You can’t do this alone…

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.

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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.

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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!

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Listen… to your body.

So we’re just over 4 weeks out until the marathons begin.. It’s actually one Month today with the first being the Hull Marathon on 13th September.. crazy to think that all the hardwork and sacrifices will soon be put to the test as I line up amongst hundreds of other people who have all put themselves through similar situations over the past few months.. Not sure how many of them I will see the following 2 weeks in a row at my other marathons! I mean who is crazy enough to do 3 in 14 days? Hmmm..

Having overcome the mental strain I put on myself last weekend I do feel like the black clouds have been lifted. Having completed two good 45 minute sessions on consecutive days this week I’m feeling positive. Unfortunately my body doesn’t really agree! I’ve got to a point with my training where Im confident of overcoming the longer distances and know over the next 2 weekends I’ll test myself at a half marathon distance and then 20+ mile distance. I know that if I can get through the next 2 weeks I’m fully ready to line up on the 13th September and nail it..

So yeah.. my body’s not my best friend right now.. I feel like I’m picking up little niggles and strains and my knees are shouting at me a lot more often.. 6 days a week training for 12 weeks straight being the obvious cause.. Hey at least I’ve followed the plan right? But who decides whether that plan is exactly right for me and my needs? Everybody is different and everyone reacts differently to training whether it be through previous training experience or their diet. It will all affect different people in different ways. The point I’m trying to get to is that I gave myself the night off and went to Nando’s with my wife.. and I don’t feel bad about it whatsoever! At least it’s given me something to write about this evening! Silver lining and all that…

I’ve followed a BUPA marathon plan for so long now my body lets me train 6 days consecutively.. it also seems to know when I’m approaching a rest day. I’ve put it to the test over short distances and also long distances and it hasn’t let me down yet.. I feel like I’m prepared to put it to work for 4+ consecutive hours on race day and as I mentioned above feel confident that it i can get through the 20+ mile run approaching next week that I’ll be fine. It’s this reasoning thats led me to be more relaxed as we approach the business end of proceedings. I know my body.. and I knew tonight it wanted a Chicken platter with spicy rice and minted peas… In all seriousness though.. No one plan is going to work for everybody.. and I think I’m in a much better place heading into tomorrows training and the 13.1 mile session on sunday having spent the evening recovering than putting further strain on my body when it was already telling me it needed a rest. Yes there’s overcoming the ‘I just cant be bothered’ mentality but this is far from that.. We’re almost at game day and I intend to line up feeling 100%.. not struggling because I pushed my body too far on a light 40 minute Thursday run..

Don’t feel guilty if you have to listen to your body and take more rest.. it will repay you in the long run when your running faster, further and for longer.. or whatever your sport or challenge. You stand a much better chance of succeeding if you listen to your body more than you do some random routine you found on the internet that works for that guy with all the nice Instagram photos.. (and yes by now you’ve probably realised I’m just bitter and jealous)..

Also I wonder if my wife will grass me in when she reads above by telling every on that I also had chips..

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Punch through it, put your all in to it…

I’ve done a lot of self reflection over the past 48 hours.. In fact I feel like I’ve just been sat behind the metaphorical wall I hit whilst out running Sunday afternoon. To be honest I’d still be there if it wasn’t for all the people I feel I’d be letting down..including myself. I started these jottings to track my journey through all 3 marathons.. I wanted to track the highs but also the lows.. I just wasn’t prepared for the low part as much as I thought I would be..

Monday is my one rest night a week.. the one night where I can relax and forget about the countless miles of running and just sit and chill.. Chill being an appropriate word considering last night was spent icing my knees.. (and no not sugar icing as one friend suggested).. I spent most of this particular rest night doubting all the hardwork Ive put in over the past 12 weeks.. the hard miles I’ve covered and the blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into where I am right now. Going through all this is normal people were telling me.. Your going to go through times like this.. You just gotta forget about it and get back out there.. Thats the problem with marathon training.. your out on the road for a hell of a long time.. and its a long time to be alone with your thoughts.. that voice in the back of your head telling you that your getting tired or that your bored. Wondering what everyone else is doing whilst your in some field somewhere with noone for company but all the bugs that annoyingly keep landing on your face and those annoying cars that give you absolutely no room whatsoever when going past you.. (one day ill literally just run over their bonnet and roof.. depending how many miles Ive been running by that point!).. When the words on the ipod start getting drowned out by the voices telling you that you cant keep going then thats when the problems start.. and thats what happened to me on Sunday.. the voices were telling me I hadnt eaten enough, that it was too late to run, that my routine had been ruined, that it was too warm.. God knows what was even playing on my ipod to be honest.

