Sunday, 23 April 2017

Tin Man

Today I’m walking like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz – stiff legs, painful knees, had trouble picking up the Mr Freeze icepop I dropped on the floor. I love it of course. I ran the Fox Ultra 60K event yesterday, and carrying this feeling in my legs reminds me that I did good.

It never hurts! (yes - it does)
As a side note, I do find it quite funny that fairly regularly a beginner runner will ask me if I ever get out of breath. Or say ‘your legs never ache!’, or ‘Jacqueline, you never even break a sweat’.  But it’s all about effort you see. When I’m coaching, or running with a client, we’re working at YOUR effort, and YOU’LL be the one sweating it out. But when I’m training or racing myself, I put in as much effort (more??) as you do in your Walk2Run sessions. But we’re no different. I feel the same as you – that satisfying tired achy sweaty out-of-breath feeling that tells you you’ve worked at your best effort.

The cost
I crossed the line and chatted to Becky, one of the race organisers, about what it feels like when you cross the finish line. To date I’ve not managed to successfully put it into words.  Relief that it’s all over, immense sense of achievement, the very basic physical need for a hot bath…. But as we were talking I realised that the only way you can know how it feels is by paying the price for it yourself. There is a cost you see. You have to put in your best effort for yourself. Many people who watch others do incredible things and ‘win’, sit on the sidelines and say ‘I wish….I can’t, or even I’m afraid I’ll fail or fall’. But the only way to get that success is to pay the price yourself isn’t it. Of course it doesn’t have to be 60 kilometers! That’s MY best effort at the moment, maybe not yours. But it could be being brave enough to come to a Walk2Run session. It could be pushing yourself a little bit harder when we’re doing short accelerations. The point is, YOU put in your best effort, YOU will reap the rewards.

Of Ostrich, Lama and Bluebells.
Running is amazing. I loved running past the lama and ostrich farm, the woods of Surrey in April are full of bluebells, the meadows full of cows, sheep and horses. We ran through villages and past pubs that were all so quintessentially English. Even their names amused me as I ran through them: Worplesdon, Hurtmore (perhaps NOT so helpful in this instance), Wonersh, Shamley Green….

So get out there and enjoy running. Give it your best effort. And if you find a way to describe the joy of what that feels like for you, please do write it in the comments below.

Happy running!

Come and run with us, it might just save your life.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

David and Goliath

I’m little. 5 feet and 2 inches is all. I live in a small-sized seaside town on the south coast of a small-sized island.  What’s more, I remembered yesterday that I’m just one of 7 billion other people who live on a small-sized planet in a small-sized galaxy in a vast, vast universe.

Cause to pause.

Yet there’s something in me that longs to make a BIG difference in my small-sized world.

Many of you will know that my personal mission in life is to beat suicide through running. And before you ask, no, I’m not sure exactly how. I just know that there’s a divine connection between running and the downfall of suicide, so I keep running in faith even as the details are being worked out.

In the interests of research, I’ve begun reading a paper per day on the subject of suicide, and I’ve recently taken up suicide prevention training.

In all that I’ve read and heard about, two things strike me.

1. Statistics.
800,000 people per year die by suicide, and for each of these, an estimated 20 others have attempted suicide. (source ,WHO). That brings the total to 16,800000. Add to that all those that are deeply affected by suicide, the friends, family, colleagues and communities who are the survivors of suicide. Let’s say that’s 15 each. We can add another 12, 000,000. This brings our total to 28,800,000. Nearly 30 million people each and every year are affected by suicide.

You’d be forgiven for feeling it’s a David and Goliath type fight.

2. Life wants a way
One of the very most important lessons I’ve learned about suicide through my own experience and supported by professional training and my research so far is this: people, by and large, want to LIVE. Please listen to this. People want to live. It’s just that they want so badly to stop hurting.

This alone gives me so much hope. This, THIS is where our battle really is.

It is a David and Goliath fight for sure. But lest we get downhearted about that, remember who won.

 So I say, bring it on, let’s do this.

On Saturday 22nd April 2017 I’ll be running the Fox Ultra, a 60 kilometre trail race, and as I run, I’ll be taking you with me.

Every Step Counts, right? And Every Step I take will be for anyone who is affected by suicide, in any way. I need your help. Please email me, I would love to hear from you if you or anyone you know is affected by suicide. Please tell me where you’re from and a brief prayer request.

Every Step we take Counts, so here are some ways you can join in. 
  • Email: where you’re from and a brief prayer request
  • Sponsor: (the 100k London2Brighton event at the end of May)
  • Run: join any of the Walk2Run sessions starting Easter Bank Holiday Monday
  • Pray: Pray on 22nd April 2017, and/or as you run your own sessions. 

Personal Disclaimer
I’m just a runner. If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal right now, it’s really important that you contact someone in your area straight away. Help is near. 

Come and run with us, it might just save a life.