For several years I have worked as a lawyer in a prestigious firm. One of the promising companies, a lot of work. My job sometimes required me to stay there from 9 a.m to 1 a.m. Understanding that it’s not what I want to do for a life was more clear with every single day. And I decided to quit my job.
With a friend of mine, we came up with an idea to be some kind of bridge between students and internships/employment in top companies. We wanted to expand students’ boundaries by educating and providing necessary training. It wasn’t easy: some people didn’t like it, others didn’t understand why we are doing that. Later on, we transformed our idea to help children from underprivileged families with things they need for school. The question was how to raise the money for that.
Having seriously interested in running for several years, I surfed the internet for something new. The article about Iron Man popped up. From the news, we’ve heard about a man in the USA, James Lawrence, who participated in 50 Ironman in 50 days, in 50 different states. His initial goal was to raise money to fight child obesity by building a sport centre with all necessary equipment. And he actually did.
So what is Ironman? “First, swim for 3.8 km, ride a bike for 180 km and run 42 km in one day for seven consecutive days”. Unbelievable!
But I was challenged. There were only a few people from our country who participated in this event in different countries. But, never happened in here. When I looked at these terrifying numbers for the first time, I recalled my running experience for 42 km. It was truly unforgettable.
And not mentioning anything about other two type of sports. So I started preparing myself from the middle of June to the middle of August, which is not much time. In June, I got the membership to nearest swimming pool and started my new routine waking up at 5:30 to go there. The pool was 25 metres, so in the beginning after a few metres I had to take a catch my breath. I made it later.
There was a lack of people and help. We needed promotion. We applied for crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo and different local sites and newspapers. But it doesn’t work as we expected. No one believed. People were calling me saying “You wouldn’t make it.” We wanted to involve more big news site, but they were asking “Sergey, what would you do if you wouldn’t complete triathlon”. And I didn’t have anything to answer and ended up sometimes questioned myself too.
The day has come in 2 months of preparation. In the beginning, I was just concentrated on the distance, not paying attention to time. Endless thoughts were continuously coming to my mind. First and second days of triathlon were ok, on the third day I got sick. After two days surprisingly got recovered. The sixth day was ok, I even finished my distance on Red Bull event and they cheered me up. The seventh day was the hardest. However, I made it!
I became the first person who made it in the conditions of Almaty. I was participating but didn’t really know what will be in the end. It was confusing. But then when I did it, slowly ice started melting. The news about my accomplishment was published. By 27-28 August I completed the whole triathlon and by 2 September, 48 pack of stationery for kids were bought by raised money. Half of that night I spent distributing all stationery things to the leaflets. When on the next day I saw faces of students and their parents’ words of gratitude, I truly understood why I did it.
After that, I switched to realization of the project, which I wanted to do for a quite a long time. We called it ‘Smart Way’. It was about increasing possibility of students to get an internship to the top companies. We managed to raise two international companies: Mars, Sberbank and one HR consultancy agency. It was a real fail. Initially, there were 120 participants from targeted 4 top universities of Almaty. Nothing was indicating an upcoming fail. But as it was the beginning of December, I completely forgot that university students tend to get earlier exam pass required from the administration. Thus, in the beginning of December, the halls were just empty. Speakers from respected companies are there, but there were no respected students. Then I had to terminate that project. I’ve learnt my lesson.
Learning from my own mistakes, I managed to make the next one in spring. I already knew the whole process, ins and outs. This time I did everything by myself. From talking with companies to hanging out the leaflets. 300-350 participants, 10 international companies. It was a success. The sessions contained theoretical and practical skills of a potential intern and workshop on how to get a real job in the company of your dream.
So along the way, I found out that education sphere is quite appealing to me and luckily I got the offer of a director of Educational agency. There is a focus on English language courses and preparation for international examinations and for entering to top universities of our country, KBTU and Nazarbayev University.
We are quite young agency, so we do have a lot of plans. Just recently we finished the realization of the project dedicated to school students ‘Find Your Way’. It’s one day free-charge conference, aimed at guiding students with professional orientation. The first part contains talks of representatives of different professions, second part includes information about grants, opportunities abroad and youth volunteering organizations and the third part was a chance to take IELTS/SAT trial tests. 300 people, 15 companies. It was a success.
Recently someone asked me whether I’m going to dare to complete Ironman again. The answer is absolute ‘Yes’. ‘Yes’ to official Ironman in a foreign country. ‘Yes’ to a personal coach. And ‘Yes’ to training 3-4 months before the triathlon.
We are the ones who set boundaries for ourselves and we are the ones who in charge of our own life. If you get to realization that the work you have been craving for a long time, doesn’t feel that way anymore, think twice: maybe it’s time to try something new and find out what drives you now. Just try and don’t be afraid of failures, they are the best teachers. So just don’t limit yourself and do your best in everything you are doing.