Shelly Mady: The Motivation Is Unlike Any Other

W680 shelly mady hugs after rows The D10 Athlete Profile explores what brings competitors to The D10 playing field...and what they bring away from it. 

Shelly Mady
Managing Director, Ankura
The D10 NYC
Fundraising goal: Team TTL D10 Team (70K)
2019 Marquee event: 500M Row

What is your primary motivator for competing in The D10 events?
When I first agreed to participate in The D10, I didn’t know much about the event or the broader cause. However, I quickly learned what this community represented and The D10 became very close to my heart. After a visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to meet several children with cancer and their families, I was 100% behind supporting this vital cause.

The importance of our fundraising with The D10 was highlighted by facts shared with us last year by MSKCC:

  • Only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to childhood cancer research
  • 81% of children survive pediatric cancer five years or more today vs. 58% in the mid-1970’s
  • MSKCC’s Department of Pediatrics treats more children with cancer than any other institution in the United State
As an aunt to seven nieces and nephews, I could not imagine experiencing what these families endure with their sick children. I'm so proud to train hard, work hard, and push myself to the limit for a few months out of the year in support of ending the every day, year-round struggle of these children.

How much of your motivation for participating in The D10 stems from its charitable mission?
The charitable mission is my motivation. The training journey is much different when you are working for something greater than yourself. I truly must thank all my donors and supporters in this because they are taking the journey with me for a cause that is so inspirational.

How did you first get involved in The D10?
I first participated in The D10 in 2018. The Training Lab suggested putting together an all-female team. It was a whirlwind of a year. We were late to the game but worked hard, laughed, cried, and showed up with our best fight. I am blown away by the support we received in our launch year. We couldn’t have done it without our supporters and, of course, Ruben as our coach and the backbone to our team. Despite our push-back or sometimes lack of belief, he never once gave up on us. He gave our team not only physical strength but mental strength.

Thumb shelly mady and cohorts
Girl power was the name of the game in 2018. In 2019, Shelly and her team are looking to win it all.

How has The D10 been different from your collegiate or high school sports experiences in terms of training and motivation?
The D10 training has been very different from when I participated in competitive sports. When I was in high school, I trained quite a bit but The D10 has required a very focused and specific effort based on my individual strengths. In soccer, while we were enhancing our individual skills, much of the training was done collectively as a group. In cross country I wasn’t cross training like we are with The D10. While our TTL teams do train together for the extra motivation and encouragement, there is a different level of pressure on individual performance.

I have been hyper focused on being able to contribute to the team and not be “dead weight”. With each new personal record that my teammates hit, it pushes me to work harder. This is all on top of trying to reach professional and career goals and keep up with life’s obligations.

The motivation is unlike any other. This year there are eight of us training together on behalf of The Training Lab – all with very different personalities. We joke that we are a dysfunctional family, but we are a dysfunctional family that keeps each other going. We have all been hit with doubts, disappointing training sessions, hard times, but we have also been through new personal records, strong training weeks, and big accomplishments. During the hard times, we remind each other not to doubt our potential and ability. During the good times we celebrate together.

We are all truly lucky for the support of the Training Lab community. The members are consistently checking in on our progress, pushing us to hit our goals during class, and providing daily support and motivation. We are very fortunate to be a part of something much bigger than merely a “gym”.

In what ways has your participation in The D10 affected or enhanced your performance at work?
Participating in The D10 while maintaining a professional career requires extreme dedication and discipline. My participation in this event continues to reinforce those lessons in the workplace and has helped to give me the strength to take on new challenges. Pushing yourself past your point of “comfortable pain” during training requires just as much mental strength as it does physical (if not more). Not every day at work will be perfect. Practicing mental toughness through training has helped me to overcome challenges thrown my way.

Have you made new lasting friendships, or strengthened your professional network, as a result of your D10 experience?
I have certainly made lasting friendships because of my experience, both within my gym and the broader D10 community. It has been a rewarding experience to be surrounded by an inspirational community that pushes you to be a better version of yourself.

Shelly is working hard for a cause greater than herself. Help her meet her fundraising goal for MSKCC with a donation against her D10 performance in New York.