In the world of sports, we often find profound lessons that can be applied to our working lives.
Co-Creation Consultant and Coach Kath Thomas shares her journey from doubt to triumph in triathlons. It is a testament to the power of inclusivity, fun, teamwork, collaboration, and unwavering support.
As you delve into her personal story, you’ll uncover valuable insights that highlight how these elements are essential to achieving success, both in sports and in our professional endeavours.
World Championships, Ironman 70.3 Finland (1900m swim, 90k bike ride and 21k run)
(The night before, 25th August 2023)
One day you’ll race at Triathlon World Championships,” my friend Paul Cane from TeamTriGuru said to me back in September 2018. My immediate response? “No chance.”
Fast forward to August 26, 2023, the night before the Ironman 70.3 Finland World Championships – and I found myself standing on the precipice of an incredible journey. At this point, I hadn’t realised how much the inclusivity, fun and vibrancy of the triathlon community would grab my attention and how much triathlon would turn out to be a team sport.
Eating My Words:
26th August 2023 – On that day in Finland, I ranked 74th in the world and secured the 5th place out of the swim – which for anyone who knows me is an additional win 😉. At that moment, I truly understood the power of the team. Without my teammates, this achievement would not have been possible. We had shared this fantastic journey together, and it was all about the team.
April 2018 – with great trepidation and reasons I can’t quite explain, I participated in my first triathlon, fearing that I would be dreadful!
My inner voice was wild in its unhelpful opinions at this point, having a particular fear of cycling and a severe dislike of running.
I thought I was crazy to keep trying at that point, but to cut a 5-year journey short, I’ve grown to love it, encouraged other people to take part and had some amazing experiences both training and racing!
(Some of the team)
Well, it reminds me about the richness a team brings. I value being part of this and recognise that teams come in all shapes and sizes.
Here are a few things my team gives me.
1. The support of, and time with, inspirational athletes – especially benefit from the bit where we do not take ourselves too seriously!
Be inspired by those in your team, they are incredible; embrace the diversity and ideas they bring.
2. Support from my loving family, with a particular shout out to my husband who is an absolute rock, understands my lows and highs, plus feeds me great food.
Remember what’s important.
3. Wise words from those with more experience.
Listen up, you may learn something!
4. Commitment and consistency in training, joining in with fun stuff and challenging stuff.
Create healthy habits and know what motivates you to stay on track. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself.
5. Overcome hurdles (e.g. at one point being unable to run for 7 months.)
Keep going, make some mistakes and correct your course, waiting until everything is perfect and you’ll never start.
Do you recognise these from your own team experiences?
“Success is best when it’s shared” – Howard Schultz
(Chief supporter and best friend)
The level of enjoyment, sense of achievement and laughing uproariously would not have happened if I had been on my own.
Even when I’m the one wearing the timing chip it’s all about the team!
p.s. I do like a few fries now and again 😉
(The lovely Tallinn for the after party)
My journey from self-doubt to triumph in the world of triathlons underscores the importance of inclusivity, fun, and teamwork. It reveals that success is best when shared.
The key takeaways from this journey are:
- Embrace Teamwork: like many aspects of life, Triathlon is not a solo endeavour. The support and camaraderie of a team makes all the difference.
- Overcome Doubt: It’s natural to have doubts and fears, whether in sports or the workplace. However, with perseverance and determination, you can overcome these barriers and achieve remarkable growth.
- Value Diversity: Teams come in all shapes and sizes. Embrace the diversity of ideas and experiences that your team members bring.
- Listen and Learn: Wise advice from those with more experience can be invaluable. Be open to listening and learning from others.
- Commitment and Consistency: Creating healthy habits and staying committed to your goals are essential for success. Mix in both enjoyable and challenging tasks to keep things interesting.
- Resilience: Overcoming hurdles is part of the journey. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks; instead, use them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Share Success: The joy of accomplishment is amplified when you celebrate it with a supportive team.
As you navigate your own journey, whether in sports or your professional life, remember that these principles can guide you toward a path of personal and collective achievement.
Success is a shared experience that becomes more fulfilling when we work together and support one another along the way.
Ready to build stronger, more effective teams in your professional life? Contact us to discover how we can help you harness the power of teamwork and achieve your goals. Sadly, we can’t guarantee we can turn you into a triathlete!