In August 2014 I took part in the “CCC” (Courmayer, Champex, Chamonix) – a 100 kilometre long mountain race around Mont Blanc with 6,100 metres of cumulative elevation gain. The “CCC” is the “baby sister” of the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB), and although not as challenging as the UTMB’s (a 168 kilometre battle over the Alps with 9,000 cumulative metres of elevation gain) it is still incredibly taxing on the mind, the body and the spirit.
Many people look at these sorts of challenges and think, “Wow, you must be nuts”. That, or a sucker for punishment. That’s partly true in some ways, but for me that doesn’t begin to encapsulate what these events, or indeed undertaking any personal challenge, is about. It’s difficult to convey the “whys”, let alone understand them, and each runner has their own motivation.
For me, running has always been about testing myself. It’s been about putting myself – purposely- in an uncomfortable situation to prove I am strong. To feel strong. To know, really know, that I am strong. I run so that I can take that conviction back into my life. I am humbled, over and over again what my body and mind enables me to achieve, and the views I see from mountaintops. Running allows me to grow and evolve. Most of all, running lends me the patience I wasn’t born with and teaches me to be grateful. I believe when I am grateful I am the most happy.
But this year, at this race, I learnt another important lesson. Learning when to stop running; the power of turning back.
A great mentor can help you leap forward in all aspects of life, being assured – with good advice – that your chosen direction is the right one.
What is a mentor? For me, it is someone I can learn from, someone who gives me sensational advice from a position of wisdom; someone who I can be honest with, and someone who is concerned about my personal development, not just career development. I’m a firm believer that career development stems from being a more rounded, balanced individual.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a few mentors since moving to Hong Kong, in work, in life and in sport. Here are some of the helpful bits of advice I’ve received along the way.
1. YOU’RE BORING, GET A HOBBY
Like many of you I’m sure, I had grand ambitions for January 1st. I was going to start a new blog. I was going to start writing weekly blog posts. I was going to start my first my blog post with five, simple things I’d resolved to do differently in 2014.
None of that happened. And it’s nearing the end of September. SEPTEMBER!
Let’s be honest – it’s hard to change. It’s easier, safer and more comfortable to stay the same. To make excuses. “I’m too busy”.
Today, I was tired of my excuses. I put my productive girl hat on, finally set up this blog and am finally writing this post.
(I can’t promise a weekly post, but here’s to trying!)
So here goes.