Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ultra Runner/Ultra Business Athlete by Michele Ashby

Ultra Runner/Ultra Business Athlete by Michele Ashby

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I am an Ultra Athlete – I have run over 26.2 miles a number of times (way back when it was not so normal) and rowed 24 hours on a Concept II rowing machine (136,010 meters was my longest) and I consider myself an Ultra Business Athlete as well.  Maybe you are too – I meet them every day in my consulting work. 

What is an Ultra Business Athlete? People who are making it happen in their business, company or industry – carrying the responsibilities of many and of one (themselves).   They may consider themselves multi-taskers, and they are hyper-organized, taking on big things that others are too shy, intimidated, risk-averse or tired to.  Ultra Business Athletes know how to pace themselves and to keep on going when others give up or give in. They are aware of their environment at all times and know when to lean in and when to sit back.

I learned my ultra-skills when I was a casual runner and luckily became the running partner of a world-class ultra-runner named Essie Garrett in 1994.  Over a four year span, Essie and I ran thousands of miles together in training and events all over Colorado to raise money and awareness for AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Martin Luther King Day, the homeless, children in need and other causes.  Essie taught me how to pace myself, when to eat and hydrate, when and how to rest, home remedies for aches and pains and all the secrets to overcoming any obstacles and conditions we faced.  

Essie taught me to be patient, take care of myself, and keep putting one foot in front of the other to reach my destination or timeline.  It was never about how fast I was going, rather that I got to the finish line.  Essie’s wisdom was something I carried into the business world and applied to my entrepreneurial endeavors and still serves me today.  These skills enable me to tap into a constant source of energy and keeps me going long after many of my colleagues (even young ones) are done for the day.

How can you do this too?

Literally, you need to think about balance and pacing. It is important to rest as well as work and you want to be conscious of how much you hydrate, what you are eating and how it affects you.  If you drink alcohol and stay out late at night, you have a higher chance of missing an important call or meeting early in the morning.  If you carry a lot of extra weight from eating too much, you tire more easily than others.  If you don’t get enough rest or exercise, it is harder to concentrate and accomplish the tasks you have on your to-do list every day.  

All of us are ultra-athletes when you look at it – we have so many demands on our lives these days between business and personal, it is a balancing act and constant challenge to keep ourselves healthy, full of energy, financially well and emotionally stable.

My top Ultra-business athlete tips are these:

1) Simplify as much as possible – eliminate piles and clutter in all aspects of your life.  

2) Build successful patterns in your life which will save you time, energy and decision making, i.e., use the same hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, transportation, etc.  

3) Drink lots of water every day – keep it nearby and add lemon when you can, because it helps detoxify you.

4) Walk barefoot in the grass whenever possible – connecting your feet to the earth affects your cells and helps balance out your biological energy.

5) Lie down and put your feet up above your heart for 15 minutes a day – this increases circulation and helps you relax.

6) Do one thing at a time – prioritize your list of to-dos and then start with the first one and complete it to the best of your ability before moving on to the next one.

7) Exercise often – everyday if possible which includes walking.  I walk whenever possible, even in the airport if I have a lot of time between flights. I also have a 7-minute workout for those rushed mornings in hotel rooms when I don’t have time to go to the gym – it’s enough to get the blood pumping and the brain going.

8) Always do the hardest thing first – this releases stress, fear and uncertainty and brings us energy.

9) Keep your finances in good order – know when you are overspending and need to cut back – live within your means which minimizes stress because you don’t have debt worry.

10) Discovery and curiosity will always help you stay engaged and young – be interested in what others are doing and thinking, it will keep you fresh and energized and may give you new ideas.

11) Love what you are doing – there is great energy and endurance when we are passionate about what we are doing.

12) Give back – help others, donate, mentor, and hire people.

Michele Ashby, Author of  Secrets of a Closet Millionaire; A Step-by-Step Guide to Financial Freedom – available now on Amazon, Holistic Financial Guide and Coach, Executive coach and Key-note speaker

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