Monday, 1 December 2014

Once Upon A Time...

…there was a girl. She liked helping people. She decided to raise some money for charity by running 5k. She found it a challenge but loved being part of something and doing her bit. In fact she got a bit of a buzz from it so she decided to do it again, this time by running a bit further. She started to enjoy running despite never really having enjoyed sports before. She liked the challenge and the way it made her feel. She also quite liked having clearer skin and a little more room in her jeans.

Eventually she ran her first half marathon… in a cotton t-shirt and thick jogging bottoms. She cried for the last 3 miles because it hurt so much but she finished anyway and resolved to do better next time. There were many more next times; many more challenges of all kinds. There were mountains and sky dives and fire walking and open water swims and obstacle races and triathlons. She did so much she couldn’t ask for sponsorship for everything so she just did the events for the love of them.
She started writing about her challenges, not because she thought many people would be interested enough to read but because she liked writing and it was like keeping a diary.

She started to follow other blogs and other runners on twitter. She took out a subscription to a running magazine. She admired athletes, adventurers and celebrities who ran. She read their autobiographies and watched their documentaries and was in awe of people who did crazy and amazing things. She found a whole community of people, some starting out, some doing things she had never contemplated. In time she started to not only contemplate but do these things too. She was able to help people by offering support.

She couldn’t sate her appetite for achievement and challenge, couldn’t see the changes in herself that others saw. She had feelings of inferiority and of not being good enough. She was on a path she’d never planned to travel and couldn’t see where it ended.

She kept on writing and started to contribute to other blogs and magazines. She started to learn formally about fitness and nutrition. She admired people like Greg Whyte and wanted to emulate him. She was able to help people by giving advice based on her study.

One day she found a photo that was taken after that first half marathon. She looked back at all she’d written, at the people she’d admired and the things she’d done. And she saw how far she’d come, all she’d achieved. And she was finally satisfied.

“Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.” —Antonio Machado

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