NAVIGATION

OCR: Big Fish in a Small Pond – Lessons Learned from 7 years in OCR

Share

bigfishsmallfishWe are nearing the end of yet another year. As the obstacle racing community starts to shift from muddy weekends to holiday cheer, it is as good a time as any to share a few lessons I have learned over the last seven years in the industry and more importantly in the digital space.

It’s Still A Small Pond

Every day on Mud Run Guide I write about the obstacle racing industry. I watch the trends, evolution, and progress (or lack of). I spent earlier this year watching ratings for shows like Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge and wrote about what they meant on a larger scale for the industry. I watch social media each day and watch those at different levels argue about what “direction” the industry or “sport” should take. I spend A LOT of time observing, then reporting on what I see.

At the end of it all, while participation in OCR is still active, and television shows continue to emerge, the REAL Industry overall is still weekend warriors who could give a crap about a governing body, athletes making a living at the racing and more. They want to have fun, get a medal, and have some good pictures and war stories to share at the office. Nothing more.

For those of us who do find ourselves in the arguments and discussions about governing bodies (yes still are many trying to be at play), athlete salaries, sponsorships, and more we are the vast minority. We need to remember that we are still in a very small pond. We might feel like we are big fish, but the pond although growing is still small.

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Recently, in a few conversations and posts, I have seen people saying that they are going to jump into <insert form of media> and make money in OCR. I can attest that after seven years around OCR and six years of writing I finally feel like I am in a semi-comfortable place. You are never really comfortable in a media position.

I see many jumping into the media realm of this sport expecting to have a voice, make money, and people to just notice them. In my experience this doesn’t happen right away, it doesn’t occur in a year or two. It doesn’t happen occasionally putting out content. It doesn’t come from a single popular article. It comes from a constant grind, a steady head in the game and fingers on the keyboard or hours behind the camera. Success doesn’t just come, it is earned.

In every interview that Amelia Boone, arguably the industry’s largest superstar, participates in she attributes success to hard work and dedication over the long run. Again success doesn’t just come.

The part more people don’t realize is it took years for me to make my first paycheck solely based on writing. Yes, years. First, it was years of writing for myself and others (for free), putting my work out there wherever and whenever I could. Every time I was turned down, I learned and worked harder. When I saw people around me more successful, I sought guidance and mentorship. I don’t know it all, far from it. I have learned to take my lumps.

Good Work Trumps All

A while ago I decided to make a change. I spent a lot of time thinking about how my work would be perceived and if it would be “liked” by people etc… As often told, you cannot change others opinions of you, but you can focus on yourself. I decided to make the shift, instead of pandering to “likes” and accolades, I decided just to focus on “doing good work.”

I made the mental shift from working for some invisible award or recognition to just producing the best work I could and letting the work speak for itself. The change has been powerful and in the process made me shed a lot of ego. For good work trumps all at the end of the day. That should always be the goal, and the industry will only be better for it.

Without Passion There is Nothing

Anyone working in the obstacle racing industry will tell you they are not in it for the money. Because in reality there is a lot less than most people think. Most race companies operate on a razor thin budget a common thread that extends to in the whole industry.

So why instead of money are people doing it? Passion. However the moment you lose your passion for this industry it’s not a good place to be. Passion is what keeps the industry evolving, and many of the people in it have more passion than I have seen in any other industry.

While the majority of the participants are just in it for fun, have their fun and leave. The people behind the curtain working to bring all the parts together are the glue of the industry. We just have to remember we are still in a small pond.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of DirtinYourSkirt.com. She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of MudRunGuide.com. She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
This entry was posted in Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OCR: Big Fish in a Small Pond – Lessons Learned from 7 years in OCR

  1. Pingback: Margaret Schlachter shares some insights | The Obstacle Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to posts:


