Campaign UK - - NEWS - JON O’DON­NELL Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, ESI Com­mer­cial

Long, long ago in a me­dia ca­reer far, far away, I was the size of a small sub­ur­ban house. Close to be­ing as tall ly­ing down as stand­ing up.

My sal­va­tion came in the form of my daugh­ter, and the over­whelm­ing de­sire to see her grow up with a fa­ther who did more than just teach her how to make a Greggs sausage roll sand­wich.

A friend of mine was train­ing for the Hyde Park triathlon and in­sisted that I join him – so I did. It was only a short dis­tance but, given my cur­rent state, I needed to train hard to get to the start line. Lit­tle did I know that triathlons would be­come my se­cret work weapon. Like all de­cent habits, it didn’t take long to move on to the hard stuff.

So why is this my se­cret work weapon? Well, for me, the gold is in the train­ing. The sheer vol­ume means you have to live a (fairly) dis­ci­plined life­style. Ev­ery late night means you prob­a­bly miss a

day’s train­ing; a

night at the Brits, you prob­a­bly miss a week. So you choose your bat­tles more wisely and make them count.

The train­ing it­self is the real key, though, as each dis­ci­pline un­locks its own unique char­ac­ter­is­tic. Swim­ming is your per­sonal or­gan­iser. The monotony of it means that you can’t help but go through the day in your head, play­ing out sce­nar­ios, work­ing out the best way for­ward. Cy­cling is your in­ter­nal creative agency. Af­ter push­ing through the first painful 20 min­utes, your mind be­comes an open book for ideas. Most of my pre­sen­ta­tions, strate­gies and scripts are writ­ten while pow­er­ing through Mar­low. Fi­nally, the run is your men­tor, your prob­lem-solver; the voice that gives you

clar­ity in the fog of daily may­hem.

Of course, there are down­sides: the in­juries – of which, at my age, there are many. It’s at this point that I rely on my other se­cret work weapons: a good sense of hu­mour and be­ing sur­rounded by bril­liant peo­ple. Both usu­ally help.

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