A second chance to grow stronger.

She didn’t know it was impossible so she did it.

“If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you”

That’s probably the conclusion I should make after telling an incredible story. Unfortunately there is nothing incredible, that’s what I tell myself when I wake up to make sure both my brain and body know that challenges are just a temporary pain.

The sounds that constantly followed me through my personal and professional development were “Why do you set your goals so high?”, “You have a pretty face you don’t need to work that much”, “Why always do extreme sports or activities, calm down, chill out”.

My inner self was screaming to answer, “My goals are not that high, maybe yours are too low”, “pretty face and hard work have literally no correlation. You think a girl can’t be so-called pretty and build up a strong brain?”, “Sports and danger make my hurt beat so that I know I am alive”.

However the socially respectable person I am politely answers, “I don’t know, that’s just who I am. Don’t worry it will go away.”

I have always wanted to do an MBA, not for the salary raise (I can’t complain), not for a career change (very happy there too) but just to absorb knowledge and let my brain the opportunity to be stimulated at the same extreme levels I had previously pushed my body. (And also unconsciously prove people around me wrong. Stereotypes about women have changed.)

That’s when all the dots connect: MBA is to your head what professional sport is to your body: a second chance to grow stronger.

Here are the similarities:

1 — You know there is a finish line, different disciplines and a lot of unpredictable events on your journey. You just need to be ready… and go.

2 — The opening ceremony is similar to receiving your athlete pack. You finally realize you are part of the competition. Looking around at the athletes against which you’ll be racing but also the friends that will mentally help you overcome the pain. The tension starts to rise but we are only waiting for the whistle to free us from the starting blocks.

3 — There is a perpetual paradox between the desire to fully enjoy the city/student life or fully enjoy the library hours and group meetings. Once again we can align this reflection to the triathlete: you can’t choose between swimming, biking or running, you need the full package to complete the race.

4 — There is no traffic jam along the extra mile. The actual challenge in a triathlon is the training process, the long hours of extreme effort, the psychological and physical restrictions preceding the competition. Once the day arrives it is only pure joy and excitation. The MBA was the preparation for my life race, this extra mile I look at with satisfaction and happiness knowing I have the prerequisites to overcome the challenges and play an active role in the society.