Go for it…

I’m sure at least one person reading this blog post will have watched the London Marathon yesterday or even heard others talk about it and felt a little something in their stomach. The part where the butterflies live. Perhaps they don’t want to run a marathon but maybe they want to do something different. Be healthier, more active or try something they haven’t before. Marathons do that to people and I know this because I got caught up in the hype of it all last year. And thank God I was daft enough to enter because in doing so, my life changed for the better.

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As I’ve previously mentioned, I was stuck in a rut this time last year. Not in a way that I had been in previous years but I still felt controlled by food and in an unhealthy cycle of working and eating too much. I was exercising but with the intention of losing weight and that, I can safely say, is one reason not to work out. Not if it’s your sole purpose anyway. It will consume you, make you resent exercising and take away any pleasure from the experience whatsoever. I needed a goal and something to work towards and getting a ballot place for the London Virgin Marathon 2017 gave me just that.

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Okay so in hindsight it was a pretty big goal but ‘dream big and achieve big’ and all that. At the time of entering, I didn’t put much thought to the reality of training or how much I’d have to change my diet in order to fuel my runs. A fair few people told me I was crazy and even after I insisted I wanted to aim for finishing, that I could maybe just walk half and run half. I’ve learnt that I’m different to these people. I know they mean well but what’s the point of doing something if you’re going to be half-arsed about it? I didn’t want to walk half, I wanted to do my best and walking 13.1 miles wasn’t my best.

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Yesterday wasn’t easy by any means but there was no way on earth I was ever giving up. Miles 15-20 were the hardest. My feet hurt, my thighs were throbbing and I was hot and sticky from sweating. But I kept moving forward and I did so because I knew I could. All the months of training taught me that my body wouldn’t give up on me, certainly not at the pace I was running anyway! I used the last few months to strengthen my mind so that when my legs were wanting a rest, I could keep pushing on. It might sound cheesy or even somewhat egocentric but hear me out…

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I have wasted years feeling self-conscious and second guessing who I am. Setting a goal, and one that may initially seem unobtainable, gives you a reason to push yourself and realise your potential. Okay, so I won’t be going for gold but running London Marathon yesterday taught me that you can literally do whatever it is you put your mind to. And in and amongst working towards your goal, you also have a space to focus on ‘you’. I’ve been so much happier and content since training for London. It hasn’t been the running itself either. That bit hurts. But the space to think and reflect that running (or any exercise for that matter) provides is something money can’t buy. I urge anyone who connects with this post in any way to make that change they have been wanting to. Start small if you have to but ditch the excuses and go for it! I promise you that it will be the best thing you ever did…

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