(Pic: heading to the water for a triathlon club race; what a family event!)
Key points to take away:
– your personal (social) network gives you a strong meaning of life,
– social network strengthens your bond to the society and makes you happier as a human,
– you are five times more likely to go to work happier and be more successful at work.
I watched a YouTube video on the 2012 Kona World Championship in December 2012. If you watch that video to the last minute, then you will see a 77-year-old grandma (Ms. Harriet Anderson) crossing the finish line after 16 hours and 59 minutes in the race! That was not her first full Kona Ironman, but her 20th! She went on and did her 21th Ironman in 2013 (OMG!). That Ironman spirit inspired and motivated my Ironman pursue. I started training myself in 2013.
Things didn’t go well with my training and I didn’t have a coach, either. I started my swim training in the ocean. Although I had been a good pool swimmer, I had hardly swum in the ocean before. Like other amateur athletes, my ocean swim training was on and off for a long period of time in 2013. Sometimes I gave myself an ‘excuse’ to sleep in on weekends and told myself I “deserve” a rest after a hard-work week. In short, I wasn’t going anywhere in my ocean swim training in 2013.
Things started to change when I found that there was a group of swimmers who swam every day at 7am at Manly Beach. I quickly joined them and re-started my ocean swim training. I then met a few nice guys in the group who also did triathlon. We started going to Sunday breakfast together after our Sunday morning swim and they invited me to join their triathlon training.
I found ‘home’ for my Ironman training for the first time!
The sense of ‘belonging’ to a social group made me feel comfortable in my pursue of Ironman and made all painful training sessions fun (!). This is the power of social bonding. Scientists have found that a person with a strong sense of belonging to the society is always happier, healthier and more successful in his/her career.
Find yourself a sense of ‘belonging’ to the world and have a focus in your private life. You will find that this is the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself in your life!