  •   Hyper Vest SXY and FIT from Hyperwear.com
  • Instagram

    • Pretty impressed with the colors and beauty of this simple salad.  Created with our bounty from the Salt Lake Downtown Farmers Market and backyard.
::
Beets
Fennel bulb
Kale
Cucumber
Mint (our yard)
Parsley (our yard)
::
Created a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, lemon pepper, and salt.
::
So simple and was awesome with local zucchini and beef and liver meatballs all from local farmers pasture raised and pasture finished.
::
It’s always after talking with good people for upcoming podcast interviews I get motivated to try something new. But more like I get too much at the farmers market and get creative with meals in our house.
::
Cooking is joyful and knowing the people behind the food makes it all the more nourishing when your food has a story.
::
#farmersmarket #rawsalad #eattherainbow #beetfennelsalad #eatlocalgrown #localslc #slcfarmersmarket #foodislove
    • Can you live in ketosis while living on the road? Can seasonal eating and keto go together? What’s really the deal with sugar alcohols that seem to be all the rage?
::
Leanne Vogel of @healthfulpursuit is back on the podcast today catching up with me since we last chatted nearly 80 episodes ago! On episode 30!
::
Since then she and her husband downsized their life, moved into an RV, and travel North America. We chat about the change and her ever evolving take on the Keto Diet.
::
Find it on your favorite player or temp link in profile.
::
#healthfulpursuit #ketodiet #ketolifestyle #leannevogel #womenpodcasters #ketosisterhood #ketoforwomen #ketoontheroad #sugaralcohols
    • While working on some website updates to coaching offering today I came across these #flashbackfriday photos. Honestly, I was hesitant to share but a friend encouraged me.
::
These were from a photo shoot I did shortly before the launch of my book in 2014. I did a series of headshots and promo shots for various press.
::
While the photos exude confidence, honestly this was one of the most uncomfortable moments in recent history.
::
I don’t wear makeup much, so the when the makeup artist put what felt like layers of gunk caked on my face I looked in the mirror thinking - who the hell is this? - but soldiered on.
::
The photographer kept prompting me to connect more with the camera and look deeply into it. I was freaking out inside. But tried my best to keep it cool. It was frustrating and at times I wanted to cry. I remember just wanting it all to be over.
::
For years I have kept these photos to myself feeling like a fraud. But only now realize, what she captured that day is part of who I am. And pushing myself to do the shoot and now to share it is part of my journey.
::
The fact is I look great in the photos. They are from a bit of a different phase in my life, but it’s still me and part of my journey.
::
Pictures don’t always tell the whole story and I share this because even the most curated photo could have a completely different story behind it.
::
#beinghonest #vulnerability #morethanmeetstheeye #mentalhurdles #multifaceted #onceanathlete #authorphoto #fitnessworld #selflove #flashback #perfectionisbullshit #nooneisperfect
    • Our mugs are currently firing over at @meanmugspotteryco tomorrow I get to see how they came out!
::
Before we fired this morning we offered the kiln goddess offerings for a good fire 🔥
::
I could not live the women behind the scenes at Mean Mugs. Every step of the process is a gift.
::
#meanmugs #handmademugs #madewithlove #kilngoddess #dirtinyourskirt #slcmade #womenownedbusiness #womensupportingwomen #artisanmade #kilnfired
    • New podcast out with Natalie Ross of @dreamfreedombeauty and @selfcareclubbb talking about why it’s important to follow your truth, shine light on your shadow, and self care.
::
#dreamfreedombeauty #selfcareclub #womenpodcast #podcast #selfcare #elders #lightworker💫
    • My body and mind in meditation 🧘🏻‍♀️ up in the Uintas Mountains ⛰. During a 25 minute practice today my friends captured this photo after they got out of the water doing some Wim Hof Training.
::
Love friends who continue to push boundaries and grow. A day of mindfulness, consciousness expanding conversations, mountain lakes, and vitamin community.
::
📸: @shellz883
::
#utahgram #uintas #meditations #musemeditation #mindfulnessmeditation #mountaintherapy #getoutside #natureiseverything #selfcaresunday #meditating
    • Mug update! Went over to @meanmugspotteryco today to see how the project is coming along and it was glazing day! Most of the mugs are being baked or out of the initial bake and onto glazing.
::
Glazing is an amazing bit of alchemy knowing the dull looking raw glaze will pop into a vibrant color after its glazed!
::
So excited for the firing process and for you all to get your hands on one soon when they go up for sale.
::
These mugs have so much work and love put into them. I know you will love them as much as we do!
::
#meanmugspottery #slcmade #womenownedbusiness #madewithlove❤️ #utahgram #womenhelpingwomen #handmademug #potterymaking #dirtinyourskirt #behindthescenes
    • Lisa Menna of Cause to Wonder joined me to talk about how she travels to the most remote places on earth promoting equality for women through magic.
::
HELPING WOMEN BRINGS GOOD LUCK.
::
That is her message and she wants to spread the message throughout the world 🌍 🌎
::
Many of the places she travels to women hold no rights and even until recently in some places husbands could murder their wives with no recourse.
::
Lisa is working from the ground up to change the conversation. Find the episode on the website or your favorite player.
::
#womenpodcasters #changeforabetterworld #womenhelpingwomen #changemaker #helpingwomen #magician
    • The precariously hanging branch held only by the limbs of the standing dead tree.
::
I feel like there is a metaphor there. But as the trail passed right under it all I could think is...
::
I hope this isn’t the moment it falls.
::
#widowmaker #trailthoughts #utahgram #emigrationcanyon #trailthursday #hiddeninthewoods #trailadventure #utahhiking #adventurewomen #trees🌲 #treescape

    Follow Me!