So this is the part where I tell you that I slept on it and woke up this morning feeling ready to crack on and nail it again right? Hmm.. almost. I was still doubting myself and wondering if Id be able to get out tonight and run the scheduled 40 minutes that occurs on a tuesday eve.. to counter this I decided to google ‘marathon losing motivation’.. however after typing just ‘marathon losing’ I was given the options of ‘toe nails, weight and control of bowel movements’.. luckily I still have all my toenails and can control when I go to the toilet.. anyways.. moving on.. when i finally found what I was looking for (theres a song in there somewhere).. I was shown everything deep down I already knew.. Change your routine!

Living in the countryside I’ve got quite a good 8.5 mile route Ive used for the majority of my training.. whether it be the whole distance or for instance running 6.5 then turning round for another 6.5 to get a half marathon distance.. I figured that if I could handle running the same routes over and over I could handle the boredom that comes from running for 4 hours straight right? Wrong.. Alarm bells were ringing when i realised I could visualise the entire route metre by metre.. I knew exactly how far Id ran at every point and I was literally counting down the seconds of each run.. Something had to give.. and sunday it was my sanity..

So fast forward to this evening to me being in the worst mood ever (apologies to my amazing wife).. and apologies to the wheelie bin which got knocked over on my approach to my front door.. (ive picked it up now.. altho Jen tells me it isnt actually our bin).. I grabbed my headphones and went to sit on the bed and try to get my head in the game.. Jay Z – Jungle, Aloe Black – I’m the Man.. eventually started to do the trick.. I decided on a different route and even different running gear.. including different trainers.. I tried to make everything slightly different to sunday in an effort to cast aside the negative energy associated with my ‘off day’.

It worked. I hit the 40 min mark at a decent pace about 3 minutes from home.. and decided to carry on for those extra few minutes. I ran with a smile on my face and a spring in my step as I knew I could do it.. Yeah there were going to be stumbling blocks in the way and I have no doubt there will be a few more.. but its what makes us human i guess and what drives great people to achieve great things. People can question my greatness but it will be the same people sitting at home tucking into their carb heavy evening meal at the end of September whilst they tell their partner “This guy I know did 3 marathons this month.. wish I could do something like that but I just dont have the time”.. (I’m sure there are plenty of blog posts around that will tell you to make time).. I know ill complete these challenges Ive set myself and I know at times I’ll enjoy it and at times i’ll absolutely hate it.. but I’ll get there.. no one said it was going to be easy. I dont think I’d be bothering if it was to be honest…

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Follow my good friend JR for some amazing quick and easy recipes to try out.

Credit to Eminem – Phenomenal for the Subject Lyrics. The song from the hit film ‘Southpaw’ which I highly recomend.

Until next time….. FOCUS!

Hitting that brick wall and what to take from it..

With 5 weeks to go until my first of three Marathons I’ve come to realise the importance of routine. The main battle with achieving such an elite distance isn’t with your legs or your lung capacity but your mind. If you can master that battle then your half way there already.

Having spent the weekend celebrating my wedding anniversary my ‘long run routine’ couldn’t have been further away from where it needed to be.. To give you an insight..my usual routine consists of a nice carbohydrate heavy evening meal (home made pizza is a personal favourite), no fizzy drinks and to consume water throughout the evening. I’ll have an early night and then get up about 7am to have poached eggs on toast with a strong filter coffee. Having finished this by 7.30 ill spend an hour relaxing whether it be listening to music or a few computer games.. with a route planned ill then begin some stretches shortly after 9 with the intention to be hitting the pavement by 10am. Over the past few months I’ve learnt its important to work towards a time that you will be running the actual event your training for so your body can be as prepared as possible.

