Life is a marathon and not a sprint.

Even more correctly stated, life is an ultra-marathon and not a sprint.

Ultra-marathons are often held on rugged terrain in all kinds of weather and conditions. It’s rare when you run an ultra non-stop from start to finish. Pacing is critical. You learn to take advantage of flats and downhills to run, and conserve energy on climbs by walking often. Fueling is also critical: with hydration, electrolytes and steady flow of calories.

You go through all kinds of highs and lows in these races…people talk about the proverbial “second wind”. In an ultra you will come across a second, third and maybe even fourth or fifth “wind”! Staying positive (through self-talk and encouraging others on the course) is key.

Life mirrors this.

Proper rest and nutrition are critical to performing well at work and in my ability to be aware during the day (nothing like low blood sugar to get me day-dreaming!).When I eat a lot of garbage I don’t perform well at work and my relationships suffer.

I push through the lows – challenging projects, conversations, etc. – knowing that things will get better if I just stay focused and keep making progress. It really does help to stay positive even when things don’t go well in the short-term…..knowing that the long-term successful outcomes are often preceded by bouts of short-term struggle.

Coming into the finish of The North Face 50K Ultramarathon in December 2010 (San Fran, CA).

One thought on “Endurance”

  1. Good thoughts, Ravi. Maybe life is more like an Ironman… sometimes you get assistance and can coast a little, other times it’s sink or swim! 🙂

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