And so the lockdown continues. As we are entering June 2020 I have days when I’m struggling to remind myself of what normal life was like prior to this global event that has affected virtually the whole planet.
It has been a strange couple of months (putting it in such an understated way). I’ve not seen many members of my family and friends since we went into lockdown and that has been tough. I’ve been working really hard on putting things into perspective and really appreciating what I have got in that time. I’m using the resources that I have at hand and have had to change many things so that I am not going into moods that are low and a potential downwards spiral.
Exercise is really important to me and I’m continuing to challenge myself by seeing how fit I can get at the moment. After completing ‘Dry January’ at the start of the year I’ve also completed ‘Dry May’ (if that is a ‘thing’) and had also abstained from alcohol for the majority of April as well – I think I had 3 cans of lager in the early part of the month. I think that has really helped with my fitness, motivation, and outlook on things.
The exercise and having a goal (completing the Appalachian Trail Virtual Challenge) has really helped out as well – rather than just exercising for the sake of it I’m working towards a target that means I have to push myself as well.
The training is going well and the mileage has certainly increased over the last couple of weeks. I completed my longest run for a few years over the weekend – 10 miles. I’m really lucky that I have some really nice places where I can train and get out for a run. I spoke to a friend recently that said they would love to be able to run by the sea. I must admit it is something I have taken for granted but as some photos show it is a nice place to be able to run (or cycle or walk for that matter).
I also did a 4-hour session on the bike trainer as well – they are not the most interesting of sessions believe me (no scenery, no change in terrain, uncomfortable, and pretty hot as well). I’ve now completed 827.4 miles (ca. 1,332 km) of the challenge and have a mere 1,140.9 miles (ca. 1,836 km) to the ‘virtual finish’ line. I’m starting to have a serious think about what this means when life goes back to ‘normal’. Considering the time and effort I have put into the training – I’d basically start from scratch again – I don’t really want to let all the hard work and effort go to the wayside.
When I started this blog a while back I had a target of finishing an ultra-marathon and that still remains a key goal. At the moment (and especially within the current climate) I have no specific event in mind (though I have a few ideas). I’ve also looked at some Ironman-Distance triathlons, and I am having a serious think whether to challenge myself again to race that distance.
The lockdown has taught me a few things actually. Along with finding inspiration and motivation within adversity and challenging times I have also learnt that I’m able to fully function without certain things I would normally take for granted. I’ve usually been pretty good at adapting to changing situations or a changing environment and again have proved to myself that by adapting the abnormal becomes normal and familiar relatively quickly.
On the whole I’ve remained really positive and that is good.
This lockdown has thrown up multiple challenges and I know that sometimes it can be really, really tough (especially with no end in real sight). If you are struggling please be kind to yourself, accept that some days are going to be difficult, give yourself small targets to achieve, and most importantly stay safe and keep well.
And so, the lock-down and social distancing continues. It is all very strange. It is strange not seeing friends and family. It is strange having to totally adapt to a new way of working. It is strange not doing any travelling for work, something that became the norm last year. It is strange attending multiple meetings and delivering courses over zoom sessions.
Things I usually took for granted have changed dramatically – going to the shops, going to the pub with friends, and going to football.
One of the things I have been really impressed with is the way that communities have pulled together to support each other – whether this is in a practical or emotional sense. I really hope that this continues once we get back to a more ‘normal’ way of life.
As the lockdown has continued it has sometimes been a challenge to find ways of keeping oneself occupied – I’ve probably done more quizzes in the last couple of weeks than I have done in the last couple of years!!!! I need to read more though. A number of box sets on DVD have been watched yet again.
