This week I was really excited to receive confirmation of my place on the 2012 London Marathon. I am hoping that the course will run the same as the 2012 Olympic event, and will be just that bit more spectacular than it is already. It truly is a one off, and in some ways life changing, experience.
For me, the Marathon was always something I would love to watch on TV, and tell myself that I wanted to be a part of. For any number of poor reasons this never happened (all no doubt down to me and a certain laziness) until a time in my life when I made a “now or never” decision. Having submitted the application through a charity, I then found myself committed and needing to both train and raise funds for the chosen cause. The training was tough and given my poor eating and drinking habits, parts of my body that no doubt could have hurt less if taken more care of, ached and reminded me on a daily basis that 26 + miles is no short distance….there was however no chance of quitting, before, during or after the race.
The day came, all to quickly, and 40,000 + people of all ages lined up on a really hot April Sunday to run their hearts out for their chosen causes. I can’t properly explain the feelings that flow through you as you are running, passing personal landmarks, people in all sorts of costumes, the crowds of people cheering strangers, friends and family alike – and the moment every part of you wants to stop and you tell yourself NO! (one thing you will never be ready for is on mile 26, so close to the end, when a man dressed as a womble passes you, and as much as you want to, your legs just can not go any faster, and you watch said womble fade in to the distance). There is an uncontrollable wave of emotion that comes over you as you turn the final corner at the Mall, and you see the finish line, and whatever energy you have left is spent running across the line as if you had just won the whole thing.
Then, almost as quickly as you told yourself on that cold January morning when out training that you would never do this again, you return home and check the opening date for the next years registration. This coming year will be my third marathon, maybe my last…..I wanted to run a second to prove that the first wasn’t a fluke, and a third “for me”….but running has taught me to never say never….
I know the above deviates a little from the usual theme of events, but there are still comparisons. We spend a large portion of our days planning, training, focusing our brains on the task at hand, and the events that we are aiming to pull off with consummate professionalism and excellence. Sometimes there is the need to commit and get on with it, the need to take that half step back, and whilst recognizing that the journey is a long one, that the dedication we show to our events and our clients, will in the end reap all worthy reward.
I would love to hear about the challenges you have overcome, the personal goals you have ticked off from your to do lists….