With 15 miles on the schedule for today the preparation was awful but I tried my best to push this from my mind and get ready. I tried to convince myself I’d be fine once I got out there and the feeling of getting it done would be worth it. Mile 1.. ok not great but not bad either.. its warm but were going to get this done. Mile 2.. I’m not sure about this.. im not enjoying the route and It doesn’t feel right.. Mile 3.. I’ve stopped for water a couple of times now.. a week ago this was a lot different.. 3.4 miles and its over.. No matter how much I tried to convince myself I could do it and try to push through to get it done it just wasn’t going to be. A short call to the local taxi firm (or my wife as she is more commonly known) and I sat to think about what I was going to take from this experience.

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I have a friend who’s also began trying to better himself by running good distances with his aim to complete a half marathon.. There’s times when I’ll get a text message if he’s struggling or thinks he’s too sore to get his workout done and I’ll usually have a few unkind words for him to try and get him to crack on! This was the first thing I thought about when I sat on the grass looking along the road I had just ran down. This was different though.. Id also always told him the importance of a strong routine and making sure his diet was right and how it needed to be in anticipation for his workouts. This is what I knew I’d got wrong.. massively wrong. But then who’s going to turn down a complimentary cooked breakfast in a 5* hotel the morning after their 1st Wedding Anniversary! That’s when I knew all I could do was keep smiling and again, use what I was experiencing to learn from and motivate me over the next 5 weeks of training.

I guess what I’m trying to say is if you want to achieve something truly great it doesn’t matter if you’ve cooked yourself 10 meals for the week ahead, bought yourself a box full of supplements and got that nice Nike Pro outfit you’ve had your eye on for a while.. If your not mentally ready for what lies ahead you won’t get there. Yeah those first few sessions might go well and your ‘at the gym’ check ins will get a few likes.. but eventually your going to go back to your old ways and your old routines. Your going to be first in line for those cakes in the office again.. even though all the ‘oh your so good not having one’ comments made you feel really good about yourself. So how do we avoid this happening?

The key is to find a routine that works for you and one that’s realistic. If you have a family then you need to sit down and work something out that doesn’t affect everyone around you.. if that happens then eventually all the aggravation you get will ruin any progress you hope to make! If you create yourself a realistic schedule with realistic timings then you will make the progress you want to make. What happened to me today is proof of that. If my schedule was as it usually is I’d be sat here writing about how well training is going in my usual witty manner. Instead I’m sat here writing about my failures in an effort to help others such as yourself.

Its also important to remember that hitting this brick wall shouldn’t ever be classed as failure. As I’ve written about previously you must listen to your mind as well as your body in order to make the progress you want to. However it’s also important not to confuse laziness for mental exhaustion! If you give yourself the tools to succeed the only thing that will hold you back is yourself.. If you think you need a break then have one.. but also make sure your back out there tomorrow, on schedule. Otherwise in 12 months you’ll be reading more blogs like this one (admittedly better ones no doubt) trying to motivate yourself again.

I’ve received some great feedback since I started writing these blogs and its been great to know that what I’m saying has actually been worth reading. Any other feedback is greatly appreciated.

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Have the courage…

To date, I’ve used my daily ramblings to do my best to encourage and motivate mostly complete strangers. People who have no reason to take my advice and no reason to believe anything I write whatsoever! I feel its important never to direct people but to advise. No one has to take any of the advice on offer and if you don’t finish reading each post feeling slightly more motivated then that’s fair enough.. feel free to move on to the next blog outlining that if you do 200 sit ups and eat exactly what he/she tells you to that you’ll become a better person and take over the world. The reality is you won’t.. you’ll just be some idiot that listened to another idiot.

