Written by: Sonny

June 18, 2013

I have been a fairly avid runner for the past 4-5 years now.  Like many folks, it started as an effort to shed a few pounds.  Soon after my son was born, I had come to the realization that I had put on as much baby weight as my wife!  So, what better way to drop weight than run a few miles a couple times a week, right?  At first, it was really a challenge to do it with any level of consistency.  I would have these mental debates about going for a run or not.  Most times, the side of my brain that was lobbying for the couch and the TV won.

After fighting with myself for almost a year, I started to notice a change.  The runs became much easier and more often.  In fact, I found myself looking forward to my runs and the motivations to shed weight were not the reason.  Two things happened – 1) Running became a stress relief.  I enjoyed the piece and quiet; I enjoyed taking in the scenery of my surroundings, seeing things I never would have otherwise noticed.  Giving me a break from the daily stresses life presents.  It was an invigorating feeling and had an immediate, positive impact on everything else in my life.  2) I started signing up for races.  I’m a competitive person by nature and running in 10Ks and Half Marathons gave my runs some purpose.  I started to track my pace and distance and enjoyed pushing myself.  I would run with other people that are faster than me to offer a challenge.

I’ve run 20+ races in the past few years and am always obsessing on my time.  After I cross that finish line and see my time, I find myself wondering if I could have pushed a little harder and shaved off a few more seconds.  Maybe, I took too long at a water stop.  Didn’t attack a hill like I should have and saw my pace drop…The post race over-analysis is now a norm for me!

A few months ago I completed the Richmond Half Marathon in 1:44:34 – it was a personal best by nearly 4 minutes.  Within a few hours of the races’ conclusion, I was already questioning what I could have done to run faster.  It wasn’t until a few weeks ago having coffee with a friend that I came to the realization that I will never be happy with my time.  And that’s a good thing.  It’s a telling characteristic of who I am.  I like to compete…I like a challenge and probably will always wondering what more I could have done.  Interestingly, this characteristic holds true in the working world too.  In fact, every single person in our office operates that way as well.  I truly believe that is why we work so well together.  We are all competitors.  If its a 10K, Half Marathon, Tough Mudder OR if we are attempting to open a new door with a client, securing another placement, finding one of our consultants their next assignment – each one of us are equally fierce in our approach.

While the endless challenge of trying to better ourselves may not be the healthiest habit, it certainly has been a recipe for our companies success.  The four of us have worked very hard to challenge each other to do more.  Building strong fruitful relationships with our clients is key, but the differentiator is not being content with just one good thing.  It’s going out and finding the next relationship or the next door we can open for our consultants; that is what will separate us from others.

So, I encourage you to find your inner-beast and sign up for a race or two…who knows, maybe that desire to do better will find its way into your daily activities at work and you will be that much better off!