Several months ago, my close friend, Abby, sent me a parcel containing, amongst other things, a copy of her awesome book, a giant bar of American chocolate and a small black picture frame. Within the small, black picture frame were lines of colourful words that comprised a wonderful quote:
“Find your purpose and fling your life out to it. Find a way or make one. Try with all your might. Self-made or never made”.
Those lines of colourful words spoke to me; they sucker-punched me straight in the gut, grabbed my shoulders, shook them hard and screamed WAKE. THE. FUCK. UP.
It’s like someone had prised my eyes wide open and demanded that I look at the LIFE swirling and bubbling around me, and then encouraged me to jump in.
So I did.
Well, actually, a bit more like this:
So far, 2012, has been a year of illuminating self-discovery and some serious soul-analysing. I slowly realised that the answers to LIFE are actually nestled within my own heart. I spent a lot of time looking to other people for explanations, unaware that if you hold a glass up to your own head, and listen carefully, you’ll more often than not find what you’re looking for.
Sometimes, however, I realise that I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I guess Bono hasn’t either. But it doesn’t matter, does it? It’s less about where you end up, and more about how you get there.
I am a runner.
I run nearly every day.
I often run to get away from myself, to seek distance from the world with all its mortgages and car re-payments and blazing rows with my partner and washing up. A few miles in, when I’m feeling calmer and centred, I feel ready to face it all again. I return home with a passionate fire burning in my belly, ready to rugby tackle the shit out of life and look beyond the mortgage and the car, and concentrate on the important things, such as discovering things out there that fulfill me, that run deep within my veins and remind me to “find my purpose and fling my life” out to them.
This is why I’ll be running an ultra-marathon in October.
Several months ago, whilst flicking through the running magazine, ‘Women’s Running’, my eyes fell upon a feature called ‘Operation Ultra’.
Because, hey! “Self made or never made”, right?
I then promptly forgot I’d applied….
….until I got an email from Christina, the editor of the magazine, notifying me that I’d been short-listed, but they had concerns that I would only have a week between the Berlin marathon I’d already signed up for, and the ultra-marathon, and the risk of injury or exhaustion was high.
I looked at that black picture frame and those lines of colourful words: “Find a way or make one”….
….and I emailed Christina back, explaining that one of the reasons I applied for the competition was because Operation Ultra will be such a personal challenge, particularly due to the short time-frame of recovery between the Berlin marathon and the ultra-marathon. I then followed up my email by calling her and leaving an extremely garbled voicemail, literally begging her to consider me.
I spent the rest of the afternoon cringing, but secretly patting myself on the back for being all FLINGY and for “trying with all my might”.
The following day, I received an email from Christina, informing me that I was part of the Operation Ultra team.
This is when I hyperventilated because I realised that I now had to run an ultra marathon.
The magazine came out in the shops today.
I am in a magazine!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to think of a word that sounds more meaningful than ‘grateful’. Maybe ‘indebted’? Sounds too formal. ‘Appreciative’? It doesn’t quite have the magnitude. ‘Thankful’? Yes, I am, but still, no, not the right word.
Turns out, the word I have been looking for is ‘blessed’.
I feel so very BLESSED right now.
Blessed for such an amazing opportunity to come my way.
Blessed to challenge everything I know about myself, to have to dig even deeper and discover something within me that I’m not yet aware of.
Blessed to have already found many purposes in life along the way, but to have found another that I flung myself at.
I am SO EXCITED about what lies ahead! I actually wanted to write this entire post in CAPS LOCK and use billions of exclamation marks to convey the exact level of THE EXCITEMENT I FEEL.
But I didn’t.
Did I mention the magazine is out in the shops RIGHT NOW?
(Subtle reminder right there).
You can also check out http://womensrunninguk.co.uk/operationultra.obyx
I will be incorporating the ultra-marathon with my 4races4cities charity fundraising project. I thought about changing the name of the project to 5races4cities, but it just sounds weird.
So I didn’t.