Every person is different. I know that. I know I’m different. The thing that makes people so different, is noise.
Some people listen to the noise in their heads more than others. Some people listen more to those around them than to themselves. Some people block out noise completely.
12 months ago I discovered there are some things I want to achieve in this one life we are given, and that watching others achieve things on TV, and drinking alcohol, was not the kind of thing I wanted to be capable of when I enter my 40’s. So I started listening to the noise; the uneasiness of where I was; the mountain I had to climb; the ear piercing sounds of friends disappearing into the distance in front of me in a cloud of dust; the echo of hopelessness that some things are just not within my reach. And something changed in me that suddenly made me want to fight back, take control, believe.
I took my kids to a Spartan Race in February 2013, and I saw thousands of crazy people doing stupid things, like crawling under barb wire, scraping skin off on rough dirt, swimming through freezing dams, getting smashed by massive gladiators at the finish line. The kids had a great time, and I reflected on the absurd be real fact that I could not possibly physically compete in such a stupid crazy idiotic event like Spartan Race.
Then I signed up to compete in a 14km Spartan Super event in October 2013.
I figured I had months and months to prepare. I started slowly and immediately had doubts. I ran 1.5km in 10 minutes and collapsed. This was going to be tough. But I kept at it, I found a running group for trail runs, I bought running gear, I found running friends, I stayed motivated, and I listened to my body carefully and never lost sight of my goal – finish Spartan Race, get to the finish line no matter the cost.
When October finally came around, I just knew I was ready, and it was so much better than I ever thought it would be. I finished and thought, that’s it, I’m done. But the next day I knew I wasn’t done. I couldn’t stop now, I’d come so far. I was running and doing things I’d never done before, and I wanted more. Who says I can’t climb the rankings, I love taking people on at something they are good at. People that have been running for 10 years, I’m going to catch them, and I’m going to achieve a respectable time to compete. If I work harder than anyone else does, more often, then who says I can’t be successful?
I am most proud of the fact that I have done this alone, all be it with a network of friends that are all entering into a seemingly mid life fitness crisis – everyone is doing it and it’s addictive and it feels great to hurt. No gym work, no personal trainers, just running, just me. I get out of bed early enough to run, I make the time to hurt, and improve. I love taking others along for the ride and encouraging others to get into the fitness thing. If that’s not happening, then it’s usually me being washed along in the wake left by others that are fitter than me, and I try to stay in their slipstream and not get away. I have legs and arms and a strong heart, and a stubborn head that says I can run a little faster and a little harder to catch up, even if I’m not ready of sufficiently prepared to do so.
I used to give up and not try, alot. Now I find myself signing up for things I can’t do and making damn sure I get to it prepared and ready to conquer. 21.5km Roller Coaster Run is next on the agenda, I know I will never had experienced fatigue like it when I go through it because it’s not in me to just aim to finish anything, I have to feel like I smashed it. I can’t wait to compete in this event to see how I really go pushing the limits, but I’m working damn hard to get there, and its only the beginning of great things.
I like to think I don’t complicate things, because I believe the world is a simple place if you let it be. Stand back, look at the big picture, take it all in. You only have one life, one chance, one opportunity to seize each moment. So be ready, be prepared. Don’t wait for things to come to you, no way, fuck that. Work for it, take it, control it, and blame no one for your failures. Trying and not succeeding is not failing, failing is not trying.
So that’s it right now. Create your own noise, and be heard. In a month I’ll be ready to take on something that has not been on my radar for 37 years. Suddenly, I’m all over it like a fat kid on a cupcake… or maybe a Spartan on a Protein Recovery Shake.