Setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step. It’s at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.
It’s important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a plethora of landmines that can block us from our goal. These landmines show up in our lives as a set of obstacles, or challenges on our journey that we must surpass in order to get to our desired destination, our goal. In fact, we refer to these landmines as challenges to overcome, and not problems which can otherwise imply no route of escape. Unless we successfully manoeuvre through these landmines, then we will fail to learn the valuable lessons required to help us achieve success. Challenges should be welcomed, and overcoming obstacles rehearsed in order to ensure the probability of success.
Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is arguably the best new fringe sport activity to explore a vast array of physical, mental and emotional challenges that (when conquered) transforms lives, attains goals and helps to build productive relationships at work, school and at home.
Over the last few years, OCR has exploded in popularity. In 2014, 4.2 million people participated and it is estimated that over 5 million participated in 2015. In 2015, a local independent entity called SA OCR emerged as a support to athletes. It seeks private sponsorship and national sports and recreation accreditation while bolstering fair and safe practices for the sport. SA OCR sees a real opportunity for OCR to grow into an Olympic sporting event by 2020. There is already a world championship event now in its third year, called OCR World Championships taking place in Blue Mountains, Canada this October. It will host male and female SA athletes.
The Jeep Warrior Race powered by Reebok, SA’s largest obstacle course race series is a beautiful metaphor for overcoming life’s everyday challenges. The race is a practical tool testing will, strength and courage through team building, while having fun through natural and man-made obstacles, through trail and mud runs. It boasts 8 weekend races per year, and a total of an estimated 70 000 participants across five provinces expected in this, it’s fourth year. There have been several OCR events to follow Warrior, such as The Beast (JHB), The Grind (CT) and Muddy Princess (Women). Impi Challenge was the first OCR event in South Africa that was born in 2009.
“For me, inspiring thousands of participants from the start of an OCR event, motivating them to overcome obstacles, celebrating with them at the finish and encouraging defeated entrants is personally and professionally empowering, energising and life changing. As the groundswell of participants, spectators and partners elevates OCR to new heights into the future, I hope my contribution will galvanise support, inspire even more athletes and ultimately transform as many lives as show up to participate or support”, says Ricardo Gressel aka WarriorRic.
Whatever your goals are, completing an OCR event can give you confidence in yourself to overcome anything that distracts you from your goal. Obstacles can be an inevitable deterrent to success, but when we see obstacles as opportunities, we more readily experience growth, development and attainment of our most aspirant goals.
“An OCR athlete, regardless of experience or capability, is a unique breed of individual. It is someone with the soul of a soldier, ready to meet the challenge of any natural or man-made obstacle- alone or with others. It is a person that is prepared to accept a deep sense of humility while in search of personal and professional greatness,” concludes WarriorRic.
Instead of deterrents, landmines may be a recipe for success- if you are up for the challenge.