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Celebrating Victories

By Stuart Fenwick

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Just over two years ago I ran my first ever ‘proper’ run. It was the Scottish Half Marathon and I did it on two days notice whilst dressed as a character from Super Mario. Wario, if you’re interested…

Since then I have completed six 5ks, eleven 10ks, eight half marathons, one full marathon and a triathlon… And that’s just the official events. According to Strava, in the last two years, I have run nearly 1,000 miles.

 

I say this not to brag. (Well, maybe a little…)

I mainly say it to address a comment I get quite often. The wording of the comment changes, but it usually revolves around how lucky I am to have that level of fitness.

That grinds with me.

As above, I’ve committed a lot of time, energy and effort to improve my running times. Even prior to that, I have dedicated a lot of time to other sports which have maintained a level of fitness throughout my life.

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It’s not luck.

There are people much, much fitter and faster than me. However, the internal competition of always trying to better myself and my times – that’s what I focus on. It’s also why I celebrate that improvement.

I was very lucky to be given that spot at such short notice two years ago, but since then I have seized the opportunity. The great thing about it is how many people have joined me since then, or at the very least have asked questions about it all.

There are, however, also groups of people who wish they could get into running but just can’t. Not because of injury, age, health or any other actual barrier. But ‘they just can’t’.

So, with that in mind, and as a previously very reluctant runner, I give you my secret on how I got so passionately into running.

I ran.

It is somewhat of a cliché, but often we can become very guilty of waiting for change to happen. When it doesn’t miraculously happen, we get frustrated. This frustration causes us, not to train harder, but to wait harder. To wait, but with more energy into our thought process. To wait with intensity and purpose.

But it’s still just waiting.

Every so often you get one person who turns that thinking and waiting into doing. And guess what? That’s when things start to change. That’s when, with running, we start seeing all these wonderful benefits that we read about online.

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Our physical wellbeing and our mental wellbeing both improve. In fact, they both bring about improvement in each other. So, forget physical and mental as separate entities. You start to improve your overall wellbeing.

And wellbeing comes from welldoing. To be well we must do well.

Whether it’s improving your time, pace, distance or self, absolutely take time to celebrate the little victories. That’s what it’s all about.

You have managed to turn thoughts into action and bring it to life. It didn’t happen by itself, you did it.

Look at the Nike slogan and say, ‘too late mate, just did it’.

Whatever your goal may be, take control. Own it. And good luck!

 

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