I am sat in a lovely apartment in Chamonix, with my Freestak colleagues (including my wife, who co-founded the business). The weather is glorious. The town is full of amazing athletes challenging themselves in the stunning mountains. We are planning for a party on Sunday to celebrate all the amazing runners and the launch of the tenth edition of Like the Wind magazine. And yet …
What I am involved in with Freestak and Like the Wind is really hard. Emotionally and intellectually challenging beyond anything I have done before. I feel completely drained most of the time and despite being a natural optimist, I really find myself questioning whether all ‘this‘ is going to work out (I’m not even sure what working out means right now, but I guess it certainly means getting easier and more fun).
The thing is, I know that it is meant to be hard. I think back to when I was training for marathons and I loved the challenge. I didn’t enjoy the early morning runs in the rain or the cross-country sessions in the snow. I didn’t enjoy every minute of the long tempo sessions or missing out on social occasions because I had a long run to do the next day. But I understood the purpose of what I was doing and I embraced the pain for the rush of wonder that I was sure would come in due course.
I guess now my life is similar but just a bit more complicated. Certainly there is a challenge around getting other people to be part of what I am trying to achieve – my priorities and the things that I think are right, don’t always tessellate with hat other people think. So unlike with the marathon, me just working harder won’t improve the results. Everyone involved has to put their back into it.
I guess that is the point of all this – I am having to learn that I am not the owner of the success or otherwise of Freestak and Like the Wind. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a company to create, deliver and sell a successful business. I am having to adapt to that idea and it is taking time. I am certainly making enough mistakes along the way, but so far none of them have killed me (or the two businesses). So now I have to start accepting that other people have opinions and experience and they must be allowed to do their thing. Now I am leading a team of runners, not just acting as a runner in isolation. I’m sorry for all the toes I have trodden on so far. From now on I will be more careful.
Vive le team.
Oh and this little film by Apple and Rapha is rather interesting, on the subject of resilience and why embracing the toughness is important: