it was supposed to be about health. fitness. a crazy goal. proving a point.
nothing more than that really.
but the universe had other ideas. the marathon was supposedly the end-point. it actually turned out to be a starting point of a new era.
if that sounds strange, trust me when i say it’s even stranger to experience it firsthand!
but before i expand on that further, let’s just have a quick recap on what has actually happened so far…
it all started with a crazy idea
the initial idea was simple. take a completely out of shape, unfit, unhealthy, overweight 42 year old, and turn that into someone able to complete a full marathon. time taken was immaterial, just to simply cross the finish line would be enough.
the story does go back a little further, and this idea really came about about halfway through some personal development work i was doing. but for now let’s just say it started with this crazy idea.
and so it began. probably about 6 months building up a foundation of fitness and healthy habits. then 6 months easing into running and increasing endurance.
then things really started to get interesting – I decided to run a half marathon and see how i coped with that.
britt reminded me that my goal was to run a full marathon. i wound up signing up for both!
training for a marathon provides loads of thinking time
the time spent on long runs, and the event itself, gives many opportunities to face perceived limitations. to find and push your limits. but also to think.
and when you think for 3, 4 or 5 hours at a time, lose yourself in the depths of your own mind, it’s surprising what comes up.
fears. memories. unfulfilled dreams. unrequited ambitions. much more besides.
to put it simple, your sh*t starts to bubble to the surface. in my case, that had already started with the personal development work. the marathon training magnified and accelerated that.
it can be quite confronting at times, yet it also somehow drives you on. adds fuel to the fire. challenges you to get those long runs done.
that theme continued with the actual events
during the half marathon i wound up in a “conversation” with a younger version of me. more sh*t bubbling to the surface. more demons from the past presenting themselves, and successfully put to the sword.
the build-up to the marathon brought yet more suppressed emotions and memories. but with them also realisations of how and why certain things were the way they were.
the marathon – almost 7 hours of it – was amazing. the fact i didn’t quit, the fact i was able to dig deep and keep going when things got a little tough… there were emotions along the way, but perhaps not quite so much in the way of emotional baggage.
i choked up when i crossed the finish line, but the feeling was definitely one of “job done”
i could not have been further from the truth!
after the marathon, things started to really kick off
the way i describe things these days is like this… the marathon was the end of an era but the start of another.
in the days after the event, i found that past memories and experiences wanted to come to the surface and be dealt with.
i wrote a few short blogs giving a potted history of how “mr fat guy” came to be.
i gave a lot of thought to how and why my life had gone in the directions it had.
a few people got surprise emails and messages, some of them after not hearing from me for decades. long-overdue apologies, that sort of thing.
i wrote several long blogs, plumbing the very depths of my soul.
it dawned on me that my resistance to goals, planning and even ambition were a direct result of having my boyhood plans (to join the Royal Navy) cruelly snatched away from me.
it dawned on me that i’d spent 30 years following the tried and tested template for life that fails to satisfy the vast majority of people on this planet.
and that is pretty much when i realised i had woken up
until fairly recently i described pre- and post-marathon versions of myself as “old me” and “new me”.
now i am increasingly seeing that there is “real me” or “awake me”, the one who existed until the age of 15 or 16.
after that a “sleepy me” took over, sleep-walking through the next 25 years or so.
until he slowly woke up again over the past 2 years.
I now consider myself to be in a “real me” state – having emerged from a very long hibernation.
in fact, hibernation is a very good term to use, because now i have to re-emerge from my sleep, and assess my environment.
what has changed, what needs replacing, what exists that no longer serves, what needs to be done.
for me that has included elements such as job, social activities, hobbies, interests…
and heading out in a new direction. boldly. with confidence.
the future is a bright shiny place full of fun and adventure
i’ve always had a feeling inside, a need to do “something”, something that somehow benefits the world. has an impact.
my “career” to date, indeed my life to date, has fallen short of that lofty goal.
jobs never came with the “passion” that you read about in the “success” literature.
attempts at building a business lacked clarity of vision, and again the magical “passion” component.
sure, i tried to find that passion, tried to “fake it until you make it”. but things never quite clicked.
then running happened. i not only fell in love with running, i finally got to feel what a PASSION feels like.
it’s obsessive, it’s fulfilling, it’s addictive. but more than that, you suddenly get a sense of “YES! THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!”
for me that has unlocked the secret doorway that leads to the path I have been seeking. and it is delightful in its simplicity.
the changes i have experienced, the transformation i have gone through, the re-awakening, the discovery that there IS “more to life than this”… i simply want to share these things, let other people know that it is possible, help others realise that they can achieve everything they have always dreamed of.
onwards, upwards and full speed ahead
in the last few weeks several things have clicked, existing connections with people have yielded surprising conseqences.
at the heart of it all, someone i have a lot of time and respect for agreed to meet me for coffee.
i told him my story my desire to tell that story to the world. to somehow use that story to change the world.
i told him of my dreams to write, blog, speak, travel the world, run marathons and other events in all sorts of places.
he connected me with a book coach.
i told her the same story.
i almost fell off my chair when she revealed that for her, the ebook is just the beginning, and that in her work she gets into building on that. seminars, speaking, audio and other digital products…
the perfect match with my vision!
which is why i am delighted to say that “the no more mr fat guy story” is now very much an active project.
it will become an ebook reality next year – probably around the date of my birthday (may 15th).
there is a lot of work to do between now and then!
but aside from using this to make that announcement, i want you to take something away from this article, and that is the simple truth that you really can have the amazing life that you always dreamed of.
you just have to sort your sh*t out first, so you can truly start to believe.
once you do, doors open.