The Convergence of Your Personal Life and Professional Life can Happen When you are Passionate about BothPosted in Fun by Mike Wien
Working in the Triathlon field and training as a member of the Timex Multisport Team is not an unusual thing. Many of my fellow team members work for a company in the industry or are professional trainers who coach triathletes. However, when my life as a college marketing professor and a consultant/professional speaker on business development converged with my life as an Ironman, it is unusual.
This past week, TrainingPros, my client that specializes in providing contract employees to develop state of the art training programs, invited me to be the guest speaker at the monthly American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in Bentonville, Arkansas. When Walmart heard I was coming, they invited me to speak to some of their management teams on marketing (Finding Your Specific Edge) and motivation (Keeping the Flame Lit for Life.) This visit quickly exploded into two intense days where my two lives converged.
The first day started with a presentation that was designed to be a motivational speech with content to the Walmart Merchandising team. The speech focused on how to go from ordinary to extraordinary in your career and personal life with specific examples from the business world and the Ironman world.
Lunch was with my hosts, Samantha and Speer Macartney at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges is an architect’s dream nestled around two spring-fed ponds at the base of a natural ravine and was a gift from Alice Walton to the community.
After lunch, I met with the Timex sales team dedicated to serving Walmart and briefed them on what I was doing with their key client. They were very generous and donated three Timex watches for the community charity event that evening (see below.)
In the afternoon, I led a workshop for the Northwest Arkansas ASTD chapter that turned out to be a simultaneous discussion on growing a consulting practice and training for a triathlon.
A presentation to benefit the Rampy MS Research Foundation was scheduled that evening and was well attended by the local triathlete community. While I was there to deliver a motivational speech, meeting Scott and Jo Rampy at that event was inspiring to me. Jo is a shining example of how someone can live a positive life with purpose while fighting the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis every day. Scott, Jo’s husband, is President of the Foundation and is a role model for his efforts in trying to find a better outcome for everyone affected by MS. Click here for link to Foundation.
At the evening event, I was invited to join a local running group for a 10 mile run at 5 AM the next morning. Perfect. Ten runners who were training for the Des Moines marathon showed up and gave me a sense of why Arkansas is known for its friendly people.
Lunch turned out to be a very special treat as my hosts arranged for me to have lunch with an Ironman who worked in Walmart’s technology department. This was not just another guy who had successfully completed the 140.6 mile race. This was The Iron Man – Gordon Haller, the guy who in 1978 won the first Ironman in Hawaii! Gordon is just a year older than me and still competes. We had a great conversation. My favorite story was about his T1 time. In the first Ironman, each of the 15 athletes set up their own support with family and friends following them in cars. Gordon came out of the ocean, ran into a building, took a shower and changed clothes in his transition.
That afternoon, I engaged the International Finance Group in a discussion about Finding your Specific Edge and adding more purpose to life by having something to be passionate about. I concluded the day with a 22 mile bike ride with many of my new friends through magnificent farm country and valleys surrounding Bentonville.
On Saturday, I went for a swim workout in the Walmart Family Fitness Center before leaving for Syracuse. Yes, the 5K National Team Championship was in Syracuse on Sunday and I am a member of the Atlanta Track Club 60+ Masters team. The race put an exclamation point on a great four days as we won the National Championship.
I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of work – life balance to be successful in anything. I now might have found a new twist on this discussion – Work – Life Convergence. I think it can happen if someone is able to discover the Specific Edge that they can be passionate about and that adds purpose to their personal and professional life.