Obviously followers of this blog (if there are still some) will be aware I have been AWOL for a couple of months. I haven't been in a good head space really. Job hunting is an extremely tedious task, especially when the market is crap. Add to that the fact that Julie has been working stupid hours has meant that we have spent little time together as a family, which you can imagine has been trying.
Well fast forward from the horrible stuff. I was offered an opportunity to be a Personal Trainer at my local gym when I finished my course. This was always something I thought would be out of reach as I still needed to provide an income and support the family so Julie wasn't working full time. Surprisingly after a number of discussions Julie told me to go for it. So in a nutshell I now have my own PT business called Real Bodies Fitness. Check it out on Facebook. Come over and like the page and hopefully you can get some valuable information from it as well.
Now, having a business and a job opportunity is great but I still needed to complete my qualification. Only a few assignments left at that stage so off I went like a crazy man so I would be qualified by the time we can home from holidays. All submitted and just waiting on assessment.
Then the other big challenge that confronted me. Just the prospect of running a marathon. Not just any marathon, but my first and the Australian Championships. Not that I was trying to win, but it meant it was a bigger race, more people and a bigger atmosphere.
Leading into the race my training was far from perfect. I tore my calf muscle in February. When it healed and I was back running it tore again in March. Do I was how effectively 6 weeks behind in training. I was still running when I could but not enough kms to do the run justice.
Julie was urging me to downgrade to the half, but I had this urge to still do the full. I am not sure why, whether it was the challenge or the fact that people didn't think I could do it. So the marathon was what I was going to tackle. Can you believe it? 42.195kms of torture even when you are fit. So why would I do it when I wasn't?
Race day came about and due a crappy mattress in our apartment I had a sore back. Far from ideal but what were the options? I wasn't pulling out before I had started. Race time came and the sun came up on an amazing Gold Coast morning. Off we set from Southport down toward Burleigh Heads for the turnaround which was 15.5kms. Such a beautiful part of the world in the early morning when the sun is out and you are running. All was going well until I hit the 12km mark and my sore back started to spasm. From ideal when you have 30kms still to run. What option did I have? I could push on as best I can or pull out. I was not going to pull out before I had even done half. So on I plodded but at the 17km mark I was forced to adopt a walk run strategy. Now there is nothing wrong with this and I had expected to have to walk a large chunk but his early was a surprise. Especially when my calf was feeling great.
I kept going but the pain in my back had transferred to my left hamstring and I knew I was going to cramp or tear it if I kept pushing. So back to walking it was. At the 25km mark I was seriously contemplating pulling out. I was even working out how I could justify the fact that I had not completed the run. I toiled with the idea of calling Julie but then decided against it. She would only tell me to stop, to drop out. Obviously I didn't want this, so I didn't call her. I was going to call my mate, who knows how to push my buttons and would have given me a huge kick in the arse, but I didn't. Just the thought of what he would have said to me made me realise I needed to push on. When I got to the 30km mark I was gone. Nothing left in me, but still 1 km to get back to the start, so I plodded on. Then one of the best things for me happened. One of my best mates was on the sidelines. He called out and I headed over. Quick high 5 and a chat and off I went. He told me another mate was just up a bit further with his family. Seeing them also have me a boost. Then as I kept going Chris, the first mate, came jogging up to tell me Julie and the kids were up a bit further. Awesome news.
Now normally at the 32km point most people hit the wall. For me I had just been given the biggest burst of enthusiasm t get it done. and I ran to the 33km mark two of my boys came running out t run with me. I looked up and saw my other son and daughter with my wife holding a sign saying "go dad".
How could I even contemplate stopping. The next 9 kms was hard and slow but it was done knowing I had all this support to be there WHEN I finished. As I approached the 40km point there were another group of friends waiting for me. This awesome group of ladies had done the half in the morning and were still waiting around 5 hours later to cheer me in. They even walked with me until I was 200m from the finish where I took off to run across that line which I thought wasn't possible a few hours before. What an amazing feeling. I am now a marathoner!!!
I look back on this and know that sheer stubbornness and a will to not give in got me across the line. I need to carry this over to other areas of my life, but just as importantly others need to remember that fear of failure can be crippling. I was not afraid to fail, I just didn't want that to be an option on this occasion.
If we all have up and never chased a dream for fear of failure we would achieve very little. Jump outside your comfort zone (maybe not to this extreme) and have a go. If you miss the mark this time so what. Saddle up again and see if you can improve. If I can do it, anyone can!!!!!