The Power In Preparation
Successful people are often very matter of fact about their work ethic. Hard work becomes so routine for them that they often don't see anything unusual or unique about it. This past week at EO Alchemy in Portland I got to hear from Melissa Arnot (https://melissaarnot.com) who spoke to us from the stage at Nike's world headquarters. Now, Melissa is not only one of the foremost female American mountain climbers in the world. She is one of the foremost mountain climbers in the world. She has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest a startling 8 times.
After her presentation, a member of the audience asked her how she trained to summit the tallest mountain in the world. She casually tossed out a routine that involved hours of hiking with a 50-pound pack, followed by more intense work with heavy waits and then she finishes up... by.... (I still can't white believe this)... She finished her grueling work out by running a marathon. She said it so casually I had to ask the people around me to confirm that I heard her right. She finishes with a marathon. And, She wasn't even going to talk about this aspect of her career.
The casual, matter-of-fact way she shared her answer left the crowd silent. It's hard to convey how impressive Melissa Arnot is as an athlete and someone with social conscious. Her achievements speak for themselves except they are so impressive, they are nearly impossible to relate too.
What hit home for me however, was the way she thought about her preparation. She acted like it was no big deal. That's just what she does. To me, however, the enormity of it was awe-inspiring. Other people prepare to run marathons. She runs marathons to prepare for mountain climbing.
I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who enjoys talking about their success. In my experience, successful people like Melissa (could there be another Melissa Arnot?) are happy to talk about their preparation. They talk about the problems they solve as they strive to be the best not just in the world, but for the world.
By the way, Melissa added that she dislikes running more than anything, and yet, she will run marathon distances to prepare to climb. The singlemindedness of focus she brings feels superhuman to me.
I think I am going to buy a pair of running shoes, not because I expect to mountain climb or run a marathon. Rather, because instead of complaining about running, I want to know what it feels like to run with purpose. Who knows what mountains I will be able to climb in my business.
Thank you, Melissa.
Consider me inspired.