Don't forget your 'why' in victory or defeat.
I believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, so in 2016 my goal is to run four marathons, as 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. So far I've run the Manchester and Richmond Park Marathons. Next are the Robin Hood and New York marathons.
My long term goal is to run the six world majors, I’ve completed London and Berlin, with New York and Tokyo confirmed next.
In running and in life, I find that some of my greatest challenges occur straight after my successes.
So back to the question from the passer-by, asking me why I was up so early and why was I training.
After my most recent marathon, I resumed training but felt physically and mentally fatigued. During training a passer-by asked me why I was up so early and training. Up till that point my mind was preoccupied with the fatigue I was experiencing from the previous day's workout. But this question from the passer-by refocused my mind, as it got me thinking about the why behind my actions.
My successes recently have been that I've been fortunate enough to achieve PBs in the full and half marathon distances in my last two marathons, thanks to my coach Andre Schieck at Running4Life.
I know that fatigue from my recent marathons has made recent training very tough. Its hard training on heavy legs but it's a common experience with other runners, so I'm not alone in that respect.
He had a good point why was I training? I remembered when I first started training, I had to drag myself out of the house and give myself a real talking too before I started. But now because I train often, subconsciously it's easier to go into autopilot mode, get up and go running before my mind has said 'Hey! You should really be sleeping!' Also I'm reminded of the times I've slacked off in my training and been found out in marathons, and the pain of not repeating that mistake is a huge motivation.
Unfortunately I didn't give the passer-by the best answers as running and conversations aren't long term partners, but looking deeper into his questions, I actually found it very motivating.
I run for different and numerous reasons, such as the two goals, noted in the opening paragraphs. But some training days are tougher to start, despite the fact that training feels a part of my day subconsciously. In this particular case the fatigue made training hard. But I thank this passer-by for reminding me that in the tough times as well as the good times you need to remember the why behind your actions.
One of my why's is that running reminds me not to place limits on who I am or what people think I am. It reminds me, to be me and accept me. It reminds me that despite my biggest failures, I will always get up once I've been knocked down.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucius
The journey to achieve my goals will not be easy and 'success' isn't a final destination or in a straight line. But the why behind my goals keeps me focused.
On your journey it's normal to question or have doubts, but in the victory or defeat, please don't forget your why.
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