There was an article in last week's edition of Stylist that caught my eye, titled 'The New After Work Drink' it explored claims from recruitment experts that participation in endurance sports can give candidates the edge when it comes to securing top roles. Research from Germany suggests an increasing belief amongst big businesses that people who have completed challenging sporting events are more likely to be goal orientated and productive, as well as dedicated, focused and tenacious. All attractive traits in an employee.
The article resonated with me. I've run two marathons and taken part in more shorter races than I can recall. I've run up mountains and spent time trekking through the jungle and up volcanos. The only reason I'm not tackling 14 peaks in 24 hours this summer is because it clashes with my exams, something I'm gutted about. I like challenging myself. I like how it feels and I like pushing myself to get through the inevitable mental and physical pain. It's amazing to known you can get through something so demanding. Something that you never thought you could do. It makes you feel powerful. Like you can take on the world. It's inevitable that bleeds in to the rest of your life.
Running made me realise what I could do. If I could run 1km maybe I could do a 10k race. If I could run a 10k race maybe a half marathon wasn't out of the question. And if I could contemplated a half what was stopping me from taking on the full 26.2. Little by little my challenges got bigger and bigger. With each mile I ran I felt a little more capable, I got a little more ambitious, a little more adventurous. The more I endured, the more I asked for from my life. I took more risks, put myself out there more. As I challenged myself to do better while I ran I started to challenge myself to do better in the rest of my life.
I know its a cliche, but running changed my life. Running inspired my career. Running convinced me it wasn't totally ridiculous to attempt a masters degree while working a full time job and writing stuff on the side. Running has given me skills that serve me in every aspect of my life. It has encouraged me to push myself that little bit more, to challenge myself more. It has demonstrated to me that setting goals works. It has inspired me to set the bar higher. What's more, when I'm juggling training with working I'm more focused and dedicated to getting things done at work (in part so I can get out and train). I'm more energetic and focused. Running clears my head and gets me ready to take on my job.
All things that make me a better employee. All things that make me fit for the job (and the rest of life).