The running journey for me has been a long one. I have always been a runner and I clearly remember the day I decided to run my first half marathon. The aim was to just finish and finish I did…. Then I decided, being a distance runner, that a half marathon just wasn’t enough for me and I wanted to know what it was like to finish a marathon, and finish a marathon I did. Through this early journey the aim was to finish. I guess on reflection there was so much in my life that I didn’t ‘finish’. In high school I was dux of the school, yet I still didn’t manage for various reasons to go on and finish my tertiary education. Swapping and changing and really, at a stage in my life where I had absolutely no idea who I was or where really I wanted to go. This still haunts me to this day, feeling like a complete and utter failure, but running always remained a constant for me, even if I was just going for a jog around the block.
When I started RMA I started to learn so much more about running. Not just about form, what you should eat and drink, when you should rest, how to train etc, but about WHY I run. Running for me is a form of release. It is the only thing that I have that I feel gives me a sense of calm. My life is anything but calm and now, well it has kind of spiralled out of control, but the minute I lace up my shoes I know that I am going to accomplish something great out on the road or the trail.
When I run I think of so many things. Years and years of abusing my body with an eating disorder and how far I have come from that horrible dark time and how I view my body now as an amazing thing to love and cherish. How to manage living with a child with special needs. How to care for my family. Where I want to be in life. How I feel about my relationship with God. So many things, yet one day, one very special day the tables turned for me.
When I ran my first ultra event a few weeks ago I chose that event for a specific reason. In all the races that I had run, and all the journey so far I had been carried along the way by people. People running beside me, friends, the RMA community….The feeling of being alone really scares me and being a people person I have relied on people to help me along in every facet of my life so far.
This race was to be so different for me.
I knew that the race would be small. under 20 people in fact and that I would be running the majority of it on my own. To me this was a battle that I wanted to win with my mind. that I could achieve great things on my own. That I had worked hard and I would PROVE that I was capable of so much more than my mind tells me. And that I would finish what I set out to do.
That day I decided not to settle. I decided that, although I am no elite athlete, and probably will never be…although I am probably never going to represent my country for my running, I am still going to give 100% to my cause. My cause being pushing myself to my limits, being thankful that I can run and using my amazing body to see just what I can achieve.
This means working hard, creating goals that others may laugh at but that I know are possible with hard work and determination. This means looking ahead, sacrifice and a clear vision. I don’t want to BE the best, I want to DO my best.
I want to please myself, no one else.
So watch this space…because this is only the beginning.