At 50 years of age, I am in a much wiser position now and looking in my rear view mirrors, can say quite that by the time I was 31, I had created a huge mess that was not only challenging me mentally but physically too. So on 5th Jan 1994, I decided to make some changes, massive change in fact and ‘getting fit’ became a great foundation to build a ‘New Life’ and a ‘New Rory’.
I know personally that it’s a huge step to stop drinking, smoking or over-eating. I now see these as being really negative actions and these were replaced by a far greater challenge of a marathon back in 1994. It only took me six months to reverse my very poor levels of fitness and I enjoyed the elation of crossing the finishing line so much, that some 18 years later, I have completed over 700 marathons.
I’m not saying that you have to run 26.2 miles, be an Ironman Triathlete or become a body-builder but whatever life choices you make in the future, be it starting a new job, a new relationship or over-coming an illness or accident – fitness REALLY helps.
Running Morocco’s Marathon-des-Sables, a 156 mile multi-day ULTRA-marathon has provided me with amazing life adventures and introduced me to some very inspiration people, one such person being Personal Trainer, Wanda Summers.
When I heard of her accident, I felt very sad for her as I knew that fitness played a huge part in her life. But Wanda, saw hope in her desperate situation and her determination and importantly, her fitness got her miraculously back on her feet and back doing what she loves best. I remember that during her six months of enforced bed rest, she contacted ME to encourage me in what I was doing rather than hiding herself away in self-pity.
Hopefully, you can see from our two life journeys that really positive things can come out of some very dark places and situations… I know for one that I am far from perfect but I was lucky enough to be able to make positive changes to my behaviour that have given me huge satisfaction and a career where I can now help other people to reach their own fitness and life goals.
It’s far too easy to say ‘Why bother?’… and actually you need to, as if you do, you will be pleased you did… believe me.
My dream is to reach 1000 marathons before I’m 60… and I will – what’s your dream, I’d love to know?