My ‘lockdown’ fitness challenge has kept me going and it is something I’ve been enjoying. I’m currently making my way along the Appalachian Trail. I had initially said I was only going to count my run miles in this but after doing the maths and looking at the distance I calculated it would take me around two years to complete!!!!! The app allows for any fitness activity to be included. As I’m also doing a few sessions a week on my indoor bike trainer I figured I might as well include these miles as well – after all it is training and it is keeping me fit. So to date (26 days since I started the challenge) I’ve covered 330 miles leaving just 1,638 miles to go. Looking on the map that plots the progress it can sometimes seem a bit daunting looking at how far I’ve got to go but that is all part of the fun I guess!
The runs and bike sessions are getting longer every week, so I’m determined to finish this as soon as I can.
With many races cancelled this year it has been good to have a goal to work towards.
I’ve noticed when I’ve been out running the number of people exercising – either running, walking or cycling. This is fantastic and I really hope that this continues once the rules around social distancing are relaxed, and we return to a more ‘normal’ way of life.
I’ve also noticed on social media the number of people that are taking up some of the virtual fitness challenges as well and it has been fantastic to see.
I like challenges and I enjoy having targets and goals to strive towards. I know for a fact that if I was just training for the sake of training my motivation levels would drop quite quickly as would my mood which would have an effect on my mental well-being.
It is amazing at the moment just some of the small things that people can and are doing, despite the huge challenges that the lockdown and social-distancing are bringing, to keep themselves occupied.
Until next time, keep well and stay safe, and remember those small changes each day can make a huge impact over time.
These are very strange times we are currently living in. We have all had to adapt to a different way of life and quickly. The things we considered to be normal and routine, things we didn’t even give a second thought about suddenly become things that are temporarily removed or changed in our lives.
I, like most, grumble a bit when change is suggested – it removes the normal and I question whether it is really a better way of doing things. Personally, I have had to adapt very quickly to the changes we have had to make. I can be a bit of a stickler for routine as well. So a new routine it was then.
Most of the races I had planned to do this year look like they are going to be cancelled or postponed. I didn’t see that as an excuse for not training though. We started the social distancing on Monday 23rd March, I started a new training schedule then. This was to get me into a routine where I’ve got something to focus on whilst working from home.
I’m still running and it is good to get out and do that still. The roads are much emptier and with fewer people about. It feels really strange running through places that are normally busy but are now deserted. I’m still doing sessions on the bike trainer as well.
I haven’t really been working to a plan other than being consistent and getting fitter – I didn’t really start with any goals or targets in mind if I’m being honest and that in itself has been strange. I’ve been clocking up the hours on the bike trainer and ticking off the miles whilst out running. I’m just coming to the end of my first 4 week block of training – I completed 22 sessions in 22 days which I was really pleased about.
At the beginning of the week I found a virtual challenge website which looked really interesting and after investigating further I decided to sign up to it. Some of the challenges looked pretty good on the site – you can clock up the distance by walking, cycling or running – cool. Never to do one by half measures I decided to sign up to do a virtual run of the Appalachian Trail in America. The total distance is 1,968 miles!!!!! That is the equivalent of running 75 marathons!!!! So every time I head out for a run now, I come back and enter my mileage onto the site and it moves me slowly but surely along the route on the map!!!! I’ve logged my miles from Saturday 4th April and have already completed a distance equivalent of 1 marathon – OK, 1 down, 74 to go – progress in the right direction. Wow! I have a target to work towards with my training which is fantastic. It is also keeping me focused and my motivation up now. Why the Appalachian Trail though? There were other routes on the site that I could have covered ‘virtually’ such as Lands End to John O’Groats, The Inca Trail, Hadrian's Wall, and Route 66.
Having an interest in ultra-endurance events the Appalachian Trail has been a course used by ultra-runners looking who can cover the distance the quickest. The record currently stands at a staggering 41 days!!!! I just thought it would be an interesting challenge to take on, I’m not looking to set any records, it is just to give me some focus and a target to aim for.
In these unprecedented times I think it is really important for our well-being to have things to focus on no matter how big or small. Set yourself a goal or a target and have fun doing.
