Learning from Generation Z

We can learn a lot from our younger generation.  We often hear about Millennials but what about the next generation – GenZ – those born between 1995 and 2012?

Having two GenZ children I’ve seen what an amazing group of young people they are.   Thousands of young adults are putting their heart and soul into their chosen sport – whether this is e-sport or traditional sport I’ve witnessed the dedication and hard work they put in to realising their potential.

With my children involved in rowing, basketball, AFL and swimming, the passion and commitment these young athletes demonstrate is inspiring.  Getting out of bed every morning at 5am, or in some cases earlier, for training, whatever the weather.  Spending over 20 hours a week perfecting technique and improving fitness and then competing at weekends.  The discipline, focus and dedication to their sport is admirable.

Even with e-sports, many hours of practice go into perfecting the skills, teaming up with others from all parts of the globe to play together in smaller competitions, aiming to get enough points to attend the World Cup of their favourite game.

My children have inspired me to push myself out of my comfort zone and see how far I can take my fitness.  I have always loved playing and participating in sports such as hockey, skiing, running, cycling and swimming.  I have also competed in sprint triathlons in both the UK and Australia, however I never thought I would sign up for a half Ironman triathlon – but I have!

On Saturday 2 May 2020, I will be swimming 1.9kms in the Indian Ocean, cycling 90kms and then running 21.1kms.  I am hoping to complete the course in under 7 hours 30 minutes (if I don’t then I’ll be asked to stop!).  As someone with what’s known as ‘fast twitch’ muscles this endurance event is a massive challenge.

To set myself up with the best possible chance of completing it there are three essential factors:

  • A clear purpose (the why)
  • A plan (what I need to do)
  • Taking action (consistently)

My purpose is twofold – firstly to improve my fitness with the added benefit of losing some weight; secondly to support several charities by fundraising through my network.

Having no knowledge of what it takes to complete a half ironman I have used the internet to find a suitable training plan.  As I couldn’t find one that was for 16 weeks that matched my starting level of fitness I decided to combine three of the best plans and with the help of my daughter worked out the best routine.  Having said that, it is flexible enough to accommodate changes to my weekly routine such as when I need to travel for work.

Finally, taking CONSISTENT action.  This is probably my biggest challenge as I get bored easily.  To overcome this, I have a training buddy, Michelle, who completed a half Ironman 6 years ago.  She helps to keep me on track and we meet up for at least 3 training sessions a week.

I am now 7 weeks into my training with just over 10 weeks to go until race day.  The reality of what I have taken on is just starting to sink in.  The physical and mental energy required is much higher than I thought so I am learning to adjust my diet, work routine and rest to give myself the best possible chance of getting to the 2nd of May as prepared as I can be for one of the biggest physical challenges of my life.

If you would like to follow my progress and/or contribute to the charities then comment below or send me a message on LinkedIn and I’ll be in touch with all the details.

Charlotte Mawle

Charlotte Mawle

Charlotte Mawle is a co-director of Change Optimised and mother of two teenage children. She is driven by a desire to help individuals thrive during change and supporting organisations to become future fit. She advocates for women in the workplace and she enjoys participating in sport and is currently training for her first half Ironman triathlon.

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