The Team Beyond The Dream
If I think back to my first long distance team event, the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker (100km) over 12 years ago, there was one overriding element that I found to be alluring, and that was that this was an event that was made up of a sum of parts. I, as an individual, was merely just one of the many cogs in the wheel if we were to make it through the 100km’s unscathed, in one piece, still friends and still married due to the long hours needed to prepare our bodies for what was to come.
Having come from a sport where my results were determined by the hours of lonely and focused training sessions I was prepared to put in, the thought of not only having teammates to train with but also my family and friends as support crew on the event day sounded enticing. And a whole lot more fun and in fact, it was. Every weekend training session became a unique adventure for my team, and our families, who often met us out there on the trails with a hot cuppa or picnic lunch. Those long hours of training didn't leave us feeling like we are missing out on the important things, like family time and social engagements because we found ways to incorporate our key team players.
Don’t get me wrong I am well aware that those who commit to the pursuit of excellence and put in the work day after day solo are the same athletes who you see on the steps of the podium. The longer I have been involved in endurance events, however, the more I realise that being part of a team helps you to reach a new level of joyous and shared success that you do not get when training solo.
Over the years there have many people on my team who have all been invaluable in helping me achieve my goals, with many of these relationships positively affecting my life to this day.
Who Are Your Team:
The environment that you live in, day-to-day, affects your energy levels, emotions, and stress levels, so it’s necessary to maintain a high level of communication, life balance and if possible find ways to share your journey with those you love as they will be your the major support network.
Coach and Mentors
Having a coach or mentor is one of the single greatest investments that you can make. When we 'live and breathe’ our team event it can be hard at times to see life's big picture. By working with a coach, you can objectively bounce ideas, questions and much more, of them with the goal of working together to achieve a set list of goals while maintaining the other areas of life in balance.
Having a group of like-minded people all set on achieving a similar goal is a hugely powerful force. Training with others can help to lift you to a new level on the good days and help push you through on the tough days, making the whole finish line experience even more rewarding.
Work Colleagues and Friends
For me, one of the best things was to get my work colleagues emotionally invested in our team journey. To have their support with fundraising, support crewing and on days where I just needed a boost at work, they played an integral part of lifting my performances.
Massage therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists and sports doctors all form part of a well-structured team, which means regular visits and keeping them up to date with any potential issues, and getting their advice when appropriate. Having experts in the field of sports therapy can go a long way in making sure you stay healthy, uninjured happy and confident about the upcoming event.
So remember having a strong team around you who share your achievements, as well as working to assist you during hard times, can make everyone's journey a much more rewarding one.
When we build a strong team around us, we not only inspire and motivate but we also role model behaviours that show others an alternative path to exercising solo, one where the success and celebration are magnified due to having shared the journey.