It’s an idyllic life, the cruising game. You board at misty Southampton and wake up the next day to the splash of the anchor running out in the calm waters of an exotic island in the stream. A stroll out onto the balcony of your cabin reveals Guernsey on the starboard bow. Not Antigua or Barbados perhaps but hey…
On this occasion the location is academic, a backdrop to the serious business of the IT Directors Forum on board the liner Aurora where I am giving some talks entitled “The State of the Internet” and chairing some debates on Consumerisation of the Workplace. More on these anon.
On the first evening we were treated to a panel session with Kelly Sotherton, Sally Gunnell, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Daley Thompson and Steve Cram. Good entertainment with the Olympics coming up.
The one thing that really stuck in my mind concerned the degree of focus each of these athletes had to have in order to become the champions that they are. Daley Thompson in particular had seemed to inspire the others. His training regime for the Decathlon involved 5 hours a day, 350 days a year including Christmas Day. He would make 4,000 practice javelin throws (chucks?) every month! One would think he had a few in his quiver (?)and that he had someone to run and collect them all once thrown.
The point is that to become a champion he had to be totally concentrated on his objective. I mentioned this to one of the conference delegates and who replied that everyone on board almost certainly regularly worked 18 hour days on their way to C-Level status within their organisations. 4,000 throws a month though is serious focus.
It’s a lesson to us all and if it’s all we remember from the two days of hard conferencing then it will have been a very worthwhile use of the time.
PS Usual prize goes to whoever can guess the name of the person with me in the photo. Also header photo is a little indistinct on this occasion – call it art.