Hi! I'm Joris

Newsletter #22 - Two Competitions!

Published over 1 year ago • 3 min read

Newsletter #22 - Two Competitions!

Last week I participated in 2 competitions:

  • A marathon in the city of Khon Kaen in Thailand
  • A speech contest in my local Toastmasters club in Bangkok

Let's talk marathon first


The marathon was in many ways an eye-opener:

TLDR: My first marathon was pain, my second was fun. Enjoy it during, and feel mentally and physically refreshed after. Don't judge on doing something once!

The prep:

  • My preparation wasn't as good as my previous marathon in Stockholm, where I ran 3 times per week
  • But, I decided to have fun, be outgoing, and take it one step at a time. Every step is one step closer to the finish.
  • The day before I was sick, I went to bed at 8pm taking a paracetamol, not thinking I would actually wake up at 1.45am to run the marathon.


  • My lack of preparation got offset by two elements: the weather and my mindset
  • I wanted to run a tropical marathon, instead I got an ideal 12 to 17 degrees. In my first marathon in Stockholm I wanted it to be cool and it was actually sunny and around 30 degrees
  • I didn't care so much about my food or drinks, I wasn't obnoxious, I didn't bring a drinking bag, I walked at the food stations instead of trying to drink while running, ...
  • But most of all, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the first hours seeing the spectators, running in a big crowd, being pushed forward by the people. I had a good, short, empowering convo with a Zambian guy, and then...
  • I went to take 3 hours for myself, put on a podcast and enjoyed the sunrise while running mostly by myself (with people spread evenly every 10 meters more or less) on a piece of highway in the middle of nowhere.
  • With a baby, I don't often have 3 hours for myself, now I had more than 5 hours for myself.
  • In the last hour, I went to enjoying again. There were more spectators on the track, and I cheered them on when they cheered me on. Cheering each other on and bringing each other at higher levels of energy and adrenaline.
  • And eventually I arrived in 4.40 minutes, where my beautiful wife and baby were waiting for me.
  • And the best part, because I arrived at twenty to eight in the morning, we still had a full day ahead of us.


  • The same day and the next I was stiff. Obviously.
  • But what is remarkable is that I woke up feeling different the next day, re-born like a different person. My skin, my hair feel different, my torso muscles looked different, my hunger felt different, like real hunger, not just a desire to eat. As well as mentally, I felt re-born and refreshed.
  • I want to run more marathons, because it's a fun way to explore a new city, and for the re-born benefits mentioned before
  • This was my second marathon. I hated my first, I loved my second. Don't judge after doing something once!

Speech Contest

I decided to join the speech contest because:

  • Competition drives me to push harder
  • We'll leave Bangkok this summer so this was the last opportunity until I've joined a new club in a new location (deadlines work!)

My focus was humor and energy, but it turns out the former is harder to achieve than I thought.

I nevertheless enjoyed going on stage. And that's what most important, enjoying the act of doing something new, of going out of comfort.

I took a topic the audience should be familiar with: learnings from Toastmasters. Though after practicing for a couple of days, I felt the speech wasn't as personal as it should be.

A personal story with deep troughs and high peaks, (eg how I was ruining my life and how Toastmasters saved me) would have been a lot better. Now I was merely sharing improvements I did.

And that's what the winner did do, she gave a very personal story.

I ended up in 3rd place, which is satisfactory for me, though I know I can do better... Next Time!

Similar to the marathon, the next day I feel energised, refreshed, maybe a sense of relief and freedom after spending a couple of days intensely preparing.

In short: take more risk,

as mentioned before!

Hi! I'm Joris

This is my weekly braindump. You can read it, but I don't write it for you, I write it for me.

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