Unthinkable Insights with Megan Mazzocco

Doing the Unthinkable, is a highly personal thing.

Richard Kimber, Creative Director, Ultra Runner, Musician, and Family Man
A discussion about doing the Unthinkable with Richard Kimber

You need to back yourself, because in the end you are alone when you go through unthinkable challenges.

Richard Kimber, Creative Director, Ultra Runner, Musician, and Family Man

Richard Kimber
During the process, as long as you remember constantly that this is something that you’ve chosen to do, that’s not being forced upon you, and it’s something that you’re very, very lucky to even be able to try, whether you succeed or not. It’s very hard to get too down or too negative about the experience, however much pain or suffering, you might be in. So that was really the fundamental core of, I think, what made me able to complete that challenge. The challenge for me now, though, and this is why I mentioned that in the first answer we were talking about is to take that same mentality and apply it to something that seems much more trivial, like trying to get your computer to work over a much shorter period of time and not lose patience or become negative about that process, even though it is actually a much simpler process because it’s something that I find personally challenging. It ends up being more challenging in a way than, you know, doing something that on paper seems much more difficult, which is in this case, you know, to run for three days in a row.

Marcel Kuhn
Yeah, I totally agree with you. When I do this Wim Hof method, when I go into the cold water and into the rain and it’s it’s maybe four degrees Celsius. And for me, it’s just walking in and I feel really a piece in the water. And so so for me, I found that maybe some emotional challenge having a different that difficult discussion with someone at work or with your partner or whoever or with your kids, it can be much more unthinkable for me to stay calm when I’m actually going skiing with my three kids and with all the gear. So I totally understand where you’re coming from. And, you know, I’ve been interested in this topic of doing the unthinkable chasing success and B, being the present and being able to be fulfilled. How did you get through the difficult stages of this race? And, and maybe you have some, some hacks or some strategies to use that also in your private life. What are your hacks to do that?

Richard Kimber
In this particular race, I mean, just to give anybody who’s trying to think about how they can apply this to their own situation, I mean, this was a very big challenge for me. I’d never done anything on this scale before. So of course, I had to treat it with a lot of respect. You can’t assume you’re going to be successful before you’ve tried. You have to hope that you’ll be successful and be confident that you’ll be successful and back yourself, because in life, generally, nobody else is necessarily going to back you, even if they say they do. When you actually come to take on the challenge, whatever it might be, unless you backed yourself, I mean, you really are on your own. So you have to try and at least, you know, believe in yourself from the beginning. That’s so, so fundamental. And then, of course, other people are likely to believe in you. But that’s pretty important. And I certainly applied that from the very beginning with regards to this challenge. But then the next thing is like I say, you have to be humble at the same time to know that you might believe in yourself, but you have to believe in yourself based on some kind of rational evidence that you can put together.

It can’t all be some spiritual hope. And so in this case, you know, this required for me a great deal of planning and preparation and it’s relatively easy to break that down for an endurance event, which obviously requires a huge amount of training and not just training. It required a huge amount of strategizing, which was in itself a challenge for me because as somebody who just loves running in the mountains when it comes to doing something like this, it might be the love of doing it that gets you through the dark times, but it won’t be the love of doing it on its own.

That makes you actually fundamentally able to complete the challenge. The thing that makes you fundamentally able to complete it is the very clear planning and preparation that you’ve done by breaking down the distance into smaller chunks, by having a very, very good navigational understanding of the course you’re taking on, by having a very strategic plan with regards to your nutrition, the gear that you’re taking with you.
Everything must be tried and tested. Of course, this is something you can apply to anything in life with regards to your daily work and so on. But it’s trying to find that balance point between obsessively preparing such that you can go into the challenge with a huge amount of self-belief and self-confidence because it’s based on real preparation, but also just leaving enough space and leaving enough room for the knowledge.

However much planning and preparation you do, it won’t necessarily all work out, and that’s when you need the love and the positivity to take over and carry you through when all of that doesn’t work. And I think that was the thing I learned from this experience. I definitely couldn’t have done the whole thing on positivity alone, but I also definitely couldn’t have done the whole thing on planning and preparation alone.

Richard Kimber

It’s just trying to find that balance. And the beauty of these types of challenges is you can never predict where and how that balance point is going to come until you actually do it. Because you might think it will come. For example, 75% of the way through the journey on the basis that you’re planning will have got you that far.

And then it’s you know, deeper passion and that deeper energy and belief that gets you to the end. That’s kind of a cliché, but you don’t know that. I mean, you might have a disaster 10% of the way through your journey. And actually, the biggest challenge is being mentally strong enough to get over that, knowing that you’ve still got 90% of the way to go.

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