Everybody would like to think they’re capable of achieving greatness by themselves.. the simple fact is they’re not. The fact is, it isn’t possible. No matter who you are, whatever your situation and whatever your sport.. let’s take boxing for example.. on face value its a individual sport.. one guy attempting to kill another guy and survive at the same time, ducking and weaving avoiding potential life threatening blows.. behind that though there’s an entire team who’ve got that guy to the position he currently stands in. Those early starts, those intense training sessions. The strict dieting.. everything has been calculated with precision and achieved as a team.. to be great you have to acknowledge these things. You have to know that to truly achieve everything you want to you have to take many people along for the ride. People who will bring out the best in you, challenge you, pick you up when your down and have faith in you at times you may not have faith in yourself.
I’ve come to realise that marathon training is very much like the above. It takes a lot of understanding and sacrifice to truly succeed and not just your own. I see people like Mo Farah tweeting from training camps whilst hundreds if not thousands of miles away from his wife and children. All to better himself and achieve individual greatness. His wife’s name will never be in the record books..but she is just as responsible for his success as he is.. marriage is all about teamwork and its this teamwork which means people such as Mo are capable of achieving huge individual successes.
To give you a little bit of insight into my life.. which I’m hoping wont bore you all too much as your now on this journey with me. Id first like to thank everyone that’s been keeping up with my blog.. I’ve had some incredible comments and lots of views so far and I hope this continues.. As a friend keeps telling me he doesn’t think it will be long until people work out I’m a bit of an idiot! (he used a much more colourful word which Ill leave to your interpretation!) I’m hoping this is after the marathons though as its helping having such interest in my journey and it really does spur me on.. anyway.. I digress.. I’m 28 years old from the UK (I’m northern born but https://tomfazakerley.wordpress.com is convinced I’m southern due to my relocation early on in my life). I’m married to an amazing woman and have a 12 year old step daughter who challenges me every second of everyday.. I feel like she is taking revenge for all the torment and suffering I put my mum through when I was younger!
Everything I do is to make the two of them proud. I have both their names tattooed on my arm and their names printed on my custom Nike ID running shoes. Even though its just me putting in the miles they are both with me every step of the way. My wife helps schedule my training with me, coordinates our diets, plans things around my longer runs and picking up the slack when I’m preparing to go run. She does all this whilst studying further accountancy qualifications (she’s an accountant yet without a calculator her maths is terrible!).. It probably works in my favour that I’m scared of her (she has one hell of a left hook) as it keeps me in check when I’m letting the side down occasionally away from the training. I got told off this morning for not getting enough blueberries from the supermarket like I was asked.. I did however manage to buy the things I needed. I admit I do have a habit of being a bit selfish but ultimately everything I do is for my family. No matter what I achieve in the next few weeks and throughout my life will be FOR them and WITH them. Its teamwork like this that makes you the person you want to become.
I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter what your circumstances are, you can’t do it alone and you don’t have to. If you have a family then get them involved. Otherwise your home life will suffer and you’ll piss them off! Which is dangerous if your other half has a left/right hook like mine! If you can get a good balance then your halfway to winning the battle already. If your single and feel like your alone then my advice still stands. Even reading this blog is counted as helping (even though its pretty rubbish, give me some credit!). Every time you go on Google looking for a workout plan or read men’s fitness and note down some diet advice.. your embracing help and embracing the reality that sometimes you don’t know best and to achieve great things your going to accept help. I guess every bloke in existence is guilty of thinking they’re superman. (myself included). We like to think we can do everything and that we are better than everyone.. that our general knowledge is top notch. That the guy on that program is definitely not that guy from that other film you watched the other month when your wife insists it is.. Even if we’re proved wrong we will find a way to retain some dignity or just pretend we meant something else. What we wont do is say (oh yeah my bad your right)..
If you can embrace that even intense individual sports require a good level of teamwork then you really will achieve great things. My bodybuilder friend Martin Rowlands will back me up on this as he trains for his own individual competition. Not only will it help lighten the load as you train and get yourself fighting fit but you’ll have a lot more confidence when your stood on that start line ready to give it everything (whatever your sport). You’ll be competing not only for yourself but for everyone who has faith in you and has helped you get there. Being human means you wont want to let them down.. you’ll want to repay their faith 10 times over.. its this that will give you that extra 10% when you feel like giving up and feel like you cant go any further.. Think about that when your leaving the house via a slammed front door as your Mrs is shouting at you for being selfish.. I speak from experience when I say you’ll need her if your going to achieve anything of significance.. just do the washing up, give her a kiss and smash that personal best.
RANT WARNING: Do people really think that a decent blog worth reading consists if simply writing “Here is what I did in the gym today. (insert 10 x 3 sets of 5 body part exercises here).. no one cares mate.. if you’d written where your head was at, what your trying to achieve rather than the fact that you were wearing an awesome snap back and your selfie game is on point then you might get a few more likes.. however post it on instagram instead and your well in. I stand by my point that to have followers on instagram you have to either A) be famous, B) have massive tits C) be a massive tit (unsure why I don’t have more followers based on C).
Half marathon distance tomorrow.. wish me luck!