“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.”
Last year I did the 3 Peak National Challenge with some colleagues. Britain’s highest mountains in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately we couldn’t complete it in 24 hours due to a road accident on the motorway. But complete it we did.
It was my idea and a way to help bond with a close-knit group of people in the new small company I had begun to work for. We set out to raise money for a local charity who financially help parents of terminally ill children to be able to spend the last few moments with their child and not have to worry about work and covering bills from loss of earnings due to taking time off from their employment.
I once worked as an outdoor pursuit instructor. Before taking part in our challenge it had been a good ten years since I had last stood on a mountain. I hadn’t realized that I had been missing it. I can’t explain the joy and emotion of being on those hills. The feeling of been at home and comfortable in a tough terrain even though physically every muscle was aching, that feeling of pushing yourself against a clock.
The feeling of living. The feeling of being ALIVE.
I entered the London marathon Lottery draw but was unlucky and didn’t get a spot. I am unable to commit to a charity as I doubt I would be able to raise the required funds. We had spoken about doing another challenge in 2017 to help another local charity. Often an obstacle race had been suggested but having done them in the past I find them more of a fun day out than a challenge.
I’ve thought of marathon distance as unattainable but was willing to train for it. Then listening to the Rich Roll podcast he interviewed David Goggins if you have not heard this interview I strongly suggest you do. Then save it and listen to it again.
The original title of this blog was road to Ultra.
Apologies as I was writing this post has a pretense to “look at me I’m doing a ultra” but fuck that. I’ve done blogs in the past and I’ve always aimed it towards an imaginary audience. To some stranger to say to me well done. I fucking hate running ( so doing a ultra for no other reason than I want to. Nope ain’t happening )
I aim to get fit again as the 3 peak challenge showed that I’m way off where I use to be and want to be. Granted where I was, was 20 years ago but I keep trying to be who I think I should be when I just want to be me again.
Over the past 15 years life as beaten the shit out of me again and again and again. I’ve got up. But got up slower and slower each time with open wounds and aches that won’t go away.
I’m in no way who I used to be. Nobody should as we all should grow and move forward. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad things have changed in some ways as I was a bit of an arrogant selfish prick, but that’s also just youth.
I miss my confidence. I miss my self-esteem. I miss my get up and go. Not motivation, but oomph !!!!
I was the yes man. The guy who was up for anything and everything.
Do you want to go here do this.
Yes !! without a second thought, yes.
Feeling knackerd, hell yeah I’m still up for it.
You won’t know anybody ?
so what !!!
I will know everyone by the time the evening is out.
Where did that confidence go ?
Life isn’t like that now which I understand I’m not meaning to sound like I want the good old days back of care free-living. Although it would be nice for a day or two. But there is opportunity out there of new adventures. New friendships. New experiences and new opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought twice about. Now, now I think about them, i dissect them. I talk myself out of it then moan and blame life that I’m not doing it. I feel old and tired.
At some point I’ve become fearful.
At some point I’ve become Nic’s husband, Willow’s Dad or become that bloke who works for so and so.
I feel Nameless
You know Andy don’t you ? I doubt it I don’t even know who I am. I feel though I’m finally beginning to rebuild me and find out who I am.
Adversity isn’t always about doing a challenge. Sometimes it’s about getting through day-to-day life. Meeting the day head on. It’s getting up in a morning when the kids are shouting for breakfast as you’re trying to get out the shower. Doing a good job at work whilst having had little or no sleep. Coming home and been a good husband and Dad helping with the loving family you have built and created together.
If I am just Willow, Norah, Genevieve and Meredith’s dad or known as Nicola’s husband then that isn’t too bad.
Because nobody can do those roles better than me and I’m proud to be known as just that.
Be like Goggins and Live like Jay.