What motivates you to run?

‘You’ll never be able to run properly again’ said the surgeon after I shattered my knee, broke my tibia, fibia, ligaments and cartilage after a sporting accident when I was 18 years old.

Consistently doing what you need to do to succeed, with total focus and resolve, is incredibly difficult. And that’s why the ability to work hard and respond positively to failure and adversity is so crucial.

I was a clumsy child, always falling with lifelong scars to remind myself of this trait. However, I’d never had a life changing injury before.

“Don’t expect be able to go back to doing what you used to do before” they reminded me.

Those words still resonate made me the runner I am today. It’s odd how sometimes, some of the most frustrating, scary and painful episodes during life end up being the moments that hold you into the person you are today

I was getting my plaster cast off for the first time in 3 months. I had a wheelchair waiting for me to carry me out of the hospital. I had shattered my knee and bones in a sporting accident.

Those words still resonate in my head. They still linger there, and when times are tough, I bring them out of that little Pandora’s box and use it to motivate me during the tough times. I believe if I hadn’t had that accident as a 18 year old, and if that surgeon had not told me this words, I would not have had the hunger to go out to prove to myself that what he said, would not come true.  Without his indirect, unintentional motivational speech, I would never have raced in some of the toughest, most gruelling and extreme endurance races in the world. So, thank you.

My parents say I was a determined one even on the day I was born. I think that stubborn, sometime dogged, determination made me into the person I am today.

I was always wandering off, on a sear for adventure even when a toddler. I fell out of trees, rocks, climbing frames – always looking to push my boundaries. If I saw a sand dune, I’d have this urge to conquer that massive mountain (ss it seemed to a tiny toddler). Often, my adventures would result in a fall, a cut or a bruise. I would swallow the tears before they’d arrive in my eye and tell myself that this was just the result of my epic adventure. I’d walk back home, usually fearing the row I’d be having from my parents when they’d see the sight of me. I’d ignore the blood on my knees or the throbbing pain on my arm and would just concentrate on putting on foot in front of another. Yes, I was that child and still have the scars to prove it. I was pushing personal boundaries even then – always looking for adventure around every corner. My parents even to this day, have somehow dealt well with my fearless attitude. Prior to mobile phones and emails, I remember once, phoning them fora phone box in New Zealand.

‘Hi there. How are you? Right, don’t be angry and you don’t need to worry because I’m ok. I’ve been learning how to jump out of a plane and I’m now a qualified sky-diver!’

I am now a mother to a busy toddler who never seems to stop running. Seeing the smile on his face as he tilts his head up and stretches his legs and arms as if he is in a 100 mile sprint reminds me of myself and of the reasons why I feel the need to run. As we get carried away with GPS, PB’s SB’s, WR etc, Sometime we forget the reasons why we run. 

With my son, we’re chasing dinosaurs. They have hiding spots and caves and they are really adept at sneaking past you and going the other way so you have to turn around and chase them all over again.

Whatever keeps you going. While my go to might be visualizing a race I’m training for, the toddler’s mental trick is to chase dinosaurs. Imagination is a beautiful thing when it comes to finding motivation on the run.

I have loads of different reasons why I do what I do.

But mainly because It’s my passion. That is, for me, the thing that keeps me going when Ive used all other motivation.

I just, quite simply, enjoy running. It what makes me feel like me. It’s integral, an innate feeling It is in my blood.

So when you’re struggling to find motivation, dig deep and remind yourself why YOU run?