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

    • Donna Cameron was always nice but realized being nice and being kind were two different things.
.
She started an experiment - a year of living kindly - and blogged about it along the way. She researched the science behind kindness as she experienced kindness in real life.
.
Her experiment led to a book deal and ultimately her book - A Year of Living Kindly - out next week.
.
She joined me on the podcast to talk about kindness - both giving and receiving it - and how we can truly change the world with the power of kindness for ourselves and others.
.
#kindnessmatters #podcast🎧 #gratitude #spreadingkindness #livinginkindness #womenauthors #kindnessismagic #kindnesschallenge #kindnesschangestheworld #womensvoices
    • It’s fall in the mountains! It’s hard to believe that wildfires are taking over more than 70,000 acres of wilderness and inching closer to homes about an hour from our house.
.
Lucky for me the wind changed direction making the air clean enough here for a morning trail run with my favorite running partners.
.
Can you spot one of our trail dogs?
.
#fallcolors #utahfall #millcreekcanyon #womenwhotrailrun #optoutside #utahisrad #trailrunningviews #weekdayrun #selfcare #trailtherapy #utahgram #womenrunstrong
    • New hidden gem in Salt Lake City... @elevatedfloat
.
A friend recently told me about this magical float, apothecary, massage, and overall rad place. Like walking back into VT in downtown SLC.
.
This place is one you have to see to believe. After driving by it for months (it’s right down the road from @meanmugspotteryco) I finally got to step in, take a float, and have a great conversation with the owner (who happens to be from VT) and some on tap Kombucha. Some might say stepping into the apothecary is like stepping into a hobbit house but for me it immediately felt like home.
.
I can’t wait to go back and so happy that @primal.love.warrior told me about this place and I was able to experience it.
.
I’ve floated before at other places and each float is illuminating. This float an interesting theme came up. I constantly had to remind myself I can take this time for myself, it’s not selfish, it’s nourishing, it’s self-care, and I deserve it.
.
Now I need to sit with why the feeling of guilt and not worthy of the time for myself completely came up.
.
It’s amazing what complete silence brings up. If you haven’t floated, I recommend it. If you find a magical place like @elevatedfloat 💯 go!!
.
#floattank #floattherapy #elevatedfloatcenterslc #slc #slchiddengems #smallbusiness #apothecary #feelingthevibe #findyourtribe #floattanklove #saltlakeisrad #selfcare #selfcarematters
    • Danielle and I met in Nicaragua both muddy, sleep deprived, and having the time of our lives at @thesurvivalrun working on the race.
.
It was only later I found out she was a world renowned Raw Food Chef who has a @tedx_official talk and has traveled and taught raw food around the world.
.
I invited her on the podcast to talk about her passion for food and her work. We recorded at the beginning of the summer and it’s been fun experimenting with some of her recipes this summer and adding more diversity into our diet.
.
While I’m not planning to go plant-based anytime soon it’s great to get a different perspective on food, some new tools in my food tool belt, and new ideas.
.
Even if you aren’t plant-based you might get inspired by a recipe or two @pachavega shares on this episode!
.
#podcast #rawfood #plantbased #pachavega #keeplearningkeepgrowing #womenpodcast #foodwisdom #rawfoodchef #rawfooddiet #rawfoodtraining
    • Mountain Adventure Journal: This summer a group of friends made a decision. We wanted to spend more time together, in nature, in the mountains, doing fun things.
⛰
Nearly weekly we have ventured to the Uintas for hiking, fishing, exploring, swimming, and good vitamin D and Community.
⛰
Yesterday was our most ambitious outing covering over 15 miles, hours of fishing, and high elevation.
⛰
Fueling for a 12-hour backcountry adventure was a little tastier with @drinkorgain Simple Bars. Clean, simple, plant-based bars with 12g of Organic Protein that helped me bounce back after a frustrating fishing line tangle.