I want to use my own learning and experiences to motivate the ‘common man/woman’. I want to appeal to the person who doesn’t think they’re quite good enough or doesn’t have enough self belief to truly achieve something. No matter where you are in the world I can be that person. It doesn’t even have to be fitness related. If your goal is to run a marathon.. great, my ramblings should make a lot of sense! If your goal is simply to believe in yourself more and stop trusting most of the rubbish you see on social media and in your life then I think I can help you too.. You just need to begin to help yourself too 🙂

People always wonder how I can be so focused on certain things whether it be training or having a balanced diet.. there really is no secret to it. My way of doing it is by telling anyone that will listen what I’m doing.. that way my motivation is to not look stupid when on a Monday I said id given up cakes and then by Wednesday I’m tucking into a Victoria sponge.  Yeah you have to treat yourself occasionally.. but what the hell did you do between Monday and Wednesday to think you deserved a Victoria sponge at 9.15am?! I don’t care how good it tastes.. If you want to achieve something great and feel good about yourself then put the work in..Time-to-believe

The quote I’ve used on this page can be related to anything. No matter what you are going through or however bad you think things may be. If you have the courage to listen to your heart you can achieve anything.. no matter how far away it may seem and whatever your goal may be. Like I said the other day, you may not become the next Bill Gates or the next David Beckham but you’ll feel damn good about yourself as you begin your journey and notice the progress you are making each day/week/month. Please trust me when I say its a much better feeling than regret.ms-diet-progress-report-featured-575x262

The simple fact is, whatever your going through, you’ll get through it. If you’re going through tough times in your relationship/life.. and it seems like the end of the world.. it isnt. You just need to believe in yourself, break it down into smaller chunks and get it done! Of course you’re going to get overwhelmed if your stood looking at it all as a whole. The EXACT same thing translates into my training. No way am I going to stand at the start line and think about the next 4+ hours and 26.2 miles.. I’m going to be thinking of my first mile pace, my stretching and my plan to get the blood flowing.. The concepts really do apply to anything.. If your sat in the office staring at a massive task you’ve been set.. yeah you could sit and bitch about your boss and how much of an idiot they are and how unmanageable it is.. Or you could use the brain that got you the job in the first place.. break it down and get it done!

Crossing the finish line

Wherever you are, whoever you are and whatever your goals are.. Have the courage to believe in yourself.. after the first few steps you’ll be flying. Oh.. and smile every step of the way.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs

If you put in the work the results will come.. Set the pace.

I’ve always believed that you get out what you put in.. I think thats true of everything in life. There will always be those people who sit at home believing that the world owes them a favour. Then there will be those people who go out and take what they want from the world. It’s completely up to you which side you want to be on.. trust me though if you spend your whole life thinking your owed everything the only favour you’ll get is your nice benefits cheque each month.. Its highly unlikely that this comes with a massive sense of achievment and a feeling of pure accomplishment.. your more than likely just a douchebag..

Im never going to pretend I have time for those people because I really dont. They dont interest me in the slightest. If I want something I’ll work hard to get it.. and yeah I might need a bit of luck along the way but I’ll stick at it and I’ll get there. I get so frustrated seeing people disgard their potential all because it might take a little bit of effort. Just imagine if all the people who fought to make our countries great had the same attitude? Or if all the incredibly hard working doctors and nurses just ‘couldnt be bothered’..

If you put the work in you will reap the benefits. This translates all through your life.. if you work hard at school you’ll get good grades, You’ll move on to higher education or go into employment where you’ll continue to put the work in and succeed in your chosen career path.. All of the above is down to you.. if you want to blame foreign people who are way more hardworking than you’ll ever be then fine.. but your only kidding yourself… I didnt begin on a cold wet tuesday evening, get round the block and give up.. I put on a rain coat, turned on the spotify playlist and absolutely smashed it until I couldnt run a second more.. On the 28th September I will wake up incredibly sore.. incredibly drained but with 3 marathon medals on the bedside table and a huge smile on my face. Why is that so? Because you get out what you put in.. Yes everybody needs a bit of luck along the way.. and if you work hard you’ll probably get it.. You’ll get to achieve something you never thought possible.. you’ll feel more confident, you’ll want to challenge yourself to achieve other things in your life and you’ll wake up with a smile on your face.. All because you didnt give up on that cold wet tuesday evening after a long day at work where the weird lady with the moustache in the office used your favourite mug and ruined your whole morning.. You picked that cracked spare mug out the cupboard and just got on with it.. that’s why your boss thinks your awesome.. because you just get on with it whilst everyone else sits around moaning..

