I wanted to share with you a personal experience I had recently that reminded me of the value of coaching and the importance of applying the lessons learned in all areas of life.

Last weekend, I participated in the duathlon portion of the New River Splash Triathlon in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  Duathlon means that I would only be riding my bike then running.  I have done this same event in past years.  Within the duathlon, it was the same distances for bike and run as the triathlon participants minus the swim.  

After I showed up for the event, I realized that I had misunderstood the race instructions and the distances I needed to cover. In place of the swim portion, the duathlons would be running 1 mile, then ride bikes 18.5 miles followed by the 3.1 miles (5K).  However, instead of giving up, I used the experience to reflect on some important life lessons that we can all apply to our leadership journeys.

Firstly, always read the instructions and make sure to understand them fully before implementing them.  I assumed that there would only be a bike and run portion at the distances that I had registered in my head.  After the race, I reviewed the race information more closely to find out the complete details.  It is easy to assume that we know what to do, but misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes. This is why it is essential to read the instructions for understanding and to seek clarification when needed.

Secondly, plan for extra time. I thought that I would be done in one hour and 45 minutes like the previous year while it took me two hours and 7 minutes.  Things often take longer than we expect, and unforeseen circumstances can arise that cause delays. Always factor in some extra time to ensure that you can complete your tasks on time and to the best of your ability.

Lastly, never be afraid to reach out for assistance. It can be tempting to think that we can do everything alone, but having a support system is crucial. During the bike portion, another participant and I kept passing one another.  We encouraged one another and joked, which made the ride fun.  Whether it is a colleague, friend, accountability partner, or coach, find someone who can help you stay positive, motivated, and on track.

The lessons I learned during the duathlon reminded me of the value of coaching. Just like in sports, a coach can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate the challenges of leadership. As a coach myself, I encourage you to consider working with a coach to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacles you may face.

Remember, we are all on our own journeys, but with the right mindset and support, we can achieve great things. Keep reading the instructions, plan for extra time, and reach out for assistance when needed.

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