Ever since I decided my life was remarkably inadequate, I have found myself saying yes to everything (disclaimer: narcotics not included). At the beginning of this year I found myself sat in a pub with my sister having a beer after completing ‘dry jan’. Tipsy after half a pint, I made the promise to be able to run around Richmond Park by May. This was to be my first milestone. But this wasn’t enough.
It never is.
This time last year I was running around events sites smoking 20 menthol cigarettes, unwinding with multiple drinks, having three hours sleep and suffering a near mental breakdown by October 2018. I was unfit, unhealthy and unhappy. I suffered the darkest moments of my life and at some stages, I just wanted it to end.
I ran the London Marathon five years ago. It was utterly horrendous. I trapped a nerve and popped out of my hip. I walked/crawled most of it crossing the finishing line at 5:19. I swore to myself I would never do another one.
I completed my first half marathon of 2019 on June 2. It was a brutal day of 25 degree British stale heat, one week post-kidney stones and 2 hours 19 of me throwing up around the entirety of the course, as well as helping a man who had knocked himself out at mile six.
Last weekend I completed my first London 10km race with a PB. It was equally as hot and hard and I sweated to the finish line. I felt immense pride as I sprinted over it.
Since removing excess alcohol consumption (according to my doctor’s standards) from my lifestyle, it takes me very little alcohol to feel the effects. It also takes me very time to realise that I dislike what I am putting into my body. But despite that, I still enjoy a drink from time-to-time. Just over a week ago, I had two glasses of wine and signed up the IGO Adventures Coastal Challenge. This was not a drunken decision. This was very much a sober commitment. Everything about it screams out at me. It encompasses people, wellness, fitness, adventure, pushing boundaries, freedom and accomplishment.
Before you think this a martyrdom post and how wonderful I think I am. I don’t at all. In fact I think I think the opposite. I have never pushed myself to do so much and still feel like I am accomplishing so little. I cannot seem to settle for what I currently stand for.
I take my inspiration from everyone around me. I thrive off everyone else’s energy and success.
This challenge is the first of many. I won’t finish them all. But my god I will try.
My current heroes:
My cousin Katie Mills – one of Vancouver’s best female ultra-runners (and my personal kit advisor)
My wonderful friend Katie Michno – one of New York’s fastest runners
Instructor, wellness coach and my amazing friend Sarah Elliott
My running coach and now close friend James Dunn – MDS completer 2019 and currently sitting on Ultra x 5 | 26.2 x 20 | 13.1 x 20.
My friend Kris King – Expedition Leader and all-round adventurer-seeker
Laura Try – someone I could only thrive to be. All-time female legend.
Harry Wentworth-Stanley – 2016 rower in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge
My sister Alicia – for being the ultimate running partner, pace-setter, hug-giver and inspiration. I don’t say it enough, but I am forever grateful for you.