Guest Post: Find Your Teammates by Laura Cutress
I am a habitual work-a-holic. I simply cannot sit still, or turn my brain off. There have been times when 16 hours have flown past at my desk, and I’ve not so much as brushed my teeth. Crisps and coffee have been my sole diet, and pajamas my work uniform.
“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” ― George Shinn
I remember vividly the very first run I went on as a teen, outside of scheduled PE classes. I was studying for an exam, and being a very studious and conscientious young woman, was getting progressively more and more stressed about the impending grades. As my head was in my hands, my dad came up to my desk and demanded I go out for a run with him. I was a good cross country runner and placed regularly in athletics, but that was for a fun race. This was 6pm at night. In public. Why would I go out for a run?! Anyway, my protests didn’t stick, and he dragged me around our local (and his daily) 5km route. I struggled, and the pavement pounding was new to me. But the break it gave me from my worries was bliss.
On my first day at university I sought out the first sports clubs that I could find. Rowing and Running were my saviours to long days in law school, and my studies were sandwiched between early mornings on the water, and evening running intervals. The medal rack grew, and sport was an integral part of my life and identity.
After university I joined a local Crossfit gym, and started competing regularly, largely as a distraction from a terrible office job!. A job which ultimately lead me to setting up my own company....
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." - -Helen Keller
Like many, I have been guilty of eating my lunch at my desk and barely take a glimpse away from a computer screen and can spend many hours sitting down. Working from home, engrossed in a start-up business and working every hour in the day to make ends meet at the beginning meant that sports got put to the wayside. I’d drag myself out for a run at 6am, so I could still work a 12 hour day, and I just couldn’t make it to local sports clubs meetings. Gyms bored me. Ultimately, as my business went from strength to strength, my health did not. Work worries and stress became overwhelm and the feeling of pressure was unbearable. My lack of fitness robbed me of a key part of my being, and slowly I fell stagnant, and depressed.
Now with 4 freelancers in the company, we just celebrated our 2 year birthday. Business was booming, and I was becoming steadily more stressed. My Dr was concerned, and recommended I addressed my work-life-balance.
And so, a couple of months later I added a new member to our team - Beinn the Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy. He gets at least 2 walks a day, and has become the sports team mate i’ve been missing since leaving university. He gets me up for a walk in the morning, and harrasses me at lunchtime to go to the park. He’s loving no matter how fast or slow I go (essential coaching skills I’m sure you will agree) and isn’t disappointed in a time or distance. Just like me, he’s purely interested in the change of scenery, interaction and fresh air.
I’ve had a team mate since the day Dad took me for a run - and made the mistake of thinking that running a business meant I could be strong and solo on my own. But no (wo)man is an island, and you don’t have to do this alone. Find your team-mate, club or tribe and let them inspire you. They can be friends, school or even four legged!
Laura is owner and director of Anchor & Dash, brand development and marketing agency. She believes that everyone deserves an online presence which makes them feel proud. Her mission statement is simple: building business through creative, authentic and inspiring digital marketing. Naturally, you can find the four legged member of her team on Instagram as @nowthen_beinn
Photo c/o Laura