I confess. I am scared.
I am sitting here trying to find the words to write and I am absolutely sh*t-f*cking-scared that this post will crash and burn.
petrified that the mask will come off, the spell will be broken, and I will be left sobbing on the ground, the facebook page deserted, the blog readers off to seek less insane people to follow.
but friends & family too, shocked, concerned, frightened maybe?
so. please. be gentle. there is no(t too much) cause for alarm.
life begins at 44
I did it, as you all know, I put my hand up to run a marathon, and I did it.
turns out the marathon was just a vehicle.
the important part was the decision. the flash of electrical impulse that brought forth the word “marathon”.
I sit/stand here before you / on your computer screen today a changed man. and that’s a f*cking understatement if ever there was one.
I am 20kg lighter than I was in December 2011.
I have publicly committed to being 22kg lighter again by 31st December this year.
but these are just mere symptoms.
the changes go much deeper, and no, I didn’t find religion, just running (and myself)
training, discipline, commitment, obsessing – they all helped. but above everything are two key things:
spending many hours and kilometres alone with my thoughts
finding out that I actually CAN commit to doing something “impossible” and nailing it
the changes have come about over 2 years in the main. initially it was a 12 month path of self-discovery through my pagan practice. meditating and inner journeying based around the four elements of earth, air, fire, water, corresponding to foundations, intellect, passion/drive and emotion/compassion.
then the “get fit” thing came after. overlapping, but providing the second half of the self-discovery phase.
“getting fit” slowly morphed into structured training. a genuine, long-suppressed love for running was unearthed.
the physical climax occured at approximately 14:17 on June 16th 2013.
that was just the beginning. the start of a process that I’m still reeling from, feeling shell-shocked.
my world view has all but collapsed. my foundations, thankfully, are untouched. the rocks upon which I have built my life have proved sturdy, my fundamental instincts of family, hearth and home remain. the sole surviving structure amongst the “wreckage”.
it’s not wreckage though, it’s a brand new empty, clean canvas
the old Gary was a cynical, bitter, envious person who had let one failure shape the rest of his life. FACT. (and you can protest about this as much as you like, Mum, but it’s true).
I have, fortunately, retained my legendary sense of humour, acid wit and delicious knack for ice cold sarcasm. but the other sh*t is gone.
and what is left behind is a sense that the “something” I was seeking all those years, is there deep inside me. it’s been waiting patiently, but recently has started to feel as though it wants to RIP its way through my ribcage.
it started as a sense of something incubating; a magical caterpillar waiting to be reborn to its destiny as a butterfly, or even a moth.
then it started feeling like that creature from the Alien movie, pulsating, ready to rip through my flesh at any moment and shock the world at large.
and now this moment has come – and it’s either going to be a bright radiant butterfly, or a sick cruel twisted joke that scares the living sh*t out of people and leaves me here alone.
time to start painting
bit ironic that, I’m shit at painting…
however, I’ve arrived at a key point in life. domestically it seems we are on the verge of buying and moving into a dream house. the almost-perfect family home. large property with space for 4 year old boy and young greyhound pup to run around on.
a back gate that leads down to the river where said boy will no doubt find many an adventure in years to come.
fruit trees. large shed. white picket fence to the front.
and this is where many/most people would probably stop. this is the template most of us have been given. this is the point where we are supposed to have “arrived” and then live in domestic bliss for a number of decades, paying off the mortgage.
paying off the mortage by selling your soul. working 9 to 5 (or whatever), going from month to month, pay day to pay day. knowing you should be saving, hoping that one day things will somehow work out.
making do with a 1 week trip to somewhere not-overly-exotic, once per year. if you’re lucky.
I declare here and now that neither I nor anyone else HAS to accept this.
I want a better picture with more vibrant colour. and imagery that tears at my soul
I want to be alive. experience the world. do you know what? I just got it. the key is in one of my favourite movies of all times.
yeah sure it’s only a movie but….
I want to feel like SCROOGE. on Christmas Morning, after the 3 ghosts have been, and he rediscovers that he wants to LIVE!
travel the world, go to amazing places, have amazing experiences, meet awesome people.
and yes, I want some running in there. I have always wanted to run in the London Marathon – never told a soul before, but it’s true.
and why stop there? I want to run in every major city in Australia. I want to run in all kinds of places across the world.
maybe if I start getting a little less shit at it all, I could run in places of natural beauty that most people will only ever see in magazines.
and do you know what? why not for YOU!!!???
because we all deserve to have lives made out of “f*cking amazing”
I’m sick of the sh*t. the media and governments force-feeding us crap. people developing fear mentalities that translate into hatred and distrust of their fellow man.
I’m sick of the fact that the vast majority of people don’t truly live. and millions of people barely exist, suffering pain, war, famine, disease, dictatorships.
so I can’t fix all that sh*t. but I have an idea. and the idea has been in front of me all along.
you know that cliched line that gets used by so many new age Facebook pages, who think they can fix the world by getting a billion likes from people who will then share pictures of dandelions and “inspiring” spiritual messages?
“be the change you want to see in the world”
it’s true. it’s simple. I never got it before.
I actually don’t have to DO much at all, and it doesn’t matter that I am just an ordinary bloke from a council estate
I just have to change ME. I just have to be true to the feelings burning brightly in my soul right now.
then hope that my words, my actions, even the actions of losing weight and finishing a marathon… if they can impact just ONE OTHER PERSON then I have done my job.
I have fulfilled my “mission” – because if I change one person, they can change another person. and on and on it might go.
so when I finally get zapped, the world will be a marginally better place than when I first arrived.
and as I write that line, I am reminded of something I wrote once, many years ago now, when someone asked me what my life goal was.
I said “to leave this planet having not negatively impacted upon it”.
how f*cking pathetic is that? how totally devoid of anything is that for an aspiration?
it seemed very right on and earth-conscious at the time. it is soul destroying.
so let’s do this thing called life, huh?
for me, I want to tell my story, I want to share YOUR stories. I started doing that with the shit-sorter files. I love it. I am meeting people far more inspirational than I could ever be. I mean, holy crap, some of these people are running faster than me after having strokes!
for me again, I want to somehow take No More Mr Fat Guy into the world. the real world. I want to meet the “minions”. I want to meet the people whose stories I share.
somehow I want those stories to reach more ears. to impact the world positively, like my pal Srini over at Blogcast FM says “to make dents in the world”.
apart from the thought that you will all now run away, do you know what scares me most?
I don’t know how to do it.
I just know it has to be done.
and by the way… to all my family and friends. I rarely say it, but I love you all very much.
you have all made me what I am today, and I hope this post is going to lead to something you can all be proud of.
peace, love, and a new found love of life.