Coming into this year I stripped down the things I wanted to achieve. My race goal for the year was to Podium at a Spartan Race (amended to gaining a World Championship Spartan coin in the light of my lung problems). My focus for the year was to unlock my potential. And my method to help me through was intended to be ‘Pack Light’
Packing Light is both in the physical / practical sense but also a metaphor. I over think. Over the years I’ve battled people telling me this, as I always just feel I’m preparing myself for every possible outcome, making it easier in the moment to make a decision as you have already thought things through.
I like to be prepared and that will remain a constant. The mantra’s of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and ‘better to have and not need, than to need and not have’ ring very true for me. However I am aware that in some circumstances over thinking or over packing is not the right way to go. There is a cost to that baggage, (mentally & airlines!!!) and so I started this year with the idea to pack light.
What I have found is that actually stripping down things can be a real effort, and in fact takes more planning than to pack heavy. You need to really work hard to pack light, and think further ahead in order to focus and strip out the dross. You also need to add some risk that things won’t be perfect, but also let go that whatever happens it will not be the end of the world.
I’m not an Apple fan at all, but this quote from Steve Jobs I think sums up what I have been thinking :-
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
There have been times when I’ve sworn about my attempt to pack light, and rebelled against it, however I think I’m learning that’s it’s a tailored approach for me. I must not let the thinking become my master, and where I can reduce and remove the things that are not important. If you can pack light, and confidently face the challenge you can come away feeling very empowered.
After years of racing motorbikes & organising logistics, spares, complex machines – Obstacle Racing holds quite an appeal for me. It’s simple. I need shoes, shorts and that’s it – somewhere to run. It’s easy to get dragged into the commercialism of technology in sport, but in OR it’s something I want to resist.
I’ll keep you posted how packing light goes…!