⛰
As I jumped up and down (literally like a child in frustration) I remembered I hadn’t eaten in a while and took the moment, sat on a rock and enjoyed the scenery and a OrgainBar then went on to catch three more fish before running back to the car finishing the journey.
⛰
I’ll be picking up another box at orgain.com and using code RAISETHEBAR to save 30% before 9/30 to have a few bars to fuel some upcoming adventures (more on that soon)
⛰
#mountainadventures #fishinggirls #uintas #optoutside #womenwhohike #getpickywithyourpassion #drinkorgain #ambosimpbar #ambcollab #mountainwoman #backcountryfishing #nature_brilliance #outdoorwomen
    • Fancy is currently dreaming of her next adventure. After a weekend home she is already itching to be back in the mountains - running, fishing, cuddling, and chashing squirrels into trees.
⛰
She is ready to adventure, where are your favorite places to backpack with dogs?
🐕
#adventuredog #boardercollie #hikingdogsofinstagram #ruffwear #backpackingdog #dirtinyourskirt #backpackingutah #uintas #weekendadventures #reiproject1440 #campingdog #dogswhohike
    • Anne Champagne @annechampagne made @spartan history when she crossed the finish line at the Stoneham Ultra Beast. She outright won the race by over 45 minutes!
.
Only one other time since the series began in 2010 has a woman outright won a Spartan race. That was @fayestenning_ocr in Tuxedo, NY Spartan Sprint in 2016.
.
Anne sat down to talk about the race, training, her background, and goals for the rest of the season.
.
UPDATE: actually more than one time before has a woman outright won a Spartan Race the initial info I got from Spartan was wrong and @reakolbl actually outright won a couple events in 2017 in Hawaii and day 2 Tahoe Beast. My apologies and correction will be noted next episode on air :) Anne is still the first and only woman to outright win an Ultra Beast.
.
#podcast #ocr #spartanrace #spartan #inspiringwomen #obstacleracing #womenrunning #ultrabeast #obstacleracingwomen #northmanocr
    • Even though I don’t have kids and I’m not in school anymore this time always feels like the end of summer.
.
It’s always a time to think about the adventures and reflect. Time to clean some of the well worn and well loved summer gear before the one or two last big adventures and start to begin to pull out the fall/winter gear.
.
The theme of this summer has been recapturing and cultivating the love of just doing. Finding joy in the moment and just being in nature. It’s been about recapturing a love of trailrunning... this time with no goal, no race to train for, and no invisible dragon 🐉 I’m running after.
.
For the first time in forever I’ve been out fishing, hiking, and running for pure joy.
.
It’s been a huge summer of growth in that aspect. At the same time other parts of my life have been extremely challenging.. the yin and yang of it all.
.
But it’s fun to sit, reflect, and know some good miles have been run, yummy fish caught, and quality family time had.
.
#naturelovers #optoutside #getoutside #utahisrad #fisherwoman #hiking #backpacking #windetergent #findingadventure #adventurewomen #utahgram #uintas #fallreflections
    • The world can be so chaotic... nature reminds us of the simple and real complexities in this world. It’s so incredibly easy to get sucked into the latest dumpster fire online. Sometimes it feels like a sport.
.
Then you step away, step into nature, drive by it actually burning - living in the West - and you realize how insignificant our online world and online fueds are.
.
Instead I realize the things that really matter, the tactial things like catching a fish, petting my dog, stumbling on a trail, picking up trash, and the people who are around us everyday when we remember to put the phone down.
.
I love social media, I get to share a message, get to share my world, my work, and hopefully through that work help create a better version of myself and the world around me.
.
I interview incredible people who constantly remind me all the ways I can be a better person. A kinder person, and as one author wrote remind me to live for my eulogy not my resume. Weird sounding at first but living how I want to be remembered as a person not my accolades.
.
Time in nature is a reset and today I was grateful for the time IRL (in real life) instead of spiraled into a dumpster fire on social media.
.
#grateful #gratitude #natureheals

    Follow Me!