Passion. Life is a lot blander without it. Be it work or hobby I’m a big believer that you should do things you’re passionate about. It doesn’t always need to be full on ‘I want to change the world’ passion, but work in particular can be a very dull place if you have no passion at all for the company or the work that you do. Every day becomes an exercise in just getting through rather than feeling excited about what you might achieve.
The same applies to any hobby or sport that you do and perhaps none more so than running. If you don’t have some passion for running and it’s simply something you ‘should’ do then the chances of you doing it regularly and for more than a few months is slim.
My passions in life are family, running, food and developing people. These are the 4 things that make my world tick and are important to my happiness and satisfaction with life. It’s taken me a while to figure that out and what it means for my career but I feel like now at the grand old age of 33 I actually have a life plan. But the relative importance of these 4 things is constantly in flux, as is the time that I have available to allocate to them. If those two factors don’t align then it creates tension and stress, often unavoidable but from a running point of few important to acknowledge.
I was desperate for York marathon to be a good race for me, with good of course meaning a good time. I was focused, I was ready to put in the miles but the time side of the equation wouldn’t allow it. Family took priority, as it should and it meant a shift in goals. I had less time to train and more importantly wasn’t getting the rest necessary to train at the required intensity either. Easy to say but hard to accept when you’re motivated and hungry to achieve especially when it comes to marathons because it takes so long to build up to an A race.
I always find the start of races an emotional time, but standing in the start pen at York it really got to me. Not helped by a minutes round of applause for the runner who died a few weeks before at the Great North Run. In those moments of waiting for the hooter to sound you inevitably reflect on your training journey (if you excuse the cliché) of what you’ve been through just to get to that start line. This year has been a tough one for me and my family, we lost my wife’s mum and the kids nanna to cancer in March and Rupert has suffered from reflux since birth which means my wife and I haven’t had a block of sleep longer than 4 hours in a year. But running means so bloody much to me, it’s part of who I am and I was so thankful to be able to line up and start that race. That despite the challenges I am still healthy and I have a family who I want to make proud and show that exercise is a normal part of life.
So I tried to focus the emotion and use it in those tough moments that you have in any marathon where you have to fight off the demons just to keep your legs moving. I may not have run my goal time but I did still run a marathon which still remains a tough challenge. It’s taken me a few weeks to get over my post race missed target sulk though and actually look at the result in perspective. Now I’m ready to mentally get ready for the next challenge which is Broadway marathon.
The running mojo comes and goes, sometimes a 6am run feels like a chore and other times your leap out of bed. But the passion never goes, running is part of who I am now and it shapes how I lead my life. I love the feeling I get after a run both physically and mentally, I love getting out of my comfort zone and testing myself against new challenges, most of all I love just being out on the trails exploring and taking in the beautiful British countryside.
Passion is what makes the world tick, what are your passions?