Have a think and decide who you want to be.. I think if your reading this you already know the answer.

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Your weaknesses are also your biggest strengths.

In just over 5 weeks I’ll begin the first of my 3 challenges. Lining up to complete 26.2 miles on my journey to 78. I feel like I’ve learnt so many things over the last few months and picked up some great advice along the way. I guess that is the main reason I started writing these things down not only so I could look back on it all afterwards but also to offer some inspiration to anyone else who may need it.

The most important thing I’ve learnt so far is just how important it is to listen to not only your body but your mind too. Whatever you set out to achieve, whether it be completing an elite distance or another challenge you may have set yourself its important to listen to what your head is telling you. Most of the time it will be telling you the usual, “I really cant be bothered”, or “What is the point in this?” and whilst its up to you to workout why its telling you these things its also your job to work out why.

Personally, until yesterday I hadn’t missed a single 6 days a week training session since I started over 3 months ago. Yesterday however, my mind just wasn’t in it. My body was ready to give it a good go, which in itself was surprising considering the 18 miles I put it through on Sunday but my head just wasn’t. It wasn’t telling me I couldn’t be bothered or questioning the point it just knew something wasn’t right. This in itself relates to some recent personal circumstances which I feel I’ve never used as an excuse or a reason not to give 110% every time I’ve stepped out the house. I have however given it all I’ve got to be truly prepared for the challenges I’ve set myself which is why I sit here now happy with my decision to have an extra days rest and get ready to really go for it this evening.

Its listening to your mind which can become your greatest weapon. You can fine tune your body as much as you want until you look like an extra from the film ‘300’ if you really want to.. but if your head just isn’t in it you’ll probably be stood there looking a bit stupid to be honest.. but hey.. at least you’ll have some really good instagram photos and a few more cheeky follows! If that’s all your aiming for then job done and fair play to you. If however you want to achieve something truly great you need to listen. If you need a rest then take a rest. You’ve achieved the hardest part already.. you’ve started. You’ve decided you want to do something, whether it be lose weight, better yourself or compete in something. This in itself is enough to give yourself a pat on the back. Be careful though, it isn’t an excuse to have that cream cake and give yourself a days rest every other day.

If you listen properly and apply it in the right way your opportunities are endless and you can turn what some may consider weakness into your biggest strength.. its up to you to listen and apply it correctly. You’ll only get out what you put in at the end of the day.. Don’t be that person who sits there on December 31st wishing they’d tried a bit harder with that diet plan or that boot camp you joined but only attended twice.. You know you can do it otherwise you wouldn’t have started and you wouldn’t be reading this right now.. Just get on with it.. be great.

It’s supposed to be hard..

Sitting here now, reflecting on my biggest running achievement to date is quite a mixed bag of emotions. Was it hard? Yes it was. Was I smiling all the way through? Damn right I was. Why spend all the countless hours training and scheduling your entire life around ‘running’ if you’re not going to enjoy yourself? I think as you become good at something and notice the improvements you are making it’s hard not to reflect positively on how far you’ve come. This is what should drive that spark of madness that has you laughing as you struggle to put one foot in front of the other as you approach the last mile. The only thing which keeps you from total madness is knowing that you can actually do it.. that your about to achieve something you didn’t think was possible..

Physically I’m in the best shape of my life.. mentally, I’m almost ready to stand on the start line knowing I’m about to go through 4 hours of pure hell 3 weeks in a row. With 6 weeks to go until it all begins there are only 5 distance runs left in my schedule.. the longest being 22 miles in 3 weeks time (stay tuned for a blog post about that no doubt!). Having dedicated my life to improving day after day, week after week I feel like I am truly ready to achieve something and that all the hard work is going to pay off. I think my wife will also be counting down the days so we can have conversations which don’t always begin with “how are your legs feeling this morning?” and “shall i get the ice pack?”!

