Sunday, 13 December 2009

2009 - Job done


Its been too long, where have you all been, what have been upto?

Oh, thats right, this my blog and its my job to tell you guys what I've been upto etc, etc.

The fact that I'm sending out my first post in months is indicative of a few things.

Firstly, that I've got a bit of time on my hands. Not loads mind you, but enough to squeeze out a few lines.

Secondly, I've got the mental energy & appetite for wishing to share my thoughts & feelings. This hasn't been the case for a while.

Thirdly, its almost the end of what has been an incredible year for me and I wished to lay out a record (for my own memories) of the last 12 months.

Fourthly, it was a deal I struck with myself during last weekends trail marathon.

So, in fact, this post is more for my own selfish reasons than any 'social' reasons. That in itself is quite apt as that has been the story of the year for me, i.e pursuing my own personal ambitions at the expense of wider social 'benefits'.

Ok, enough rambling, lets get on with it.

2009 was a huge year for me.

I set out at the start of the year with ambitions, goals and dreams. I am immensely proud that all of these have been achieved, met and exceeded.

I have become a multiple Ironman, I have become an ultra runner, I have met and spent time with some great, inspirational like-minded people, turning acquaintances into friends and I have gained the respect of people of whom I respect greatly.

Have I enjoyed myself?

Has it been challenging?
Very, the sacrifices one has to make can sometimes become too much but the rewards do make them worthwhile.

Becoming an iron-distance athlete at Roth. An amazing experience, an incredible race, memories which will last a lifetime.

Developing a great, new network of friends within the 'endurance community'.

Being in some really low places but keeping going and coming out the other end a better man.

Not many but there were times when all I wanted to do was ride with my mates but I had to go and do 5 or 6 hours on my own.

Having to miss Neil Young in Hyde Park because I couldn't miss my last big ride pre-Roth.

OK, thats the Q&A over with!

In summary, the most pleasing result for me has been my own personal development in terms of strength of character.

They say sport doesn't build character, it reveals it.

I couldn't agree more. So what have I revealed this year?

I feel I've revealed that I'm a fighter.

Not in the 'Mike Tyson' aggressive, smack it up sense. But in the 'Rocky Balboa' sense, ie I keep getting up and keep going even when I'm hurting more than I can describe in words.

In the past I have been plagued with self-doubt at crucial times. This year I fought through those personal demons & feel a different man for doing so.

I have beaten myself up for being 'a quitter' - not seeing things through to the end. This year, I did see everything through, I didn't quit even when the inner voices were screaming at me to stop or to walk, I didn't. I ran every metre of both of Ironman marathons. That means more to me than than the medal, t-shirt etc.

Never the most naturally talented of sportsman, I do feel that I am making the most of what I have.

That, my friends, is the most fulfilling achievement for me.

Before I go, I do want to send out some thanks to a few people:

Ian - my coach - the man with the plan.

John & Jono - my mates - thanks for the banter.

Clif Bar Dave - supplier of the finest sports nutrition / life-saving fuel on countless occasions.

Eve & Ant @ Skinfit - for supplying the best kit going.

Cheers everyone, I'll aim to post again before the year-end with some musings about 2010 plans.