#Skelia_Talks with Andriy, Mobile Team Lead at Skelia Lviv
At Skelia, we believe that good companies are created by exceptional people. That’s why we decided to launch a series of interviews with the people who make Skelia the exceptional company it is – our teammates. We want to share these stories because each of them has a unique one to tell.
Today, we’ll be talking with Andriy, our Mobile team lead who has been working on the Thomas Cook project for almost seven years. Andriy will share his views on life, running and some incredible stories.
So, you’ve been working at Skelia for almost seven years now. Would you say that’s a lot?
– Not when compared to eternity. I don’t actually see a point in changing jobs without major reasons. Personally, I just think this is a way for people to run away from their problems. I hear them say, “I’m done with this! This is all stupid! I can’t take it anymore,” and ask them to think about the source of their problems. More often than not, the source is them.
I love challenges. Sometimes I feel that the tougher things get, the more interesting it gets for me to handle them. When you face difficulties, you need to roll up your sleeves and get down to work. Sure, things happen, but I don’t see the point in running away.
I used to change jobs not because I had difficulties, but because I wanted to try different approaches. This included working in both outsourcing and product companies. With Skelia, I decided to try outstaffing, and I see no reason to leave it. Believe me, I’ve been in the tech industry for ten years, and I have something to compare it to.
That’s really nice to hear. What is that you like about Skelia?
– I like my current position and the customer, meaning that I like what I do daily. I am not limited in what I can do, taking into account the business expectations and goals, of course. You can change a lot with sound reasoning.
When I just started out, everything was straightforward: I was told a task, and I broadcasted it into code. Today, I am free to make decisions. And I love it. Plus, I like to work with people who are seniors because they usually are the ones who want to do great things. When they hear that something won’t work, they don’t believe it and prove others wrong. Working with people who change you in an emotional sense is amazing. “Stay hungry, stay foolish” is a slogan for me and I usually try to inspire people around to act like this. I even put a poster with these words near my working place on a wall.
On the other hand, people who always whine and complain also motivate me: they make me strive for work and get results.
If you have one bad day, that doesn’t mean your whole life is bad, and if you have a bad person surrounding you, that doesn’t mean that all people in the world are bad. Still, if a good person is near you, that doesn’t mean that all people are good. The question here is how you interpret that for yourself. I like to call myself a desperate optimist: regardless of the situation, I always try to find positive aspects for myself.
You really don’t seem to be the kind of person who would run away. And yet, running is your hobby. When did you start running and why?
– I started running consistently, with some sort of awareness and acknowledgment, in 2014. My first child was born that year. I’ve tried a lot of sports but never did anything professionally. I played football, even played in the university league. Then there was the gym, swimming, even yoga for seven years. I wanted to stick to yoga, but I realized I didn’t have enough time for everything. So, I decided to take up running. Why? Because I’m not tied to a particular place or equipment, and I always have my running clothes and shoes in the trunk.
I don’t do things because they’re cool or popular, I seek practicality. I used to go hiking, but it was a challenging sport for me physically. Running is practical, and now, I’ve reached a semi-professional level in it. In 2016, I was 2nd in the Ukrainian 96-kilometer run, and I was also selected for the World Cup in Portugal.I came second in the Ukrainian team.
Wow! That’s amazing!
– Yeah, that’s something to tell my kids when I grow old. It’s definitely better than telling stories of how I was treated from osteochondrosis because I had been working at the computer for too long.
The time I’m running the distance is the time I feel the life. It’s everything for me. I’m training, I’m preparing to run that distance. It’s the feeling you get when you compete with people: you know how hard it is for you to run and you see that it’s hard for them too, but you keep going. You are a beast on a hunt, either a lion or a gazelle. These moments are the ones I remember best. Sure, there are races when I’m running for fun or just for training. But mostly, I choose races where I focus on the result. I just can’t live without those moments anymore. Once I tried competitive running, I was hooked.
In the last couple of years, I only compete in the trail run. The difference in heights, different coverage of the surface make it more fun for me to run. It is more interesting to run using a tactic: you have to pause in certain areas to save some strength and use it later to overtake your rivals. This is like a chess party for me: you have to calculate your power very clearly.
There were several times when I barely reached the finish line. I immediately poured myself a glass of sugar, just to get glucose running in the blood. I was so exhausted, I couldn’t even sit down. You have to understand how far you are ready to go.
I try to promote a healthy lifestyle as much as I can. Currently, I’m living in a village. Usually, I do my long runs on weekends, running along the countryside. People are doing their business in their gardens or near the houses and I’m just running. In rural areas, it’s a bit unusual to see a guy who is running instead of working on the household, especially for older people. But my audience and hope for the better are the kids. They’re a tabula rasa, and all of us need to be a good example for them.
I believe that even my weekend activities could have an impact on some of them in the future. I hope that my running example will help them fight difficulties later in life. I want to be that reminder from their childhood that will help them realize there’s something else. Something beautiful. That you can run even being an adult. That you don’t have to become the “typical” adult in Ukrainian villages. You can be that guy from the movies who is running to reach the goal, not to escape from problems. Be different in the best meaning of the phrase.
That’s a very noble mission. We wish you all the luck with it. Now tell us, what does your daily workout look like?
– I used to work out with a sports club, but this training lacked structure. I’m basically training myself now: I know how the training process is built, how micro and macrocycles are created. I know how to prepare for competitions, what I should do six months or a week before the race. It is also necessary to take breaks, replace running with the gym to train certain groups of muscles if you want to progress – just running isn’t enough. Everything has to work combined: running, gym, rest, healthy and proper diet, sleep schedule, massage, sauna.
That sounds intense. Tell us about your usual daily schedule.
– I wake up at 7:30 in the morning. I get the kids ready for kindergarten, take them there and go to work. I usually arrive around 10:00 and work until 19:00. In the evening, I work out. The location can change: it can be a stadium or just Stryiskyy park. I run out of the office at 19 and come back around 21. Then I take a shower and go home around 21:30. We play with the kids in the evening and at 00:30 we put them to bed.
I live far from the city, but I always find time for running. And then there are people who live 15 minutes away from the office and are complaining that they don’t have the time. This is weird to hear for me. I train six days a week and have one rest day when I usually go to the sauna.
Fascinating! And what was your most challenging running experience?
– It was last year’s competition at the end of June. It was the Gorgany race, multi-run without a fixed distance, just running for 24 hours. And it was pouring. I ran around 80 kilometers then. The weather conditions were horrific, and we were so light-hearted about it.
We simply neglected the weather and didn’t care about the rain. We thought that it didn’t matter and we would easily pass the distance. No ointment for muscles, not enough food. What we didn’t consider is that when it is raining, you need 2-3 times more food. We had major technical problems, the phones, the GPS, the flashlights were soaked. The water was everywhere; we spent 24 hours in water. In the morning we were going along the river, and we could only tell the road from the river by the flow of the current.
After that race, it took me a month to recover. That race made us realize that no matter how cool you may seem, you should always use your head. This was the most difficult competition for me, both mentally and physically.
Any advice for runners?
– Just run. And use your head. Go out and run, but don’t expect immediate results.