Stay safe everyone.
It has been a couple of months since I have done a blog entry. Things have been pretty busy over the last couple of months, which is one of the reasons I haven’t sat down to write anything. There have been a few changes since I last wrote and I’ve started 2020 feeling really positive and really optimistic about the year and the future.
I decided that it was time to really make some changes in my life and take full on ownership of those changes. I started the year by committing to dry January and cutting out alcohol completely for January. It was easier than I thought it was going to be and it was really good to start the year by achieving that.
When I first started this blog I wasn’t happy with my life in lots of ways. I think this is partly down to the way I am, the way I see myself, and the way I see what I should be achieving. I spent a lot of time last year asking questions about myself and what I was capable of. I also spent a lot of time pushing myself – especially in work – always asking questions and constantly challenging myself. ‘What if….?’ was a constant throughout the year.
There is uncertainty in work again – another restructure and there is the risk of redundancy. Not ideal but I have some influence on the roles I can go for and what my capabilities are. I joined a new team around a year ago and felt like I was a very small fish in a very, very big ocean. Over the year I have achieved quite a lot in work, and I am hoping this is both realised and recognised in the selection process.
I’m never one who enjoys taking credit or compliments from others but some of the feedback I’ve received from managers and colleagues leads me to believe I am destined for bigger and better things at work.
When I first started this blog I was determined to complete an ultra-distance marathon. That is still a goal and will be something I achieve. However, I’ve been realistic in terms of my capabilities and set this as a longer term target for either 2021 or 2022.
I am training still and have set myself some more realistic targets for this year, so I can get back into a more varied and structured way of training. I’m hoping that having a variation will also result in me remaining injury free (something that has hampered my training over the last year).
I am planning on doing some running events, a couple of triathlons, some sportive cycle events, and hopefully finish the year with a marathon. Rather than focusing on one event I’ve decided to have smaller targets across the year so I can adapt the training and the focus before taking on that much bigger challenge.
I’ve made a good start to 2020 and I am determined to keep that going. I have people in my life who mean a lot to me, improve my life, make me happy, and make me laugh.
I spent a lot of last year looking at the things and the people who made me feel negative and decided to fully distance myself from them – it was an easy choice to make.
I looked at my own behaviours and what triggers those behaviours – again eliminating the negativity was an easy choice to make.
My mindset has changed for 2020. I used to feel that if I wasn’t achieving everything I needed to then I didn’t have the right to feel happy about things. I felt in constant conflict with myself and I’ve realised that this is not good. We all have a right to be happy and that should be on our own terms and our own terms only. Other people can have an influence on this but it is down to us as individuals to decide how we feel.
It was probably my darkest day. I can’t even recall the date now but it was 20 years ago. I’d sunk into a darker and darker depression – I’d stopped going to work, I wasn’t getting up at all as I just couldn’t face another day, I wasn’t eating either. I had gone crashing down into a never-ending downwards spiral. I couldn’t see any way out of it at all.
I was single and hated the fact, I was working as a cycle courier and was fed up with it. I just couldn’t see much of a future let alone a bright one. I was in my late twenties and the depression had taken a strangle-hold on me in a big way. I viewed myself as nothing short of a total and utter failure. The months leading up to this point had been a major struggle – I was drinking heavily and really couldn’t give a shit about anything or anyone.
It was a Sunday and I had filled up two empty bottles with water and filled them with paracetamol – I had put around 50 effervescent tablets into each bottle – before starring at them for an age and eventually drinking the contents of both bottles. This wasn’t a cry for help, this was me at the very end, no more answers having accepted the only solution was to end my life. I thought that the quantity of tablets would knock me out before my life ended. I didn’t leave a suicide note. I just didn’t see the point.
Several hours later I was hunched over the toilet being sick in a way I have never been sick before. It was continuous and seemed never-ending. I ended up in A&E at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital that night. They managed to stabilise me and I spent the following week in hospital. That first night in the hospital was strange. I felt confused and I was scared but felt at peace as well.
