I am a bit of an all or nothing person. This explains many of the decisions and challenges I have taken on, and why I decided, four years ago, to just go `all out` and run an ultra with no previous marathon experience.
Essentially, I had decided I really loved off road running, it was a massive deal, and I was going to go for it hell for leather.
What followed was dedication, ambition, and sometimes, tunnel vision. But what it enabled was the chance to race and compete and take on stuff I never thought I could. I have no regrets, and have some great memories. I have the support of an awesome brand. I`ve also made some great friends through this sport.
There`s been mud, there`s been moods, but there has also been memories in the moving moments.
But it is not always easy. Life is busy. I have recently relocated and work full time in Switzerland. I travel a lot and, as with running, I put my energies, in full, to other areas of my life too. So really, running is a huge deal to me, but also not the only thing.
But this seems a bit of a conundrum. How do you make time to do what you are dedicated to, and yet still have time for everything else?
Or, for those who are considering running more, then how do you dedicate to it in a realistic way?
Considering I never set out to be a runner, and all that has come with it has been a bit of a surprise, I would first say that anyone can do it. I chuckle at the common assumption that somehow my running makes me `different`, and not `normal`.
Trust me, I am normal. I love running up mountains, but I also love watching Netflix and eating pizza. I have a love of ascents at higher altitudes, and a love of deckchairs and Magnums. One just requires a bit more leg work!
I guess the difference is, is that I just did not compromise on discovering what could happen if I pushed myself. This applies to anyone, in any discipline, if they really enjoy something.
Therefore, running does not have to be a big deal - just give it a go. Take it less seriously, but take seriously the benefits you`ll feel. Just go for a jog. No commitments - start out on a hike, and run a bit. Do a 10km, and let it take 3 hours. Because really, it does not matter. How you get into it, is really no big deal.
If you feel good after - that is all that actually matters.
Some days I do not want to run. Sometimes life gets way too busy and I have to change the focus. That is OK. I have not fallen into a vacuum and my identity is not compromised. When I do do it though, I feel a lot better - so as much as possible I prioritise it. A lot. Anything you enjoy that you hold important in your life - prioritise it. There is only shot at all this stuff, so do what you enjoy.
All in all, running is not, by definition, a big deal. It feels a big deal to me, but that is because I love it. But anything you love, should be a big deal to you. Getting into the sport however, should not be a big deal.
Keep perspective, try new things, push yourself when you have the confidence to, but also, make sure you enjoy every step.
I look forward to every trail, adventure and sun lounger ahead.