What did you dream about being when you were little ?
We remember our childhood dreams vividly. I wanted to be an painter and a writer but life’s twists and turns took me into law, computer science and Change. I’ve no regrets, but we often stop dreaming when we ‘grow up’. Children have limitless energy and a limitless view of their potential. There’s no reason why we have to limit our dreams as we get older, or our energy. If we let ourselves dream big our life follows.
In April I completed the Marathon des Sables, which 10 months before seemed completely unachievable. I was a smoking, drinking, overweight and unhealthy workaholic. The journey wasn’t easy, I over trained got a stress fracture, had foot surgery and was out of action on crutches for almost 6 of my 9 months training.
But I didn’t lose belief and surrounded myself by fellow believers and I did it. Shortly after I was trying to figure out which race to enter next. Struggling to find anything that really inspired me, one Sunday afternoon, I looked down at my top and read the words “Run the World”. I knew instantly that was my new dream!
For a few months I was giddy with excitement and literally lost myself in mind games figuring our bow I would do it. I set a goal of starting in around 2 years to give myself time to train and plan things. A couple of months later, to focus, I decided to Run to Work from our office in Leeds, England to Essen, Germany. I wanted to see whether I was going to enjoy running around the world when I was alone, tired and lost and had no one to rely on but me.
7 weeks after having the idea I started Run to Work and on Tuesday evening arrived at the Essen office after running 233 kilometers over 5 days, solo and self supported, carrying my essentials from Amsterdam airport.
It was hellish!
Driving winds and rains from the start, never ending rain for the first few days, showers for the next. Sickness, gastric problems and shin splints from 90% tarmac and heavy bag, cutting into my back. Pain with every step and almost in tears of exhaustion, insomnia and huge stress trying to find evening accommodation in unfamiliar cities after eight hours running.
I made the decision that I’m not going to Run the World as I’d planned.
It was heavenly!
Singing out loud as I ran across my first country border, crying with joy when I saw the Lowell lights as I arrived. Pride in achieving the impossible each evening, loving the single minded focus, tuning into my body and knowing what it is capable of. Realizing I had no more demons, my mind was quiet and I’d finally found peace. Arriving, healthy, body adjusted, no blisters and no injuries.
I’m not waiting two years to Run the World, life is too short. I’m going to allow myself to think big and achieve my dreams today. All the reasons to wait two years still exist, financial, family, work commitments and fitness.
We have a choice to make our dreams a reality, to focus on the positives not the negatives and live life for today. Think big and believe you can! I don’t know how yet but I know I will.
Thanks to everyone for their encouragement, I genuinely couldn’t have done it without you. Special thanks to my amazing munchkins Marley and Charlie.
This video is what made me finish 😁
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P.S. Run to Work taught me a lot, at least as much as MDS, and I will post my learnings this weekend for anyone interested but feel free to ask any questions about kit or anything else. <