The following day a really good friend came to visit me at lunchtime commenting (rather ironically) ‘that if I tried something like that again she would kill me’.
I learnt a lot that week in hospital. I realised that my depression (and episodes of depression) needed to be tackled head on and couldn’t engulf me like it had on this occasion. Back then mental health wasn't widely spoken about as it is today. There was still a certain amount of stigma associated with it as well.
The doctors told me that it was lucky that I was so fit as certain blood counts associated with the overdose were off the scale and they had never seen anyone survive with such high levels before. Thankfully the majority of the damage was to the liver and this would eventually heal.
On the ward I got talking to the bloke in the bed next to me – he had to be admitted to hospital every couple of months due to having sickle cell disease – he was really upbeat and was just getting on with it. One thing that stayed with me was watching an elderly man at the other end of the ward die. I was looking over towards him in those last moments of his life and watched his last breath. I spent a week in the hospital before being discharged. That is when the real hard work started. I was at rock-bottom and needed to rebuild my life again.
I’d come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be easy, it wouldn’t be instant, and it was down to me to sort the mess out which had become my life. I also had to accept that I suffered from depression and that I needed to control it as best I could – this is something that I am still doing 20 years later. There are times when I think I’m doing well and other times when I think I need to get my act together. That has happened quite a lot over the last 20 years.
I think in the last 20 years I’ve achieved a lot and learnt a lot about myself. I went from working as a cycle courier to becoming a performance manager for the company I was working for. I started a career in the civil service (and was promoted twice within my first 8 months). I studied and trained to become a sports massage therapist, worked for myself and gained an excellent reputation as well as working with some brilliant and inspiring athletes. Another career change has seen me working for the British Red Cross for the last 7 years and advancing, learning, and studying along the way.
One of the things that really helped was exercise – I finished another 8 marathons (I had completed my first a few years before), finished multiple triathlons including four ironman distance, as well as racing for Great Britain at the European Long Distance Championships in 2007.
In that 20 years I’ve been in 6 relationships and am now single again – I’m not that fussed about that, some days I think it’d be great to be with someone, most days I’m happy being on my own.
I don’t really speak about that dark day very much. I know that it changed me. I know that it made me see that if I wanted to achieve anything I would need to really push myself hard. I’ve learned that failure isn’t a bad thing as long as you learn from the mistakes made. That dark day helped me to build a very strong mind-set where I refuse to give up, give in or stay down when knocked down by life.
That dark day was the first step to everything I have achieved since.
I’ve completed the first full week of a more structured training schedule which I’m pleased about. I’m having to get up at 5.30am to get some of the sessions done - I don’t mind doing this as it is part of what I’m trying to achieve. It has been dark, cold and sometimes wet when I’ve headed – I’m not bothered about that though as the pavements and roads are clearer and quieter. Once I’m back I know that the training for the day is done and I feel like I’ve achieved something before the day has really started.
One of the differences I have training for an ultra next year (compared with losing focus earlier in the year) is I’ve sat down and put more structure into the training and built up to achieving that particular goal.
I’ve decided to run half marathons in December and February (both of which will be treated as training runs rather than going for a specific time) and then finish the season off with the Great South Run (October) and another marathon in next December. This will give me those short-term targets to aim for rather than just focusing on the one target as well as keeping the momentum going after the ultra.
The key to achieving that is remaining injury free, consistency, belief, discipline, and strength. I’m in control of all of those factors.
Remaining injury free – a sensible approach to training, not pushing it too far too quickly, and proper recovery. Since I’ve moved my diet and lifestyle have improved greatly and that is going to help as well.
Consistency – I need to have a no excuses approach to the training. I’m might not be in the mood or don’t want to get out of bed at 5.30am but that is not the reason for not completing the training.
