Published on 31st March 2019
"Life is like a marathon” (“人生就如馬拉松”) is a phrase that is commonly used by Chinese people. Before I started running, I couldn’t really comprehend with the saying but after 6 years of running, I couldn’t agree with it more. Running multiple marathons has taught me many lessons about life which have helped me in developing a strong career.
And here are some of them I’d like to share with you.
You control your own destiny
For every marathon, the most difficult part is pushing past the 30km mark, when the adrenaline is gone, and fatigue starts to kick in, yet the finish line is still miles away. Passed-by runners will give you the occasional pat on the back for encouragement and support, but in the end, it is you who determines how quickly you reach that finish line. Whether you jog through the pain, or just walk back sluggishly, you determine how gloriously you cross that line.
This is very similar to our own journeys in life. Our family, friends, and colleagues will give us support and guidance to carve our own paths, but we are ones who ultimately decide our own destiny.
Down & Up
Completing a marathon in every single continent in the world has been a dream that I have been working on for the past 6 years. The Grand2Grand Ultramarathon was the final marathon but also the most difficult of them all. After trying my best efforts to complete the race this year, unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the finish line. I was absolutely devasted and was physically and mentally broken. No consoling words could lighten my mood, until recently. After some introspection, I realized that a dream SHOULD be hard earned and is something that can take multiple tries to achieve. As the saying goes “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”. If there are no ups and downs, then where’s the “fun” in trying?!
Effort & Result
There is no luck in marathons. You cannot simply just “wing” a marathon. You must put in the hours and the effort to train your body and mind, otherwise you are bound to suffer miserably – which needless to say is the same in life, no effort; no result.
We have not failed, we are just learning how to win
Although I was not able to complete this 273km race, I am still proud to have helped raise over HK$20,000 for Wheel for Oneness, an NGO that supports disabled children. This charity shows these children that the world has not given up on them, so they shouldn’t give up themselves either – “If Giving Up Is Not An Option, Then There Will Be No Giving Up!”
These principles can apply to all stages of life, from sports to business to music to art, absolutely everything. They are easily applicable to me, as a recruiter. The recruitment world can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. One minute you could be celebrating the joy of your candidate accepting their perfect job and the next could be the same candidate changing his/her mind and accepting another job offer instead. The key to success is to keep one's head down and continue to work hard on your goal.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors that helped make this possible – Ambition, HaTCH Powered by Ambition, One for Wheelness, 852SportsHK and FreeRunning Pro.
by Keith Leung