Just do it!

When you stand at the start line of any long distance race there is a moment when the nerves subside, you stop laughing and joking with the people around you and your mind focusses for just a short time at the task which lies ahead.

You realise in a flash that this is all about you. It’s not the conscious you, or even the unconscious you talking…somehow its the higher level version of yourself…the place that as humans we so rarely go to…it’s reaching out and daring you to be the best version of yourself.

For some athletes this moment happens later on in the race, when they feel like they are flying, like its effortless, like they were born to do this. Some might call this being in the Zone, others might call it being in Flow…I simply call it being in the Know…

The knowing that is of your WHY!!!

My “Why” is very simple…I just don’t want to be rubbish at life. I don’t want to waste the opportunity I have been given to live a life full of adventure and possibility. I want to inspire my son to believe that perhaps he too could do something incredible, challenge the perception that only awesome people do awesome things…no quite often its the rather ordinary folk that do the most remarkable of things…and this is so evident in the case of ultra marathon running.

I don’t think you ever start a marathon completely and absolutely prepared, confident that you are going to smash it, there’s always something you could have done better, a session you could have pushed harder at, or a nutritional tweak you never quite got round to, but that is exactly how life is and if you wait for the perfect conditions to attempt the goals you set for yourself you would never get anywhere.

So many of us have big dreams that we put on hold while dealing with the crap that is life, oh we’ll wait until we are slimmer, richer, less busy, more confident…we will wait until the children have gone to school, or we have a more stable job…STOP… just do it.

Sign up and just get on with moving towards your big fat stupid goal each day, starting from today you fools.

I know its said often and by others far more qualified than me, but facing your fears and doing it as publicly as running a marathon is a sure fast way to grow in a way you never dreamed possible…the miles of training will do things to your mind that you never imagined, and your body might change a bit in the process too.

I am often asked, “How did you overcome your fears? How did you stop being afraid?” The simple answer is that I didn’t. I don’t think I have ever stopped being afraid of things – but what I did was stop letting my fear stop me. I decided it was okay for me to feel the fear, because frankly I couldn’t stop from feeling it, but I was going to do whatever needed to be done anyway. Once I decided to acknowledge I was going to press forward in spite of my fears, it was like a huge stumbling block was suddenly removed from my path.

Whenever things are tough for me I have stopped asking “What’s the worst that could happen” and instead ask “What’s the absolute best outcome, and how will that make me feel”…

Fear is the sensation that shows me I am heading in the right direction, it shows me that whatever it is I am heading for is worth the time and energy I am putting into it, even if it does feel challenging and uncomfortable.

Knowing that I have been able to cart a body that was not supposed to run following my accident with thousands of people watching me on the TV screens, on the trails and road, with the real possibility of public humiliation…kind of makes me feel like I can do anything…

Be brave and run well my friends…the finish line is closer than you might think.