Belief – having the self-belief that I can achieve these targets and goals. I like a challenge to work towards and it needs to be a challenge as well. If the goal is to easy then the motivation isn’t there and that sense of achievement is watered down considerably. Having that proper challenge and having that belief that I can achieve it is important to me.
Discipline – having a sense of self-discipline and not quitting. Knowing that I need to remain consistent with the training and do it. Knowing that I need to constantly push myself. Having that no excuses approach to the training and getting it done. Other options of doing things may look better in the short term but are they going to help with the longer-term goals? Probably not, therefore I need to remain disciplined to get the training done. Looking out of the window knowing it is cold and raining but still having the discipline to head out of the door rather than hiding under the duvet for another hour.
Strength – I’m not talking about physical strength (as that will develop with the training). I’m talking about mental strength and the ability not to quit when it becomes tough. I have several strategies that I have developed over the years to help build my own mental strength. I give myself little prompts as to why I’m doing the training. When I’m feeling tired during training and just want to stop I ask myself how I am going to feel if I do stop (and how much I will then beat myself up mentally for stopping). There are going to be days when I’m fed up for a variety of reasons but it is having that strength to put that aside and get the training done. There are going to be times when the training session isn’t that A-game performance and again it is having the strength to put that behind me and concentrate on the next session.
Overall it is having the strength to say to myself I have the ability and capability to do this – NO EXCUSES are going to be accepted.
One of the other reasons I do the training is that it makes me feel good about me.
I started this blog around a year ago, give or take a couple of weeks.
At the time I wasn’t in a very good place for various reasons and I had a lot of questions that I needed to ask myself at the time. Some of the answers I probably didn’t want to hear if I’m being honest. I had also entered an ultra marathon and had begun training for it. I never made the start line of the ultra marathon for many reasons.
A lot has changed in those 12 months.
Reflecting on the last 12 months and not being in a happy place at the time there were multiple things I needed to change in my life – some of those I have achieved and others are a work in progress. Compared to 12 months ago I am in a much better place now. I have moved and now have my own space – it is utter bliss.
I wasn’t happy where I was living and craved for my own space. The move has brought a lot of structure back into my life. I need structure in my life otherwise I get distracted and side-tracked and lose focus on the things I should be doing. When this happens a bad habit kicks in – procrastination – and when that happens I start drifting almost aimlessly. I’m aware of the things I should be doing but due to a lack of focus I put them off. When I put them off I feel guilty for doing so and that pushes me into a very low place as I feel I am letting myself down and selling myself short.
12 months ago I was bored in a role that I could do with my eyes closed. I’m much happier in my job as well. It involves a lot of travel at times but compared to my previous role it is more challenging and has allowed me to develop new skills and gain fresh knowledge. It has also allowed me to push myself professionally and I think that this has been noticed by senior managers. This could be useful for future opportunities.
12 months ago I had been knocked to the floor again. Very much like when this has happened in the past I refuse to stay down (even though that may look like the best option at the time). A few people have pointed this out to me over the last couple of months – there is something internal that refuses to stay down and give up, it is almost like I should be broken but it is just the start of something new and I’m just breaking myself in, having to start with a blank canvas refusing to accept defeat.
I’ve faced some very tough challenges over the years but have a huge inner reserve that always pulls me back up. It takes a certain amount of mental toughness to do that.
So things are much better than 12 months ago, lessons have been learnt, challenges overcome, opportunities taken and others missed. I’m constantly asking myself those tough questions and never accepting complacency.
Since moving I’ve got back into a training routine. Not being on the start line of the ultra marathon in August has been niggling away at me. It is something I need to complete for my own reasons. I’ve seen the event I want to do and now I’m happier with things. I will be on that start line next July and believe me I will cross that finish line as well.
