Do you ask questions to learn?
Do you ever ask questions of yourself that you’ve no idea how you will answer? When I stood at the start line of the 27th Marathon des Sables in 2012, with over 250 kilometres of sand, rock, and no doubt some life changing experiences ahead of me. I had no idea what this annual ultra-marathon would throw my way. I had to ask questions about a sport I knew nothing about, it was daunting.
Only 6 months earlier I was a footballer, and now, I was going to ask questions and receive answers I may not initially understand. I would be quite literally dropping myself into the deep end of ultra-endurance sports to tackle a week of running, walking, and whatever else was needed to get myself to the finish line.
The physical element of The Marathon des Sables made an impact on my life immediately, but it wasn’t until years later that I realised something I did in the months prior to my first ever running race, which would have such a profound affect on my life today. I would constantly ask questions whenever I came across someone who was a runner, had been to the desert, or had taken part in any type of endurance sports to learn all I could, this turned out to be my savour.
Without any experience of running, multistage events, or the Sahara desert, I felt like I had to ask more questions than I did seconds in the day. Instead of thinking I knew it all, I set out to find answers to what must have been hundreds of questions.
I was lost and searching for any type of advice, anywhere, and from anyone!
To get to the finish line, and achieve my goal, I knew I couldn’t let my ego, pride, or anything else stand in my way. I needed to learn, understand, and gain as much insight into anything that may help me cover the equivalent of six marathons in seven days, the would ask questions as part of my training.
Technical questions like, what’s the best way to attach gaiters to my shoes? To straight up simple, or what some people may think dumb questions like, What is the best toilet paper to use when doing a number two mid race?
All the information I gathered was helpful in some way or another, it was knowledge to help me overcome setbacks, not make rookie mistakes, or simply provide my mind with the confidence that I’ve done all I could.
If you’re wondering, wet wipes are the best for number twos in the desert…
Not only if you’re preparing to compete in the MDS should you be asking questions, but I believe we all should ask questions on a regular basis every single day of our lives.
As a child, I learnt much of what I know today through asking how, why, and what CONSTANTLY!
Somewhere along the line a lot of people lose their inquisitive mind, stop asking questions, and simply think they know it all, or know enough.
Why you should ask questions
- If we are not learning, are we growing?
- If we are not growing, are we living?
- If we are not living, what are we doing with this precious life we’ve been given then?
- Asking questions can lead to knowledge.
- Knowledge is power.
- Power is the ability to make change!
Lets all begin to ask questions again, so we can receive the gift of knowledge, and share this power to make a positive change to our communities, our own lives and the world!
Live, Love, and Smile!