Dmytro Naumenko, Business Development Director for Northern Europe, who currently lives in Finland, talks about his path to triathlon, achievements and victories, and how he manages to combine sports and participation in competitions with work at Unicsoft.
Let’s start with “why”?
I have been in sports since childhood. At the age of 4, my parents sent me to gymnastics, but later they realized that with my behavior until school years, I would definitely break my neck. So they changed their minds, and immediately before school, I started swimming classes because they thought: “he will definitely not break anything”. Hahaha…
First of all, it didn’t stop me from jumping into the pool for the audience sitting on the balcony, it was a bet. Secondly, they forgot one little thing: you can drown there. But this is a lyric.
Summary: by the age of 17, I already had a Candidate Master of Sports in marine all-around, which I entered after swimming at the age of 13. I developed a hatred for water and everything related to it, because while all my classmates went for a walk after school, I had a six-day regime: school, training, half an hour for homework, sleep, repeat!
After school, I successfully quit semi-professional sports. Since at the same time I was engaged in basketball, various martial arts and other active sports, the thought of stopping movement did not arise. The only question was “where to move.”
Then there was a move to Finland to study and crazy youth V2.0, work, so there was not enough time for active sports. I did more fitness than sports, enjoyed life and didn’t regret anything until I managed to go to Canada in 2018 🙂
At the end of July, the Subaru Niagara Triathlon was held. My friend and I decided to register as a team: I take on swimming and running, and he does cycling ( I’ll tell you more about our sports past another time). In the end, out of 19 or 20 teams, we came third in the 400m swim, 10km bike and 3km run. And that’s when, on the wave of euphoria from the “victory”, the thought crept into my head that it would be possible to conquer Ironman as well. Why not?
Long story short: as of June 2021, I have an Ironman 70.3 in my piggy bank, a few short start wins in the summer of 2019 in Canada (yes, I’m back to the roots to win). And hopefully, Ironman 70.3 Lahti 2021 and Ironman Kuopio Tahko 2021 will be added in the summer.
Considering the standard working day and full-time (and sometimes overtime) workload, it is not always possible to combine sports, work, and the desire to be lazy. Therefore, the strategy is simple: train only when recovered, train only when you want to, and train at threshold values (heart rate, power, speed).
Considering the fact that these three factors are not always present in my life at the same time, it is necessary to increase the period of preparation. I’m not a fan of regular grueling workouts. I trained in this mode for more than 15 years and I can say: if you don’t have a goal to win, it’s better not to suffer from it. Such training burns out all motivation, makes you hate sports, and inevitably leads to injuries and diseases.
I like to do only what I want, and I decided a long time ago that I would try to limit the number of “shoulds” in my life and focus on the “wants”. Of course, it doesn’t always work out. The fact that I have been working remotely for three years now helps to distribute my forces correctly. I don’t know how I would endure such a regime while working in the office. But I was lucky to work with the best companies that do not require such a presence (P.S. Unicsoft, I love you and I am waiting for you, but I will not rush to your office yet).
It seems to me that there is nothing better than combining the skills acquired both at work and in sports, because ours is almost always communication with clients and partners, active head work and sitting on your ass for hours, and training for a long triathlon is two- or three-hour training sessions on a bicycle, running, swimming in complete solitude, with the possibility of meditating while listening to the wind. One without the other would be extremely exhausting, but luckily I have a great team at Unicsoft and an unconditional love for silence and solitude, so I think I’ve pulled the golden ticket.
Sometimes there is a desire to draw a parallel between work in our company and sports, they say, victories are what motivates me. But it is not quite so. I have been working in consulting for almost 8 years and I can say: the only similarity between sports and work is that all deals and projects in my career are not sprints, but marathons. And my job, my hobby, and my love is to strategically allocate my strength for these marathons to come to the finish line with a smile and strength to celebrate victories, not cramping. 😉