Last weekend a Spartan race took place in Shanghai, attracting many urban warriors, both male and female to join the physically and mentally challenging race. I joined this Spartan race, my 3rd obstacle run in last 4 years, to have fun mainly, but also to challenge my comfort zone and prove not only my physical but also my mental strength. Mental strength is important for mastering challenges, overcome (life) obstacles and not giving up, no matter what happens. What could be more useful for obtaining the mental strength than sporting successes? Recent studies such as EY research shows that sport success is positively correlated with success in business. According to the research published in Fortune magazine in 2016, among the senior business women in the C-Suite they asked, 94% played sports.
Claire Shipman, television journalist and co-author of bestseller The Confidence Code wrote:
“Something happens when girls play sports — they embody the experience not just of winning, but the critical experience of losing. It’s that process of carrying on and clearing hurdles that really builds confidence. It’s an incredibly useful proving ground for business and leadership.”
I achieved my best fitness level at 30, thanks to Freeletics, a body weight-based training method, and my great athlete friends from my home town Paderborn in Germany. Till my 30th birthday I was not particularly sporty, since I have always been slim. I began with Freeletics Training in 2015 and was training almost every day for a year. Never before had I felt so strong and fit, not only physically but also mentally. That summer I took part in my first obstacle race, Tough Mudder, an 18 km long race with different obstacles designed to challenge your mind and body. Since then something has changed for me: I became stronger, mentally stronger. Also physically, I was able to do clean pull ups, pushups and run 10 km in less than 1 hour. Even though today I have a different fitness level, I still try to include different sport events into my life such as city runs, obstacle races, and my nice collection of medals and certificates reminds me of what I am capable of. All this gives me an incredible feeling of strength and confidence, which has a positive impact on all aspects of my life, including my career.
To conclude, I would like to cite the answer of my friend Heidi, on why she is doing sports:
“It makes me happy (cheers serotonin, dopamine and endorphin!), and what makes my body stronger, also makes my mind stronger. Now I know that I can achieve more than I think I am capable of. I don’t care about a bikini body anymore! The confidence, what I have earned through Freeletics & Sport, is more important. I am strong!”