It has been a little while since my last blog post and there have been a number of reasons for this. Work has been really busy and I seem to be travelling more and more with the role – it is tiring but on the whole I am enjoying it. I also felt I needed to take a break from writing the blog whilst I sorted out some aspects of my life, take a look at where I want to be and how to get to that point. I’m also in the process of moving as well which is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to that.
I’ve been busy buying furniture, house-plants and other stuff I need for when I move.
Due to several factors I’ve decided to pull out of running the ultra-marathon in August.
The training took a bit of a back-seat and there were a few minor niggles that had I ramped up the training could have led to longer term injuries – it is disappointing but I’m looking at what I can aim for in 2020.
I plan to start running again in the coming weeks – it does feel like it is going back to square one but once I get out there and start forming a decent plan it won’t take too long to get back into it and hopefully the niggles will have disappeared.
I have been getting out on the road the last few weeks cycling – it had been a little while since I had last been out so it was a bit of a shock to the system, especially when tackling some of the hills on the routes I train on. In a few weeks I should be back to a decent level of fitness.
I’ve also decided to return to fencing. It was a sport I took up when I left school around 30 years ago and I participated in it for around 5 years. It was a sport I really enjoyed and I had always said I would give it another go but over the years I never really looked into it. A quick google search last week and I found out where the local fencing club meets – it is literally opposite to where I am moving so I have no excuses really. Rather than waiting to join after I move I’m heading along in a couple of weeks and am really looking forward to participating again.
I’m naturally a competitive person so this will also be a great opportunity to start pushing myself in a different direction that isn’t all about long runs and long bike training.
Since my last blog entry I feel that I’ve grown as a person as well – work is pushing and challenging me a lot and that is a good thing. I feel that over the last couple of months I have really developed in my role. I feel that my moods have been a lot better over the last few months. The focus on the move has really helped with that. I’ve lived in Portsmouth for 2 years now and have made some fantastic friends, have a fairly decent social life, am looking forward to another season as a season ticket holder at Fratton Park and the roller-coaster of emotions that brings on Saturday afternoons, and on the whole feel settled down here.
I think back to October 2018 when I wasn’t happy, didn’t feel settled, didn’t want to live here at all, was fed up with work, and fed up with life in general. I have had to take a long hard look at myself quite a few times since then and look at who I am, look at what I want to achieve, look at whether it is possible, look at alternatives, and really had to dig deep at times. Sometimes making changes to life doesn’t happen instantaneously and there are going to be disappointments along the way. There are going to be times when things don’t go to plan. There are also going to be times when you need to change your mindset, your goals, and even your approach in order to get to where you want to be.
It has been a busy couple of weeks. The new role in work is going well as well as being extremely busy – I’m in my 5th week and it has been like being in the middle of a whirlwind. I’m loving it because I’m having to push myself daily and having to challenge myself daily as well.
It isn’t just in work that I’m busy but also out of work as well. A few months ago I was sitting at home alone feeling pretty fed up with life and knew I had to kick myself firmly up the arse to change that. I was in total denial about how much I had dragged myself down and when I looked in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. I needed to change. In that moment I knew I had to turn things around. Months later and I feel fitter, feel stronger, feel more in control, and feel happier. It was a tough call to make that change. It isn’t the first time I’ve had to do that in my life.
In my late twenties I was in a real rut and suffering from a chronic bout of depression that resulted in me taking a large paracetamol overdose – I wanted to check out as I saw no other way out. I was riddled with guilt about choices, decisions and events that had happened in my life. I was chronically unhappy. I couldn’t see how I could change my life. I spent a week in hospital recovering and was told I was lucky to be alive. I was told the amount of paracetamol I had taken should have killed me.
When I was discharged from hospital I vowed that I needed to turn things around and worked my arse off to do so and continue to do so to this day. When I looked in the mirror last year I knew I needed to take ownership and be accountable again and get back on track, that there had to be more than this and I was the only person that could change things – no one was going to turn things around for me. Life isn’t a rehearsal and we only get one shot at it.
