September 15th, 2010 at 12:13 am (Home)
One of my favourite advertisements is Emirates with its tagline “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” On that score, all aspects of my life are taking off.
Late last year I was introduced to someone special and after hitting it off immediately, we have been enjoying loving and learning about each other. By working at our relationship we have treasured our little moments together and bounced back from our setbacks.
At the end of 2009 I declared my intention to leverage my oratory strengths and stage presence to formally enter the professional speaking arena. So far this year, I have already been engaged to speak at over a dozen corporate, public and institutional events. I also impressed at a couple of high profile interviews and am now one of only a few selected trainers conducting coaching and facilitation workshops for officers in the military.
With the guidance and urging of many close friends, I have finally put pen to paper and begun work on my first book. Using my ultra endurance desert races as a backdrop and the same principles that drive extreme athletes to the highest peaks of performance, this book shows readers how to capture the winning mindsets of champions for success in life, business and school.
I have raced 250km across the Sahara (raising $50,000 for the ST School Pocket Money Fund) and Gobi deserts and will do the same in Antarctica (to raise $100,000 for Gracehaven home for youths and children) and the Atacama in November and March respectively. In so doing, I will join the esteemed and exclusive 4 Deserts Club of individuals who have successfully completed four, 250-kilometer, self-supported footraces across the hottest, coldest, windiest and driest places on Earth. To date, only 47 men and women have completed this grand slam of what Men’s Health calls “the ultimate test of human endurance” and which TIME magazine accorded as one of its top ten endurance competitions in the world. More people climb Mount Everest in a single year.
My list of firsts do not end there and I consider myself very blessed and fortunate and immensely grateful to have the love, trust and support of so many good and wonderful people around me who made this all possible. At the same time, it all didn’t come easily. As I record my thoughts and learning, I go through the many ups and downs along the way. All the details will be contained in the book so for now I blog about my current upheaval.
I am learning that the biggest challenge in preparing for the Antarctic race is not only in maintaining a near punishing schedule of training runs but also in securing the sponsorship and donation funds necessary in making this happen. Handling rejections is no easy task and it takes great mental strength and affirmative self talk to bounce back from each ‘no’.
Even before I send out another email to seek collaboration from an organization, I am aware of my negative self talk (Am I asking too much? Will they even want to consider this? Am I deserving of this?) and its associated feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. It takes a great deal of consciousness and all my training and the support of my friends and coaches to overcome my procrastination (a form of avoidance) and take the inspired action necessary to pull this through.
After all, if I do not take action, how will I experience more first times? And I am one of the lucky ones…