« Sahara could be the perfect place to open the door leading me to the next level »

Kazutomo HORI (D1131-JAP)

Marathon des Sables Kazutomo Hori

In his capacity as company manager, Kazutomo HORI (D1131-JAP) is living 'the head to the grindstone', guided by the professional goals he is striving to achieve step by step. One of his friends, who has completed 4 MARATHON DES SABLES, once told him "Take part in the MDS, and you'll experience something that will make you see life differently." So now, Kazutomo is among the competitors participating in this 2017 edition.

 

I participated in the Honolulu triathlon, and during the running section, I was really exhausted. So I decided to proceed in small steps, to set myself a small objective, and once I had reached it, another one. I made 200 strides starting with the right foot, then 200 with the left foot; while I was running, I was counting my strides, happy to reach a concrete goal. Then I started counting over again. By doing so, I forgot that I was very tired. Half a mile before the finish line, there was a small hill, and I said to myself "O my God!" I suddenly realized how tired I was, and I really thought I would never make it. But then, I saw a gorgeous woman at the top of the hill, wearing a sexy bikini and gazing upon the ocean... I just wanted to reach her at the top of the hill... This time, it was not a small objective I had set to myself, but I just wanted to be with her, see her face, as if I wanted to admire the beauty of a painting... After I had finished the race, friends also spoke to me about that lady, and we all went to thank her wholeheartedly!

 

During the 52 years of my life, I've always worked like that, and I continue today - in my business activities, in my career as a racing driver or a pianist, in everything I do. Sometimes, people who know me envy how I lead my projects and achieve my goals. Four years after starting my racing driver career, I had become a national champion; in just 5 years, I learnt to play the piano and played a Beethoven piece in a renowned venue where half of the audience was crying; I set up my business twenty years ago, and it still holds a growth record in Japan.

 

I achieved all this by constantly setting myself small goals. But my friend Akasaka, who completed 4 MARATHON DES SABLES, told me that it was impossible to cross the Sahara like that. So I replied "Impossible! That's how I achieve my goals." But then, I know that I am too much focused on the objective. For instance, when I travel from Nice airport to Monte Carlo, all I want is to get there as soon as possible. Stopping at a scenic lookout, having a coffee or going to the toilet is inconceivable: all I want is to reach my goal, and I drive as fast as possible (like a French driver!), taking over the other cars, checking the time, and calculating possible shortcuts... I've never really liked nice lookouts, and I absolutely don't know what the cliff road looks like although I've driven it twenty times. The thing is I love my life, many of my friends envy me, but I'm wondering if my life would not be nicer if I didn't rush towards my goals like a bull, if I'd rather not try to appreciate the process, simple things instead of focusing only on the goal.

 

I recently got rid of everything I had. I resigned from the company I had created after realizing that the shareholders didn't care a thing about the purpose of the company, that all they were interested in were the dividends. I wanted to start all over again, this time not to make profit at any cost, but to be a good boss, to make the world a slightly better place. I want Japan to be the country with the tightest relationships between athletes and fans, so that athletes feel better and perform better. And I want to do the same for musicians... Of course, I want to draw profits from all this, but first and foremost, I want to be proud of what I do. I know it's difficult to resist the call of profit -- this is why I must be strong in my mind and in my soul. The story Akasaka told me made me think that the Sahara could be the perfect place to learn and open the door leading me to the next level…

 

Another funny anecdote regarding Akasaka is that when you ask him a question, his answer is always "Hai" or "Yes". "Hai" in Japanese means "Yes"... Life is simple when you think like that... I've always been impressed by that attitude, and I decided to adapt it to my lifestyle…

 

I hope to receive a medal at the end of the race, the same medal as all the other competitors. This will make me, like all the others, the happiest of men!