Chip Dodd joined EO Southeast Virginia in 2013. He’s at the moment the president and CEO of Help Companies of Virginia, a mid-sized firm that gives Mental and Developmental Incapacity Waiver companies, helps and housing in community-based built-in settings throughout Virginia, USA. He’s additionally a keynote speaker and considers himself a “fun-loving outdoorsy particular person with too many hobbies to depend.”
Prior to now 5 years, one interest, specifically, has hooked his consideration and pushed his management abilities to new ranges: journey racing. Journey racing, additionally referred to as expedition racing, is taken into account the hardest endurance sport on this planet. It’s a racing collection that spans the globe and pits athletes in opposition to themselves in a few of the most rigorous landscapes on the planet. Groups function 4 members—at the very least one man and one girl—that race nonstop throughout a whole bunch of kilometers, with no GPS units and no marked route.
We requested Dodd to debate his ardour for this excessive interest and the way it informs his skilled endeavors.
How did you develop into concerned in journey racing?
My EO discussion board mate Wealthy Braun needed to do a race and wanted a teammate. He had carried out one race earlier than greater than 10 years prior, however he had his eyes on a 24-hour race referred to as the Shenandoah Epic. It pressed all my enjoyable buttons on the identical time and I used to be hooked. That was round 5 years in the past.
How does being an entrepreneur empower you to take part in these thrilling races?
Journey racing and being an entrepreneur have many parallels. In my shows, I clarify that every race is like taking an organization from an concept to exit. All of the parts are there: Setting a giant purpose, constructing a workforce, coaching, visualizing the race, executing the race, managing restricted assets, logistics, understanding which KPIs to measure, overcoming unexpected setbacks, fixing advanced issues, adapting and pivoting, understanding when and when to not stop and, better of all, celebrating the end.
EO helped me get off the treadmill so I might observe my ardour. It additionally taught me the abilities wanted to steer one of many prime journey race groups within the nation. (Presently, we’re ranked eighth within the US within the elite co-ed division). Now expedition-length journey races train me the extra superior abilities I must take my firm to the subsequent stage.
What’s essentially the most stunning factor you’ve realized about your self and your workforce from journey racing?
That the human physique is 10X extra succesful than most individuals suppose. After all, it’s a must to be mentally robust sufficient not to surrender and tolerate lengthy durations of discomfort. Up till my most up-to-date Africa race, I had no clue that it was doable to race for 128 hours with lower than 2 hours of sleep per night time—all whereas navigating by map and compass, which requires fixing advanced puzzles the entire approach.
Most suppose racing in these situations could be depressing. In actuality, I used to be in tears on the final day of Africa as a result of I didn’t need it to finish. It’s the place I actually really feel alive and at my finest. An ideal instance of “circulate.”
Coming again to actuality is miserable, so I’ve to rapidly put one other large race on the calendar to sit up for. This additionally helps me keep motivated and targeted at work so I can proceed to chase my ardour.
What’s been your greatest failure in a race scenario, and what classes did you be taught from it?
Right here’s one that was essentially the most painful and avoidable: I tried the 24-hour Shenandoah Epic solo. Though I skilled exhausting, I didn’t prepare on elevation. Towards the top of the race, my IT band (the tendon that runs down the size of your outer thigh) failed and I might barely stroll.
I used to be on Massanutten Ridge in Virginia and had over 10 miles to hike to the subsequent transition space (TA). Aside from 911, I had no straightforward approach out. For over seven hours I limped from the ridge right down to the TA in excessive ache. On the steep sections, the one approach I might preserve going was to stroll backward to alleviate the stress on my IT.
This was the one time I’ve ever given up and had the race director transport me to the end. Giving up will hang-out me ceaselessly—and it was fully avoidable. If I had a workforce, I might have allow them to down. Now that I prepare correctly, my knees don’t give me any bother. Paraphrasing a army expression, “prepare such as you race.”
Does journey racing make you a greater chief?
Main an journey race workforce requires the identical abilities that we’re supposed to make use of in our companies however they’re 100 occasions extra vital on these routes.
As I discussed earlier, these races are like taking an organization from starting to finish in a really compressed time frame. You need to be hyper-aware of each dialog and each emotion. You’re studying physique language, empathizing, encouraging, managing frustration, asking for assist, providing assist, and so on. Everyone seems to be tremendous drained, bodily exhausted, typically scorching, typically chilly, sore, cramping, hungry, thirsty and lacking their household.
Beneath these situations, we should not have time to make errors, bicker, maintain a grudge or play the conventional video games individuals play. Now we have to execute the race and handle our selves in such a approach that we function like a well-oiled machine. There may be an previous saying that “a workforce is just as quick as its slowest member” however that isn’t the case in AR or enterprise. I wish to suppose “a workforce is just as quick as they will get their slowest member to go.”
All of us must know when to ask for assist and when to supply it. Working collectively as a unit is how my journey race and work groups have been profitable all these years. Practising these abilities in races helps me keep away from many pitfalls on the workplace.
What would you share with different individuals contemplating coming into a race?
Begin with a race beneath 12 hours. On the primary few races, workforce up with an skilled racer and navigator as a result of getting misplaced is soul-crushing. Watch journey race movies on YouTube to get aware of how races circulate.
Purchase the correct gear. Prepare with the very same gear on the identical situations you foresee within the race. Observe navigation at native orienteering meets. Train by path operating or mountain biking on rugged terrain with elevation virtually daily. Mix in paddling a few occasions every week. Prepare with a loaded pack. Prepare in all climate situations. Experiment with totally different meals and drinks to kind out any digestive points.
Additionally, get to know different racers and be taught from them. Try the assets on the Journey Racing Cooperative web site and be part of the Journey Racing Dialogue Group on Fb. Hearken to the TA#1 Podcast on Podomatic.
If you wish to achieve success at racing for over 30 hours, expedition racing must develop into a life-style. Perceive that journey racing just isn’t for everybody. You need to be a particular form of particular person to get pleasure from pushing your limits to this excessive.
The primary journey race that Chip Dodd championed was additionally a MyEO occasion. MyEO is a platform that enables EO members to attach primarily based on their passions and pastimes. It’s also one of the vital standard advantages of EO membership. Dodd is at the moment serving his first yr on the MyEO Committee because the Specialists Lead for the Americas.
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