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From overweight couch potato to… IRONMAN

Last week I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, and talking about the weight we had both put on over the summer. He mentioned how cool it was during his vacation to watch athletes compete in the IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant event in August, in the picturesque town not too far from Montreal, Canada. I had heard a lot about the Half IRONMAN event, with two of my friends having completed it several times. The event, comprising of a 1.9 km swim, a 90km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run, seemed like such an incredible challenge. I’ve competed in many running events before, but this was another level.

So as we continued talking, and as tends to happen when two competitive men are together, we worked up the courage to register for the 2020 edition of the race in Mont-Tremblant. I went first. When the confirmation email came through, I felt such an incredible rush! It’s really happening!

I immediately messaged a screenshot of the confirmation email with the two friends who had raced in Half IRONMANs before. The first reply came quickly: “No thanks.”

Hmmm… strange.

Then the second person replied, with a lot more excitement: “No way! Wissam! Oh my God! You registered for the FULL IRONMAN?!”

Errr… No I didn’t! “No not the full, this is the half.” I sheepishly replied.

”That’s the full Wissam! Hahaha”

Suddenly my excitement turned to dread. I immediately started clicking around the website looking to get my money back.

And then, slowly, with low but rising confidence, I made a decision: I would do the full IRONMAN. A 3.8 km swim, a 180 km bike ride, and a full marathon of 42.2 km. Even as I type these words now I get a sense of fear at what I’ve committed to.

But instead of making this about me, I’m going to make it about you, my dear reader. For twenty years I’ve been working with leaders and executives, helping them overcome challenges and implement change in themselves and their organizations. I’ve been an advisor, consultant and executive coach. Throughout these years I’ve built up a repertoire of tools that have helped my clients set ambitious goals and achieve them, overcoming many mental challenges along the way.

These challenges start with the individual: can I do this, will people trust me? Do I have the skills and knowledge I need and, if not, where do I get the ones I’m missing? What mental blocks do I have to overcome? They also include organizational challenges: how can I create buy-in for my vision? How can I build a support network? Who will be my change champions?

As anyone who has done an endurance race will tell you, training for the race is a mental game. It also requires all the change management and leadership skills that an executive faces in their firms.

As I prepare for the IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant event in August 2020, I will use this site as a platform to share with you the steps and tools I will apply to achieve my goal. This will not be a website on how to train for an IRONMAN; hundreds of these already exist. Rather, I will use this as a model for the challenges that you face as a leader in your own organizations as you push for an ambitious goal. Throughout the coming 11 months I will share the tools that I apply on myself, and that you can apply to overcome challenges in your own careers and lives to unleash your full potential, and the potential of your teams.

So join me on this journey. Subscribe to the newsletter for the latest updates, and follow me on Instagram on @wissamadib.

It’s going to be one amazing journey!

But first things first: I need to find an amazing coach!

Firsts