Sometimes the hard part is admitting that there is a problem and there needs to be major change. Making those changes is not an easy option, it means taking yourself well and truly out of your comfort zone, pushing yourself, pushing yourself hard, pushing yourself even harder – do more, be more. It takes effort to do that.
Someone I know has hit that point where they have realised they need to make some major changes because how they are living is destructive and unsustainable. When I found out I knew how they felt as I’d been in that place before. I’ve chatted to them quite a bit since Sunday and we both know that it isn’t going to be easy but it is achievable to make those changes for the better.
I’ve told them not to look solely at the bigger goal but to break it down into much smaller achievable goals. If you make a 1% change to your life every week then in 6 months you could be in a much better place. In a year just imagine what you could achieve. 1% change each week.
To do that takes heart, it takes discipline, it takes effort, it takes commitment. Most people don’t do this – they remain in a rut, they are in denial, they embrace mediocrity. They don’t make changes and remain in their comfort zone. Closed minds and the easy option all the time. Some of the toughest people I know are those who have looked in the mirror and have said ‘things need to change’ and have effected that change. It is not an easy thing to do. It is not the easy option.
If you want to make changes I challenge you to do so – each week write down that 1% change you’ve made – and then in 6 months see how much you’ve achieved and how much things have changed.
It has been a week of thinking and evaluating. I find this important.
It has been busy as I come to the end of my second week in my new role – some of it has been a bit of a baptism of fire but I love that – being thrown in at the deep end or it being tough. It helps me become a lot more resilient a lot quicker as well as adapting.
I’m having to learn quickly and adapt even quicker. I’m in my absolute element when I do this.
When I was delivering a workshop a few days ago I did question my ability as it was the first time I’d delivered this particular workshop and the material – I had a minor wobble. I went to the toilet and looked in the mirror and told myself I was delivering the workshop because I have the knowledge, the experience, the confidence, the skill to do so, and am the credible expert with the capability who got the role – wobble well and truly over.
I’m in this role because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and because I want to see what I’m really capable of. So very few people do this today – they are so happy and content to stay in their comfort zones because it is cosy and safe.
Not me. I don’t want a comfort zone at all – I want the hurt locker. I want to push myself – where is my limit? I don’t know but I want to find out.
The hurt locker is the place where I truly excel – when I am finding things tough, when things are starting to overwhelm me, when I should probably throw the towel in and give up – that is when I dig deep and find that little bit more inside myself to carry and push even harder. I have many motivators that allow me to dig deep into my hurt locker. Past experiences that have placed me in tough or difficult circumstances and I’ve had to dig deep to get through them – I look back on those and think I got through that time or that situation so why not now.
I look at those who doubted me or hurt me in the past – I look at the hurt they caused and yeah it was tough at the time and it may have knocked me down but it certainly didn’t knock me out. I look deep into my hurt locker and say to myself I’m better than you and I always will be. That hurt gave me strength and purpose and allowed me to push on more and further – those that hurt me are no longer in my life as I’ve left them way behind in so many aspects.
My motivators allow me to say to myself what if I give that little bit more? What could I achieve if I pushed that little bit harder? What am I capable of if I look inside the hurt locker and dig deep?
I was speaking to a colleague in work who I hadn’t seen for a while and she made an interesting comment (based around my relationships and how they have failed) and said I seemed to be a “real sh*t magnet”. To an extent I agreed. Then I thought about this in the greater context – yeah I’ve had some really horrible things happen in my life, I’ve experienced things that are not great, sometimes I’ve felt that I’ve suffered the consequences harder than I should have, and I’ve gone through some really tough situations as well. But that is life – one thing life is not – a fairy-tale. So maybe it isn’t just with relationships I seem to be a sh*t magnet but also in life at times – but that is life.
Had I not gone through all those things I would not be the person I am today – someone who is determined, driven, dedicated, who won’t stay down when knocked down.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.