The most common question in America: “So, what do you do for a living?”

Statistically, I am one of many Reebok employees but, in reality, my job entails so much more than the stats on paper.

Opportunity for growth is around every corner and, fortunately, I was recently in a position to realize how enjoying yourself and the people around you is crucial to that growth.

My most recent project was to collaborate with Austin Adventures, a travel company that has teamed up with the brand to offer Reebok Fitness Vacations. With a variety of destinations to choose from, it is a way to take “vacationing” to a whole new level – getting away from work, outside the gym, and having an experience of a lifetime.

So how did my trip to the middle of nowhere give me the tools to follow a successful career path? Well, hiking 12 miles to the top of Big Sky, Montana proved to be a lot more than just a fitness venture. It taught me how to elevate my career and enjoy every second of it:

Hiking Austin Adventures

How sharks, childhood memories and embarrassing wedding memories got me to the top

Sitting at the base of a mountain which towers over 10,000 feet above you is pretty intimidating, but so is being a new hire at a company which has thousands of employees.

Picture this: as our hiking group is looking at the Summit of Beehive Basin in Big Sky, we knew that it was going to take a lot of steps and a lot of sweat to get to the top. There was no magic escalator or shortcut that would get us there. I take a quick glance around at all the faces and slowly see comfort.

The more eye contact I make, the more we start to slowly believe in ourselves – almost as if we’re giving each other the silent chant, “We can do this… We got this.”

As we continue up the seven-hour hike, people hit different walls at different times. I would mentally start to fatigue and the negative thoughts would start swarming me and immediately my friend would rally behind me and keep me moving.

One step at a time, our group of hikers each told one story at a time to help get us through. Stories included tales of handfeeding sharks, awkward childhood memories and even embarrassing wedding experiences. My abs hurt even more than my legs from laughing so hard – and that’s saying a lot considering we climbed 17,393 flights of rocks.

Moments like these not only brought us closer together, but also made us completely forget about the hundreds of steps behind us and the thousands more we had left.

Tough work can feel easy in the right environment.
A joint achievement makes a group stronger.
Having fun and freeing your mind revitalizes.
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Having fun is good for your career

I’ve learned that the same dynamic transfers into the workplace. Sitting in an HR welcoming meeting trying to understand a complex company can be very intimidating.

However, if you slowly surround yourself with positive people, opportunities will begin to magically appear.

After all, we are all on the same team and we’re all striving to accomplish the same goal. We need to laugh at ourselves, support our teammates, and most importantly – have fun! Maybe you won’t be the CEO by next week… but fill your work days with the right combination of hard work, rest breaks and positive teammates and you’ll help yourself make the journey to a successful career more fun than you could ever imagine.

Don’t ever dismiss a trip to the middle of nowhere… you never know what you might learn.

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