As you’ve probably guessed by my previous blog posts I’ve always considered myself Mr. Average. I’ve never been the one running home to my Mum to tell her about my A* and I’ve never been the one to really excel at anything. I have friends who have gone on to achieve massive success worldwide and I know full well I’ll never experience that myself. Does this make me any less of a person? Should it make you think any less of yourself just because you’ll never win a gold medal and have a postbox painted gold in your town? Of course not. As long as you can end each day,week or month telling yourself that you kicked some ass and that you’ve achieved something which means something to you and you alone then that is enough. You don’t have to be tweeted about, written about or have posters with your face on to achieve something. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice but it doesn’t define who you are and what you are capable of.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. You are, and its up to you to make sure everybody knows it.

Smile.. 18 miles to go. 

I’d be lying to you if i said I was confident. I would also be lying if I said I hadn’t done all I could to be ready for the challenges ahead of me. Tomorrow morning I’ll run the furthest I’ve ever tried in my lead up to my 3 marathon events in September. 18 miles of nothing but hard road, countryside and a very questionable spotify playlist.. 

Training 6 days a week has definitely taken its toll both physically and mentally but at the same time I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and mentally stronger too. Everybody faces that moment where they just want to give up.. And most people do from time to time.. Myself included. It’s extremely difficult to convince yourself to keep going and to focus on that feeling you will experience once you’ve accomplished something great. It’s a great feeling but once your slowing down and struggling it seems completely out of reach. 

 
As I’ve put in the miles and spent a lot of time with just the open road and my thoughts I’ve learnt that it’s ok to be struggling.. It’s a sign that your working hard. If you need to slow down then slow down.. If you need to stop and take a drink and stretch out then do so.. That extra few seconds on your finish time will just be there for the beating the following week! Yeah maybe you could have gone hat extra few steps or pushed that extra bit longer.. But they will be the first things you remember next time. Remember.. Like j said before. Strength comes from the struggles you face. It’s these struggles that will make you great.

See you again in 18 miles.. 

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Strength does not come from winning..

As my previous post outlined, everybody wants to be great. The fact is though that nobody starts out there. The definition of ‘great’ has also become incredibly misguided with the development of technology and social media.. so much so that its probably doing more bad than good.. I see so many Instagram profiles for both men and women filled with images of 6 packs and zero % body fat. I don’t doubt that everybody looks at them and thinks ‘I’d love to look like that’.. myself included. How many of us could realistically get there though? Yes it is technically possible but at what cost? So why do the people posting feel that this is the way to do things?

Having a brother who is a bodybuilder ( @bigfella2901 ) I see the hardwork and dedication that goes into it along with raising 2 young children with his Fiancee.. he manages the balance incredibly well and I’m extremely proud. Does this mean his Instagram pictures will motivate the average person who works a 9-5 and fancies making a change? The simple answer is no it wont. His pictures will motivate the bodybuilders who want to get better at it and perhaps seek advice and motivation.

Everybody has started out as that person who walks into the gym feeling totally overwhelmed and self conscious. The internet should be the same. Yes we look up to that guy lifting 100+kg like its nothing but we don’t need to workout next to him every single day.  That is what the internet is becoming. Not everyone will get to that stage but it doesn’t mean they should be ignored. I know i’ll never be an elite marathon runner but at the same time I know I’m going to try my best every session and I’m happy with that. If people kept telling me my goal was to beat Mo Farah then I’d give up a lot sooner than simply ‘doing my best’. I think this is reflected over social media. So many people will see all these perfect bodies and just consider it too out of reach to even try. If I can motivate even one person to at least do their best and feel a sense of achievement within themselves then I’ll be happy. You don’t need to take your top off on Instagram to feel like your worth something. Yes it may get you a few likes and a cheeky follow from ‘Chardonnay from Brentwood’ but is that really going to mean anything?

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Just do your best. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that isn’t good enough. Not all of us are built to be superstars but that doesn’t make us any less of a person than the one’s who are considered so. Cristiano Ronaldo may be ‘great’ but he got there by ‘doing his best’ and having a little bit of luck along the way no doubt. If you’re doing something you love and your doing well at it then your on the right path. Your best IS good enough and you WILL get out everything you put in. You just have to start..

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you overcome hardships, that is Strength. (Arnold Sschwarzenegger)