Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Different Kind of Team

For the last 6 months I have been part of a totally different kind of team - not the working variety but the exercise variety:-)  At a friends 40th in October last year I suggested we put in a team for the Oxfam Trailwalker.  3 of us keen as from that night - the 4th jumped on board as soon as we had the time to ask - the "Adventure Angels" were up for the challenge!  Establishing our team was the easy part - the logistics of training together for a 100km event however proved a little more difficult. Over the months we have worked hard on training both as individuals and as a team.  We have explored many amazing tracks along the way and have kept a blog of our training.  We have become close friends, learnt a lot about each other and shared many stories along the way.  We have pushed ourselves (and our feet!) to the limit, both time and energy wise.  We have dedicated our weekends to training and of course fundraising - $2000 being the required amount to raise to enter Oxfam Trailwalk.  So what have I learnt from this experience...
  • We can do anything we set our minds too - "Impossible is Nothing!"
  • "Pain is temporary but pride is forever!"
  • That although we all knew we could achieve the 100km as individuals, we needed to support each other along the way to make it as a team
  • Our support team was VITAL in getting us to the finish line
  • We all had amazingly supportive whānau who helped us along the way as well as never complaining (well not much anyway...) about the hours we spent training
  • Facebook is an INCREDIBLE tool for fundraising!
  • Blister plasters cost LOTS of money:-)

I have continued to reflect about what it means to me personally to be part of a team. Along the way I have realised that what I perceive to be "team" can be totally different from our others perceive it.  In my role as a Facilitator for Teachers I am constantly reminded of how important it is to work as a team.  Some teams struggle to find the balance while other teams have it sorted.  I am yet to find the perfect recipe for making that team work 100% of the time, but when I think about the mixture it took to get the Adventure Angels across the finish line it gives me more ideas about what makes a team work.  For me, it is  not about positional leadership, it is about supporting each other 100% of the time and knowing we all have different opinions that are worth sharing.  It is about truly listening to each other and valuing one another as individuals.  Most importantly it is about building relationships and the fun it can be taking the time to do that.  For the Adventure Angels it was all about walking - what strategies can teaching teams use to build relationships and spend time listening to each other???  How about entering the Oxfam Trailwalk in 2012???  :-)

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