This months post is penned by Mick. Micks news came as a bit of shock, none of us knew the news he received was coming and when faced with news like that it takes incredible courage to not let it consume you (at least for a little while) and decide to try and put a brave face on it. He found out just before Endure24 and had let us know that he might not be there. Which, would have been perfectly understandable, had he not been. The hardest thing to be, when life’s difficulties hit you and knock you for six, is normal………I’ll let his words take it from here.
This year was all mapped out nicely, few Ultra events with the intent of upping the distance next year and a few personal challenges. Managed to get a few of them done too (Blade Runner Ultra and West Mendip Way). Plans were then derailed slightly when we received the new that my old man had cancer and was terminal.
Well that turned my world upside down and even though he had been ill for quite a few years it was still an unexpected shock. Anyway, not to dwell on the negatives here what I did find is that I had a choice at this point. I could either get angry with how unfair it all was, drown my sorrows in a bottle and generally be a pain in the arse to everyone around me, or I could go through this in the best way I could, use that negative energy in a good way and channel it. I have a family and for me I still had to be there for Sheena and Lucas, they are the priority when all is said and done.
At this time my trail running club were having one of their monthly challenges which was a fairly simple one, but one which pretty much helped save my sanity at this time. The challenge was to run a minimum of 1, 3 or 5 miles per day during July. I chose the 3 mile option but was secretly hoping to do the 5. Now during all the crap I was dealing with, driving up and down the country every other week this gave me a focus, something to cling onto a bit. No matter how shit a day I was having I still knew that I had to get my 3 mile minimum done. Knowing other people in the group were doing this helped with motivation, which at the end of the day is why these groups are so successful. Yes, we are all motivated individuals but sometimes we all need a mental kick up the arse. In the end I managed an average of 4.5 miles per day which given the circumstances I think isn't too shabby (even though I do say so myself). It's a great (and simple challenge, give it a go!). I'm doing it again in November which given the dark mornings and evenings is going to be somewhat of a different beast.
So, what’s the point of this you are all probably thinking? Well for me it's this. I learned a lot about myself the last few years and what I can and can't do fitness and life in general wise. This year has taught me that life will throw crap at you and derail your best laid plans. We are all stronger than we think and when the chips are down, those are the times when you see what you are about. When life throws a curve ball, step back, take a breath and deal with it, go around it, and change your plans and the way you think about it ( I know I'm stealing cliché's here but you get the drift).
Currently I'm dealing with a few injuries and niggles that I know in time I'll get sorted. So I don't get to do the Ultras and events I had planned. So what, the hills and mountains will still be there next year or the year after. My focus now and for the foreseeable is to get back to full fitness then start planning again!
Remember, being normal is boring. Be an individual, don't fit in, push boundaries, do what's not expected. Challenge and keep moving people.
Be a black sheep!