whatever you set your mind on, go for it, when I can do it, you can do it too. Life is the most beautiful at the edge of your comfort zone.
That, if anything is set in stone.