Some people watch The Walking Dead on television. I exercise with them.
Last month, I completed a 5k zombie infested obstacle race. For those of you who don’t know me, participating is very much out of character for me. First, I am hands down the biggest chicken when it comes to anything scary. Dead people, especially ones that are chasing me, are not my cup of tea. Second, well, let’s just say I am very proud of my self-manicured nails and no one’s skin should be this tan in May.
Yet despite all of this, I am a serious adrenaline junkie who loves being put up to a challenge — especially one that no one thinks I can handle or succeed at.
This race was quite the challenge. It starts with a sprint up a mountain as rocks fall beneath your feet and a crowd of energetic people chase behind. Within the first couple of minutes though, it’s clear that this race is meant to challenge you not only physically but mentally as well.
You’re required to wear a Velcro belt holding three flags and you must avoid the frantic zombies’ attempts to steal the “life” from your belt. Even with a fatigued body, you’re forced to think quickly for the fastest routes out of the zombies’ path.
This was the first 5k race I’ve done and although three miles may not sound that tough, adding sand pits, electric fences and waste deep muddy water takes it to another level!
Honestly, had this been a typical race, I’m not sure I would have been able to finish. It’s crazy to think how much further you can push yourself just by putting a fun twist on difficult tasks. Throughout the course, there were hidden flags that helped encourage you to keep going, some even offering free beer at the end. Talk about motivation!
Turning a difficult task into a fun challenge shouldn’t be relegated to the athletic field. It is something you can do every day at work. At Dyn, we’ve focused this year around being “better, faster, stronger.” To become all of these, it is a given that you’ll have to overcome a multitude of challenges so much of your success stems from your attitude.
Inevitably, there will be some challenges you like and others you do not. The secret is trying to find the “fun” behind the challenge. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. You’ll no longer be a zombie walking lifelessly around your office. You’ll be a productive employee excitedly waiting for the next mountain to climb.
Amanda Murtha is the Benefits and HRIS Administrator for Dyn, a cloud-based Internet Performance company that helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Follow her on Twitter: @AmandaMurtha and @Dyn.