In my life, I have done quite a few multi-week challenges and I know how tough they are to get through. The key for me is understanding the WHY. Why am I doing something that is tough and sometimes hurts? As long as I know my WHY and I am connected passionately to it, I know I can endure.
I see a lot of correlation between what we are currently being asked to endure with the pandemic and my multi-week challenges. Those challenges have involved me running a marathon (or sometimes even more) per day, every day, for weeks and months on end. Here’s what I’ve learned about how my body and mind cope with the stress I put it under.
I’m all gung ho. I know what I’m doing, why I’m doing it. It feels weird and hard, but I have an abundance of energy and enthusiasm to keep me going.
My body starts throwing tantrums, aches and pains start to surface. But I keep going, and I deal with the little tantrums. I know the reasons why I’m doing this and the long term goal is stronger than the short term niggles. I just need to get through this part because…
The daily routine of running crazy distances becomes a habit. My body adapts to the stresses I’ve put on it and this has now become my normal. From that point on, it’s all about remaining focussed on the reasons why and keeping on going.
I have ups and downs, I may have created a habit, but it’s still hard. I keep focused on my whys and understand that it’s easier to keep going than stop and have to start again – the end is closer than the start.
It has been my final week, it feels like party week, but I still need to take all those daily steps right to the very end. Life is about to go back to normal – but it won’t be normal, normal is this. The end is almost a bit daunting, but … what I’ve learned is that I now know that I am stronger than I was at the start and that I will be able to cope.
The challenge of the pandemic
With everything that has gone on in the world with Covid-19, my immediate life has changed. I’m no longer visiting schools, doing talks, running with groups, taking on extraordinary physical challenges. I’m uncertain about timeframes and what my future holds. Will I be able to travel freely and run around the world? Who knows, I don’t.
So rather than dwell on these thoughts I work on the things I can do. I can still train at home and run within short distances from my house. I am also finally writing about my adventures. Sitting down in one spot is not my normal, but I am embracing it and hopefully, it will produce something that I will be proud of. Something that will provide inspiration to others and who knows maybe even takes me off on a different kind of extraordinary adventure.
There’s a routine that I follow every morning, as I wake up I say “thank you”. I’m thankful that I wake up, I’m thankful for my body, my brain, for everything that I have. I sit up, grab my journal which is beside my bed and I write it down. Thank you.
It’s a thank you to myself, to those around me, to the universe, it’s a nice way to start the day, there’s plenty of time for the world to rush in and make demands, throw obstacles, provide challenges later during the day. But the first 10-15 minutes of the day are my quiet time.
I also write about my vision and my mission. They are the guidelines of what I want to achieve, what I believe in and what is my purpose. The power of my mind and my conviction are the things that I can control and I work on these daily.
The first thing I’ll be doing when the lockdown is lifted is going for a run through my favourite woods (it’s a 45-minute drive from home, so I am not going there). And hopefully, I’ll go on a book tour of the UK – why not!
Stay strong. Stay healthy. We will get through this.