Rob DeCou, Executive Producer at Lux Virtual, is a key member of the marketing team working with VECKTA. Rob continues this fourth part of our series (part one, part two, part three) exploring the synergy between VECKTA’s values and his goal of conquering the ultra-endurance Uberman triathlon.
There are rare moments in life when things fall into place effortlessly and it’s almost as if the world conspires in your favor for greatness. This has been my experience partnering with the team at VECKTA. Their core company values resonate so closely with my personal value set as an ultra-endurance athlete it’s uncanny. Purposeful adaptation, co-creation, and challenging limits. VECKTA CEO Gareth Evans has a way of empowering his team in an encouraging environment where they have the freedom to take risks in order to grow at a sustained accelerated pace. These values aren’t just words on their website, but play out in everyday scenarios.
As an ultra-endurance athlete, there are so many aspects to the events that need to come together for a successful journey. There is more than the training, the mental preparation, and the equipment you need to purchase and fine tune. There is also a massive amount of logistics, crew, supplies, hotel rentals, vehicle rentals, and food. I have made a habit of reaching after large fundraisers for charities which adds the additional complexity of partnering with an organization (or multiple organizations), as well as having a media strategy to highlight the event to an audience throughout the process.
Highlighting the event for donors was where VECKTA came into the picture. As the title sponsor for the Uberman event, VECKTA was a major component of our ability to raise over $50,000 through Rotary District 5280 that will go towards fighting human trafficking. Not only were they active corporate partners, but their CEO Gareth Evans came out for a full day of kayaking—he logged 12 hours on the kayak, starting the event at Doctors Cove, through the night and into the following evening. When I had the opportunity to finish out the swim—which had been called off four miles from the coast because of outbound currents—Gareth was the first to raise his hand, and not just came out for the event, but paced me for over 4 hours in the water side by side to the finish of the Uberman event after a week of solid physical effort.
The Uberman is known as the World’s Toughest Ultra Endurance race. The course includes a 21 mile swim from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes, followed by a 400 mile cycling ride from Palos Verdes to the Badwater Basin and then topped off with the 135 mile run / hike to the Mt. Whitney Portal. Basically about 9 times the swim distance of an Ironman, 3.5 times the cycling distance, and 5 times the marathon distance. In order to complete such a monumental feat, an athlete needs to draw on enormous reserves of not only physical but psychological and emotional strength as well.
To succeed in ultra-endurance marathons, athletes need different traits that I call “super powers.” Those can vary between athletes. I have two personal super powers. The first is the ability to be very comfortable in some of the most uncomfortable and uncertain situations imaginable. Drawing on that trait is part of being powered from within.
This Uberman competition highlighted for me a second super power: my ability to pull together crew and team members that are highly competent, calm under pressure, and some of the highest quality personalities you could imagine. Recognizing the opportunity for co-creation in an ultra and tremendous value of the crew, team assist, and support organizations give me a dramatically unfair advantage over other athletes. Personally, the relationships built during each of these endeavors just grows stronger and increases the capacity for later opportunities. “Powered from within” is not always a solitary endeavor, but the ability for a team to function as one and strengthen each other.
The idea of being powered from within is at the core of both the ultra experience as well as startup teams. Adam Scully-Powers likes to call it, “The Other Side of Limits”. Personally, I like to say that I always seek to be able to do something six months from now that is outside of my current ability range. The process of aggressively challenging limits causes us to stretch. Stretching is uncomfortable but is a catalyst for growth. This has caused me to link uncomfortable stretching and growth as a blessing.
Powered From Within Film
The team at VECKTA continues to reach within and increase capacity with each new phase of the growth process. Each team member added, and each new feature rolled out on their platform propels them to further empower the marketplace and make an impact in the clean energy sector. The VECKTA team supported me, and I’m proud to support VECKTA as it builds the energy future.