A Corporate Athlete® Course Graduate Story – Caylan Hord’s Road to a World Championship For a Normal Guy

One year ago last October, I just decided to train and compete in triathlons. Yes, I randomly make decisions like this, and my wife is always supportive yet skeptical. As I crafted my training plan, I chose to wake up five days a week at 4:30 AM to reduce the impact on my family and job – an insight I learned on prioritizing energy expenditure from the Human Performance Institute in 2012. My training was going well; however, I quickly realized that I was not a fan of biking and by mid-January found myself executing a full training program with no sport to compete in.

Going back to the drawing board, I began to think about what I truly loved doing instead of what was popular and accessible. I grew up on a small farm and loved being outside, in the woods, and hard manual labor. A couple of years earlier, I had enjoyed completing a couple of obstacle course challenges. As I searched for competitive obstacle course races, I found most had added an Elite Heat where prizes were given. From that point forward, I shifted my focus to obstacle training, running, and strength training.

I ran my first race finishing in the top 10 and realized I could actually be competitive in this sport. I was hooked! I spoke to my family about training to qualify for the World Championships in October. I would need their help with the kids, some long weekends of racing, and training time. My family graciously supported me, though not truly understanding my commitment and what I needed to do to accomplish such an auspicious goal.

With each race, I consistently finished in the top ten and expanded my training to working out in the mornings and now running after work 6 days a week. With each increase in training time there was less time with the family. I had achieved my goal to qualify and compete in the World Championship race, but something was missing. Always placing in the top ten, and usually top 3 in my division, I felt I should see more results and higher placing. I kept thinking, “I’m going to be competing against many individuals from around the world that are also finishing at the top of their divisions.” With that in mind, I increased training again resulting in longer runs, more intense workouts, more time researching training methods, watching videos, and more time away from my family. During this intense training, I felt I was in the best possible physical shape in my life.

Corporate Athlete® Course

I had attended a one-day program on energy management in 2012 where I decided to transform many aspects of my life, so couldn’t wait to experience the 2 ½ day Corporate Athlete® Course in Orlando. While in Orlando I continued training intensely and was in the best shape of my life. My races were going well but still something wasn’t right. I realized energy management is much more than just being physically healthy. I was not directing energy where it needed to go for myself to be a well-balanced, whole person. I committed 100% to the course and found myself in my hotel room for hours at night doing the homework. By the end of the 2 ½ days I had torn at every internal heart and soul string there was to pull on. As Dr. Loehr instructed, I went home and had the toughest conversation I had ever had with my wife in over 11 years. I had similar tough conversations with my leaders at work and many members of my family, as I was finally going to match my public voice to my private voice.

Turning Point

As a result of the course, I realized what had started 9 months prior as an intentional plan for my training to not impact my family had taken over as my passion for this new sport intensified. I was giving the sport and my work my best self, every day, and my family was getting what was left. Once I got home from the Corporate Athlete® course, I changed to a more balanced training program with less disruption to my family allowing me to prioritize them at the top of my list.

I had snapped myself out of the robotic, mechanical training regime that many athletes get into, and decided to be a normal person. I was committed to providing my family my best self, and if that meant my race results suffered, that was the sacrifice, not my family. With a renewed sense of purpose and focus in all dimensions – not just physically, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally –I felt more like a complete, balanced person in the subsequent two races. I had found my competitive edge, me – my best self.

OCR World Championships

The OCR World Championships is an 8.8 mile course with 50 obstacles and 3,500 foot evaluation changes with athletes from many countries competing. More than winning, I wanted to represent my country and my family. I was ready to run my race, and not be influenced by outside forces. Pushing through each obstacle, as I had envisioned thousands of times, I found myself in third place for almost the entire race.

With a quarter of a mile and six obstacles to go, I stood next to the guy that had been ahead of me the entire race. As I mentally pushed harder, I started to lag behind. I kept thinking, “I cannot let him beat me” and waited for him to make a mistake. Through all the cheering, on the third to last obstacle, I clearly heard my wife scream, “GO! He fell off!” and was in a dead sprint to the final two obstacles crossing the finish line placing second in the World in my division!

What I realized that day was that while I had struggled all day, mentally and physically, it wasn’t even me that won the race, but staying in the present moment and hearing my wife’s voice. I was more connected to my family and my best self on that day than ever before. My competitive edge is no secret training technique or eating something specific, but having aligned my public and private voice and being my best self with my family, day in and day out; as well as knowing that not only do they support me, but that they truly want me to do well and are just as much a part of my results as I am.