|BBC Sporting Unsung Heroes|
Life after SPOTY
At SPOTY this weekend, we met so many people with so many stories, so very many people doing such amazing things to serve their communities, overcoming so many obstacles.
I also came across an unnerving number of people affected by suicide; a lady who left the hotel on Monday to attend the funeral of a 22yr old man; many people who arrived late by train because there was ‘an incident’ on the line; a cameraman who’s daughter went to school with two 14yr old girls who died by suicide.
I came away wondering why it is that suicide is still on the increase, why it’s still such a silent epidemic despite the immense amount of great work being done by so many amazing people. On September 10th I listened to Louis Appleby, a Professor of Psychiatry who leads the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. He said that we’re getting good at talking about suicide – but it’s not working to prevent it, there must be ‘something else’. 'Something else' needs to be done to prevent suicide and protect our communities from it.
I'm wondering if that 'something else' might be prayer. While we were away, I remembered that “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness…” and that “prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.” (Ephesians 6, ESV and MSG versions).
I’ve proved I can run hard and long, but prayer? I’ve barely managed a mile in terms of prayer. Like the thought of running a marathon, the aim of a worldwide movement of praying runners seems impossible, the goal to pray to beat suicide seems many miles away.
That’s alright though. I used to think that teaching people to Walk2Run was impossible too, but was rewarded this week by receiving the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award for the South East. So what can I learn from that journey that I can bring to this new adventure? What can I learn from Walk2Run training?
- Take the first step - stop faffing, stop trying to understand everything, and just begin.
- Keep a training logbook for planning and recording sessions – because planning makes things happen, and recording successes and failures helps you get better.
- Fuel each session properly - with reading the word of God.
- Plan an event goal – my first 5k in prayer (perhaps a prayer breakfast at the end of January?)
- Build in a long run, increasing by small increments each week – starting 7th January 2020 at 9.30am every Tuesdays at The Pelham
- Build in a recovery week every 4 weeks – keep it short and review progress
- Prepare your kit the night before – notebook, bible, water, no hangovers allowed.
- And finally, find a running buddy or two – if anyone else wants to join me to help train in prayer, please let me know. I need you!
Other people pray faithfully for me and for RunningSpace.org. But me? I've come about as far as I can under my own steam, it's now time to knuckle down to praying. I'd love you to join me.
Come and run with pray with us, might just change your life.