Sunil Tanna


Sunil Tanna

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As I mention in my book Weight Loss Journey, I first read about BHAGs in an excellent business book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, which is a great book available from Amazon: Anyway, BHAGs stands for "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" and in the world of business they correspond to companies setting themselves extremely ambitious goals. These serve as a focus for the organization, and help them achieve what once seemed impossible.

In terms of improving my fitness, I have found that setting myself my own BHAGs has served as focus for me, and really helped motivate me.

Here are some of the BHAGs, I've set myself:
  • Santa Dashes

    These are basically cross-country runs, dressed as Santa Claus, and done to raise money for charity. They generally aren't serious races, usually have a good family atmosphere, and are a lot of fun.

    There are perhaps the least challenging of the BHAGs that I've undertaken, but don't underestimate the power of committing yourself to running a few miles, non-stop, and in public, when you know that your fitness level is still low.

    Here's a picture of me taking part in the Iain Rennie Santa Dash in December 2011, in Wycombe Rye Park.

    Santa Dash 2011

  • Bournemouth to Boscombe Swim

    I've now completed this swim twice (in 2011 and 2012), and I hope to do it again in 2013.

    The idea is that you swim from Bournemouth to Boscombe pier. It's a distance of about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers), and it can be quite cold because you are swimming in the English Channel.

    The first time that I did the swim, in 2011, the original date in July was postponed to September because of extreme weather conditions. I think this may have actually helped me, because by September the sea had had the whole Summer to warm up, so was a couple of degrees warmer.

    In 2012 the swim actually took place in July, and again weather conditions were bad. The sea was a lot colder than last time, and a lot of swimmers didn't complete the course. I did manage it, although I was probably a little blue by the end.

    The Bournemouth swim is organized by the British Heart Foundation, and is an extremely well-organized event. The 2013 entry page is here.

    Here's a picture of me coming out of the sea at the end of the swim (beside Boscombe pier) in 2011:

    Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim

  • Nuts Challenge

    This is a crazy cross-country assault course with lots of obstacles, most of them muddy.

    You can do 1, 2, 3, or 4 laps. Before hand, they told us that each lap was about 7km (4.3 miles), however they lengthened the course without telling us until afterwards, and each lap ended up being 8.9km (5.5 miles).

    I did my first Nuts Challenge (I'm definitely going to do it again) in September 2012. Big lesson: It's not just about running - lots of upper-body work involved!

    Here's a picture of me approaching the finish line of the Nuts Challenge. In case you're wondering, the reason that I'm soaking wet is that I just waded through a lake!

    Nuts Challenge 2012

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