I went out running this morning with my big cous Lara (who is also incidentally one of my training partners) to test out timings for the 10km – challenge 5 will be here before I know it. We headed out from the house with a real stride in our step, starting much faster than I think we should have done – maybe it was the glorious sunshine that boosted our motivation. We got down to Chorlton Water Park and it was great to see so many people out and about running, walking, cycling. Considering that we have a massive problem in this country with inactivity, it put a smile on my face to see so many people doing their bit.
The run itself was really good. Sun shining on our faces, cool country breeze brushing past us, and the sound of the River Mersey flowing to the right of us. All round, it was an idyllic and tranquil setting for a run. I still need to check the exact timings, but we pretty much covered 10km, and definitely in under an hour. However, the thing I’m going to have to sort out before the next event is the equipment.
I know a workman should never blame his tools, and I’m not blaming them per se, more the fact I’ve not bought the correct equipment so far. My fabulous mother has agreed to buy me some new running trainers (thanks mum – also, do you like how I’ve told everyone about it, so no backing out now). In addition to the trainers, I also need to get a new running vest as I am now the proud owner of a very raw & sore under arm, which was achieved through a mixture of rubbing and over sweating (nice on all levels I’m sure!)
The reason I’m telling you this, is that while I was running I knew what was happening. I knew very well that my arm would be sore as hell when I got home, and that having the hot water of a shower run over it would be less than enjoyable. But for some weird reason it was that very same pain that spurred me on, and gave me that little extra boost to finish just that little bit quicker.
OK, so you’re reading this thinking, “there is something wrong with this guy”. Please don’t think I enjoyed the pain, as I really didn’t. But the pain made me think. It reminded me of a very similar feeling that I’ve got on the last couple of challenges. I’m running, I’m in pain and I can’t wait to finish. But I know where the finish is, and if my maths serves me well, I can also calculate when I will reach the finish.
My brother however, doesn’t have that same luxury. He doesn’t know how long he’ll be out on patrol, how long he’ll be walking for each day in temperatures exceeding 50C, how long he’ll have to take cover while he’s being shot at. So when I think about the pain I’m currently in, I think about the pain he must be in. And not just the physical pain of blistered feet and a dehydrated body filled with aching muscles, but the mental & psychological pain of living in a war zone.
I think about his pain, and needless to say it’s one of the best motivators for me to push just a little bit more; to push me to finish what I’ve started. So while the pain in my arm right now isn’t something I enjoy, it’s a great motivator, as it makes me think about the guys and girls who are putting their bodies under extreme conditions each and every day.
For me, that it one hell of a motivator.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge